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Chris Butcher Resigns from His Roles at TCAF as Calls for Diversity are Made

TCAF

Chris Butcher has announced that he has stepped down as the Artistic Director for TCAF, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Butcher cites his need to address his “persistent health and wellness issues” that he has neglected.

Butcher has also addressed criticism towards the festival and organization. They have been criticized for a lack of diversity in input and staff from BIPOC, disabled individuals, and trans people. They organization has admitted it can “do better.” There are also charges that those who have spoken up and attempted to volunteer to help the organization have had their input dismissed. And, when they were engaged not given the support needed and then blamed when those tasks aren’t completed.

Simply put, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF)—whose leadership currently lacks Black or Indigenous representation —can do better.

Butcher acknowledges the criticism and in his announcement takes responsibility in the role he “played in devaluing the contributions of members of staff and volunteers.” Part of his stepping away is for himself to “be better.”

TCAF late in June put out a statement in late June concerning conduct and harassment in the comics industry as well as a commitment to ending anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism. The organization acknowledges it has a role in supporting diversity in the field and has made a commitment to do so.

We’ll see what steps the festival and organization takes in the coming months and years as they’ve committed this is an ongoing project that they are dedicating themselves to.

TCAF is a comics festival that’s free to attend. It’s a week of comics-related events that includes readings, presentations, panels, gallery shows, and an exhibition area featuring publishers, authors, and artists. It was co-founded by Chris Butcher and Peter Mirkemoe with the first held on March 29, 2003. The show has grown from the original 600 attendees with 25 staff, and 780 creators to over 25,000 individuals in 2016.

(via The Beat)

Page & Panel, The TCAF Shop Needs Our Help

Page & Panel opened its doors in 2014 but had to close on March 17 due to the State of Emergency in Ontario. The retail destination is more than just a destination for comics, art, and book culture but has been a supporter of the Toronto Comics Arts Festival.

With the cancellation of TCAF, the shop needs our help as it has lost it’s best weekend for sales which supports the store and the festival.

A GoFundMe has launched to help pay for overhead, make up lost revenue, and retaining and re-hiring staff.

The fundraiser has a goal of $20,000 and so far has raised about a third of its goal as of this post.

French Minister of Culture Franck Riester, honors TCAF Founder Christopher Butcher with the insignia as a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

French Minister of Culture Franck Riester, on his first official visit to Toronto, presented the insignia of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres to Christopher Butcher, Artistic Director of the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF), in the presence of the Ambassador of France to Canada, Kareen Rispal and the Consul General of France in Toronto, Tudor Alexis. The award ceremony took place at the Toronto Reference Library on Thursday, October 10, 2019.

This ceremony is an important symbolic act for France and Canada and at the same time pays tribute to the work accomplished by Mr. Christopher Butcher who has worked for more than twenty years to promote the comic book industry. Mr. Butcher has made a significant contribution to the arts and creativity in Toronto, creating the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) in 2013, an event that attracts thousands of visitors each year. Christopher Butcher’s achievements are recognized not only by his peers in Canada but also by the French public.

The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres was created in 1957 to reward artists, writers and others who have distinguished themselves for their contributions to the promotion of the arts and literature in France and around the world. This order aims to establish relationships and develop cultural and linguistic exchanges. To be eligible for the award, candidates must have made “significant contributions to the enrichment of French cultural heritage”.

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) is a comic book festival held annually in Toronto, Ontario. Founded in 2003, subsequent events took place in 2005 in Mirvish Village and 2007 at Victoria College store. Since 2009, the event has been held annually in partnership with the Toronto Public Library at their flagship branch, the Toronto Reference Library. The Toronto Comic Arts Festival exists to promote the breadth and diversity of comics, and what is considered comics, as legitimate medium of literary and artistic worth. TCAF promote the creators of these works in their broad and diverse voices, for the betterment of the medium of comics and to reach as wide an audience as possible for them.

Kid Koala and JonJon Rock TCAF 2019 with Floor Kids Jam!

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival has announced that it will welcome the incredible creative team of Kid Koala and JonJon to the 2019 Festival as they present Floor Kids Jam, an Art X Music X Games interactive event featuring their new game Floor Kids! The event takes place as part of The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, during its programming at The Marriott Bloor Yorkville, Conference Level (one block from Toronto Reference Library), on Saturday May 11 and Sunday May 12, from 11am-5pm each day. Admission to the event is free, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Kid Koala is the ground breaking Canadian Scratch DJ, music producer, composer, and award winning graphic novelist(!) who has contributed to Gorillaz and Deltron3030, toured with Arcade Fire and A Tribe Called Quest, contributed to the scores of ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World’ and ‘Baby Driver’, and created the graphic novels Space Cadet and Nufonia Must Fall. JonJon (aka Jonathan Ng) is the award-winning, multi-disciplinary animation filmmaker who created the award-winning film Requiem for Romance, and is best known for his NFB film Asthma Tech. Together this incredible duo has teamed to create the original, hand-drawn animated B-boy/B-Girl Freestyle Battle Video Game FLOOR KIDS! Now they’re taking the show on the road for a two-day exhibition of the game featuring Floor Kids Arcade consoles, behind the scenes looks at the creation of Floor Kidsand even Mini Scratch DJ and Animation workshops with Kid Koala and JonJon!

This event is part of Comics X Games, TCAF’s ongoing collaboration with the Hand Eye Society to explore the crossovers between comics, video games, and new narrative experiments. Look for more Comics X Games announcements soon.

In addition to the Floor Kids Jam: Art X Music X Games, Kid Koala is also bringing his Music to Draw To live event to TCAF! On Sunday, May 12th, from 2pm-5pm, join Kid Koala and friends for a a chill afternoon of quiet-time records and creativity! Kid Koala will play a 3 hour all vinyl set of his favourite ‘drawing tracks’ in a very special environment–the 5th Floor ‘Red Room’ of The Masonic Temple Concert Hall, 888 Yonge Street. Bring something quiet to do… Draw, Write, Finish that Screenplay, Knit that Scarf, Cofe that video game. Join Kid Koala and a room full of creative quiet types and get some work done!

Junji Ito Heads to TCAF 2019

Smashed

Japanese manga creator and horror sensation Junji Ito will participate in TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival) as a featured guest and is also the poster artist of the 2019 festival. TCAF is being held May 11-12, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.

Junji’s works include Uzumaki, Gyo, Tomie, and “The Enigma of Amigara Fault, and he’s heading to the show to support his new short story collection Smashed: Junji Ito Story Collection, to be published this April by VIZ Media.

Junji Ito will participate in an on-stage interview, live drawing, and special ticketed autograph sessions whose details will be announced later.

Featuring more than 350 exhibiting creators, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2019 runs Saturday May 11th, 9am-5pm, and Sunday May 12th, 10am-5pm, at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada. Attendence is free to all events. Some events with Junji Ito will require ticket, info TBA.

Check out this year’s poster below.

TCAF 2019

Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday. What’d you all get? What’d you enjoy? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

IGN – Stan Lee Sues POW! Entertainment for $1 Billion – Things are getting weird.

Newsarama – Bullseye Cast for Daredevil Season 3 – Report – Makes sense as far as villain.

Newsarama – Elisabeth Shue Joins Amazon’s The Boys – Report – Interesting.

Publisher’s Weekly – TCAF 2018 Marks Festival’s 15 Years – Never been but we hear it’s a fantastic show.

Comichron – Super-teams dominate: Early demand high for June’s Justice League, while Avengers reorders keep rolling – Interesting.

The Beat – Camilla Zhang joins Kickstarter as Comics Outreach Lead – Congrats on the position!

Europe Comics Tours Canada

Europe Comics, the all digital all European graphic novel venture, will be bringing four European creators to Canada for a series of events on May 10-20.

French creators Lewis Trondheim (Dungeon, NBM; Poppies of Iraq, D&Q; Maggy Garrisson, Europe Comics) and Brigitte Findakly (Poppies of Iraq, D&Q), Spaniard Nico Naranjo (Toucan Patrol, Europe Comics) and Belgian Wauter Mannaert (Weegee – Serial Photographer, Conundrum Press; El Mesias, Europe Comics) will be featured guests at TCAF. After TCAF, Lewis Trondheim and Brigitte Findakly will travel to Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver for a series of public events and school workshops, ending their tour at VanCAF.

Full details below and here and here.

2 Weeks until the Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2018!

The 2018 Toronto Comic Arts Festival is just two weeks away, and this incredible and international celebration of comic books—graphic novels, manga, bande desinee, WHATEVER you want to call them—is going to be a can’t miss event for comic fans in the city and around the world!

With a diverse and exciting line-up of programs leading up to the festival, amazing panels and interviews throughout the weekend, and more than 400 authors and publishers from over 20 countries around the world in attendance, TCAF has grown to be one of the most respected and well-attended pure comic book events in North America, with PLENTY of opportunities for great stories to be told. 

Over 100 Debuting Books!

TCAF 2018 will see more than 100 new works released in conjunction with the festival! And better yet, all authors in attendance to sign and share their works with you!

  • French author Yvan Algabé sees his powerful treatise on contemporary society released in English for the first time in Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creators, by the New York Review of Books.
  • Toronto’s Georgia Webber releases her long-awaited memoir, detailing her battle with vocal disability, DUMB, by Fantagraphics Books.
  • Japan’s Inio Asano metaphorizes the heavy burden hanging over the heads of the next generation when massive alien spacecraft invade… and then do nothing, floating omniously over Tokyo for years, in Dead Dead Demons Dededede Destruction from VIZ Media

Get a full list of debuts at the convention website.

Two Knights at TCAF!

Did you know that two different TCAF Featured Guests have been KNIGHTED?! It’s true!

Françoise Mouly was decorated by the French government as a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2001! She’s the groundbreaking editor of venerable alt-comix classic RAW Magazine, the art editor of The New Yorker, and the co-founder and publisher of children’s graphic novel publisher TOON BOOKS, which will celebrate its 10th Anniversary at TCAF!

Lewis Trondheim was also decorated by the French government as a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, in 2005! He has created or co-created over 100 French-language graphic albums, and is attending TCAF with his wife and creative partner Brigitte Findakly, in support of their memoir and historical chronicle, Poppies of Iraq (Drawn & Quarterly).

Check out the full list of guests.

Special Events Galore!

TCAF is about the authors and the books, but we present so many exciting ways to interact with the medium of comics! From gallery exhibitions to a “Comic Book Opera”, the TCAF 2018 programme is full of great events!

  • Hockey Noir: A Comic Book Opera: TCAF has teamed with ECM+ and Continuum to present a brand new Opera, HOCKEY NOIR, with Libretto by Canadian Graphic Novelist Cecil Castellucci! Danger, passion, and a Toronto/Montreal hockey rivalry! Tickets now available!
  • Toronto: Past, Present, and Future: This year’s TCAF Kick-Off event at the Appel Salon on Friday May 11 at 6:30pm will feature generations of Toronto cartoonists including Fiona Smyth (Sneaky Dee’s exterior artist), Ho Che Anderson (KING), and Hartley Lin (Young Frances) talking about the history of graphic novels in Toronto, and the future for artists in the city.
  • TCAF Turns 15: This is the Festival’s 15th Anniversary, and its 10th held at Toronto Reference Library. We’re celebrating with the largest and most internationally diverse list of exhibitors ever!

Get the full list of events.

Comics for all ages and interests!

TCAF is a great big event that contains so many different styles, scenes, and cliques within it that every audience is bound to find something to enjoy at the Festival!

  • TCAF Kids Area: Head to the Forest Hill Ballroom of the Marriott Bloor-Yorkville for 2 full days of programming for kids! Famous picture book and graphic novel creators will be reading their books, running crafts, drawing with kids, and so much more!
  • Wowee Zonk!: The best in outre, avant-garde, and outsider comics art comes to TCAF courtesy of the Wowee Zonk collective. Check out the Browsery Space in Toronto Reference Library!
  • Zineland Terrace: New for TCAF 2018, ZINELAND TERRACE will be taking over the upper level of the venerable Cumberland Terrace, at Cumberland and Yonge Street, with dozens of Toronto and international zinesters showing their wares! Including workshops on screenprinting and making your own zine!

Celebrate Image Comics’ 25th Anniversary at TCAF 2017!

TCAF, The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, has announced that it will host a celebration for the 25th Anniversary of groundbreaking comic book publisher Image Comics!

Special guests, amazing programming, and even a dedicated venue will thrill fans old and new alike at TCAF 2017, taking place May 13th and 14th, 2017, in Toronto, Canada. Image Comics is the largest publisher of creator-owned comic books in North America, with notable titles including The Walking Dead, Saga, The Wicked + The Divine, and Toronto’s own Sex Criminals, reaching beyond ‘mainstream’ comics’ traditional borders to bring in new readers, promote fairer contracts, and publish some great work!

The Image 25th Anniversary Party @ The Masonic Temple

For two days in May, Image Comics creators, staff, and friends, will take over TCAF’s newest venue The Masonic Temple (introduced in 2016), located at 888 Yonge Street, a block north of TCAF’s main location Toronto Reference Library. The Image 25th Anniversary Party at The Masonic Temple is a fully accessible venue which will feature both all-day exhibitors and timed creator signings, as well as panel discussions, live drawing, special ‘talk show’ segment, and more!

The Image 25th Anniversary Party @ The Masonic Temple runs Saturday, May 13, from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday, May 14, from 11am to 5pm, and as with almost every TCAF event, admission will be FREE!

Please note: This is opening 1 hour later than TCAF’s main venue at Toronto Reference Library. At points during the day they may need to stagger entry to conform to fire code regulations. Make sure to dress as warm as you need to and bring an umbrella, just in case you’re waiting outside!

Over Two-Dozen Image Comics Creators!

Since its creation in 2003, each TCAF has welcomed a number of comics creators who’ve published with Image Comics, but this year we’re blowing the roof off with more than 2 dozen creators (and maybe more to come…)! Check out this amazing guest list:

  • Charlie Adlard
  • Ivan Brandon
  • Wes Craig
  • Valentine De Landro
  • Brenden Fletcher
  • Cameron Stewart
  • Babs Tarr
  • Brandon Graham
  • Emma Rios
  • Farel Dalrymble
  • Simon Roy
  • Meredith Gran
  • Karl
  • Leslie Hung
  • Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • Jason Latour
  • Jeff Lemire
  • Marjorie Liu
  • Sana Takeda
  • Sloane Leong
  • Andrew MacLean
  • Jamie McKelvie
  • Kagan McLeod
  • Djibril Morrisette-Phan
  • Sean Phillips
  • Chip Zdarsky
  • Jim Zub

Mark off May 13th and 14th for TCAF 2017 at all of their venues, including Toronto Reference Library, The Marriott Bloor Yorkville, and The Image Comics Anniversary Party @ The Masonic Temple!

Comic Book Creators Converge on Toronto! Announcing TCAF 2017, May 13-14! The Toronto Comic Arts Festival

TCAF, The Toronto Comic Arts Festival has announced a ton of its Featured Guests and programs for the 2017 Festival, running May 13 & 14, 2017!

Returning once again to Toronto Public Library’s flagship branch, Toronto Reference Library, as well as official hotel The Marriott Bloor Yorkville, and new venue The Masonic Temple, TCAF 2017 is set to welcome more than 400 comic book authors from around the world, and will feature more than 50 comics and graphic novels making their debut at the Festival!

If you’ve missed the announcements on Twitter, Facebook, and torontocomics.com, keep reading for an overview of TCAF 2017!


Canadian Guests

  • David Collier, creator of numerous beloved alternative comics works and unique projects including the recent Colville Comics for the Art Gallery of Ontario will return to TCAF to debut his new graphic novel Morton: A Cross-Country Rail Journey from Conundrum Press.
  • Katherine Collins, creator of Neil The Horse will be on hand to be inducted into Giants Of The North Canadian Cartoonists Hall of Fame, and debut The Collected Neil The Horse from Coundrum Books.
  • Dave Cooper, cartoonist, fine artist, and animator, will attend TCAF in support of the anniversary edition of Ripple: A Predilection for Tina, and to screen the new animated feature based on his work ‘The Absence of Eddy Table.’
  • Guy Delisle, author of PyongYang, Jerusalem, and The Burma Chronicles, will be on hand to launch his new graphic novel Hostage from Drawn & Quarterly, and will be the subject of an art exhibition on the third floor of Toronto Reference Library.
  • Jeff Lemire, award winning creator of Essex County, Underwater Welder, Sweet Tooth, and the acclaimed recent release The Secret Path (with Gord Downie) will launch his new graphic novels Roughneck, from Simon & Shuster, and A.D.: After Death, from Image Comics. Jeff Lemire is also the illustrator of one of TCAF 2017’s three official posters!
  • Jillian Tamaki, Governor General’s Award winning co-creator of Skim and This One Summer, and creator of SuperMutant Magic Academy, returns to TCAF to launch her new collection Boundless, from Drawn & Quarterly.

American Guests

  • Gabrielle Bell (USA), author of The Voyeurs, and Lucky, will be on hand to launch her new book Everything is Flammable.
  • Gary Panter (USA), alternative/underground comics legend and set designer for beloved TV Show Pee Wee’s Playhouse will return to TCAF to launch his new graphic novel Songy of Paradise, from Fantagraphics Books.
  • Nate Powell (USA), creator of the graphic novels You Don’t Say, Any Empire, and Swallow Me Whole, and illustrator of the acclaimed civil rights memoir MARCH, with John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, returns to TCAF for the release of Nate Powell’s Omnibox, a collection of works from Top Shelf Productions.
  • Ngozi Ukazu (USA) returns to TCAF to celebrate the release of the second volume of her beloved gay hockey comic series Check, Please!

International Guests

  • Paolo Bacilieri (Italy), will attend in support of his new graphic novel FUN from SelfMadeHero, and be featured in an exhibition of his original art with the support of The Italian Cultural Institute.
  • Penelope Bagieu (France), author of Exquisite Corpse, will launch her new graphic novel California Dreamin’, a biography of The Mama’s and The Papas’s singer Cass Elliot, from First Second Books.
  • Joe Decie (UK), returning to TCAF with the support of The Lakes International Comics Festival, in support of his new graphic novel Collecting Sticks, from publisher Jonathan Cape.
  • Igor Hofbauer (Croatia), best known for creating all of the album artwork for the Juno-nominated ‘Afraid of Heights’ by Canadian rockers Billy Talent, will make his TCAF debut with the graphic novel Mister Morgen, from Conundrum Press.
  • Jason (Norway), is a fan favourite comics creator and is returning to TCAF in support of his brand new graphic novel On The Camino, from Fantagraphcs Books.
  • Michael Nybrandt (Denmark) attends TCAF in support of his English language debut Dreams in Thin Air from Conundrum Press, the story of the formation of the Tibetan National Soccoer Team, with a preface by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
  • Gengoroh Tagame (Japan), internationally renown creator of Japanese gay erotica, will return to TCAF to debut the English-language translation of My Brother’s Husband, the Japan Media Arts Award-winning story of gay struggle and acceptance in Japan, published in English by Pantheon Books. My Brother’s Husband will be the subject of a small exhibit of original art displayed in the Browsery at Toronto Reference Library.
  • Marcelino Truong (France, Vietnam), will be at TCAF in support of his memoir Such A Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, published by Arsenal Pulp Press.

These are just some of the more than 40 Featured Guests and 400 exhibitors from around the world that will be participating in TCAF 2017! For the full list, head to torontocomics.com!


Special Program: Celebrating Toronto Publisher Koyama Press’ 10th Anniversary!

Vital Toronto publishing house Koyama Press turns 10 in 2017, and they’re making this TCAF a big one! With 6 essential debuts from some of the freshest voices in the medium, Koyama Press will be properly celebrated through a variety of panel discussions and an amazing art show, and will have artists in attendance from throughout the history of the company! Featured creators include:
  • Eleanor Davis (USA), author of the Award Winning short story collection How To Be Happy will be on hand to debut the new graphic novel You & A Bike & A Road, from Koyama Press. Eleanor Davis also illustrated one of TCAF 2017’s Official Festival Posters!
  • An Nguyen & Jane Mai (Canada & USA), this duo will be on hand to launch their exploration of Japan’s Gothic Lolita Culture, So Pretty, Very Rotten. This book will also be the subject of a gallery showing of original art and materials at The Japan Foundation Toronto from May 11th through May 16th
  • Other featured Koyama Press creators include Eric Kostiuk Williams (Canada), launching their new Toronto-focused queer graphic novel Condo Heartbreak Disco; Jesse Jacobs (Canada), launching their psychedelic new graphic novel Crawl Space; Keiler Roberts (USA), launching their new graphic memoir of motherhood and artistry Sunburning; Ben Sears (USA), launching their new action adventure graphic novel Volcano Trash.
  • Plus look for Koyama mainstays John Martz, Patrick Kyle, Michael DeForge, Ginette LaPalme, Dustin Harbin, and more exhibiting at the rest of the show!

Special Program: NBM Turns 40!

TCAF is excited to host a special celebration of the 40th Anniversary of NBM Publishing! Publisher Terry Nantier will be on hand for the company and he’ll be joined by comics luminaries including , and they will celebrate through programming and author appearances including:
  • Sandrine Revel (France), visiting TCAF for the first time in support of her book Glenn Gould: A Life Off-Tempo!
  • Rick Geary (USA), author of the historical true-crime series’ A Treasury of Murder… amongst a luminous career of achievements!
  • Metaphrog (Scotland), the Franco-Scottish duo of Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers have been delighting audiences for decades, through their Louis series, and their beautifully illustrated new children’s fairytales!

Special Program: German Comics Pavilion presented by Comic-Salon Erlangen, in partnership with The Goethe Institut Toronto

TCAF is partnering with premiere German comics event Comic-Salon Erlangen, taking place every two years in Erlangen, Germany! The first part of the partnership is an exhibition of German comics and artwork at TCAF 2017 in The Appel Salon at Toronto Reference Library. Produced with the support of The Goethe Institut in Toronto, this exhibition will feature an original art show, information on the Erlangen Comics event, a selection of German-language graphic novels, and participating artists including:
  • Ulli Lust (Austria/Germany), returning to TCAF for the first time since 2013! Ulli is the award-winning creator of Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, and the forthcoming book Voices in the Dark. 
  • Anna Haifisch (Germany), visiting Toronto in support of her independent comics work and her comic strip The Artist, featured on Vice.com.
  • Martina Schradi (Germany), an author, cartoonist, and cerified psychologist. Martina Schradi will be curating a special exhibition on German LGBT comics art in this space, including her own work Oh, I See?!.
  • Rotopol Press (Germany), the German art comics publisher will return for TCAF 2017 and will welcome publisher Rita Furstenau and cartoonist Carmen Jose.
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