I can say, without a doubt, that was the Best TCAF Ever!
...Okay, fine, so Fantagraphics has only done the Toronto Comics Art Festivaltwice, but it truly was an amazing year! Thank you so much to Christopher, Peter, Miles, Andrew, Gina, and all the fantastic volunteers of TCAF!
And, of course, one of my favorite things about TCAF?
Canadian donuts. Oh yeah.
Mike and I woke up bright and early to set-up our table. There was a momentary panic when I realized one of our display racks didn't arrive from Seattle, but the stellar staff at the Toronto Reference Library loaned us one of their carts for the weekend so we could get all of our shipment out! Thanks Ab!!
This photo serves as proof that we DID bring copies of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1 (see? on the front corner there) and Wandering Son Book 1 (front and center). They both sold out so quickly, some people thought their debut was a myth, but nope! It's also true that Wandering Son sold out in the first two hours of the show!
Not too surprisingly, The Raven was another sell-out, along with Lorenzo's Ignatz title Chimera. (Stigmata was also insanely close to selling out.) And how gracious and kind was Lorenzo Mattotti? I'm envious of everyone who got to attend his panels! He kept modestly insisting his English wasn't very good (it was good!), but his intelligence and great humor shine through in any language! Thank you so much to TCAF and the Italian Cultural Institute for bringing Lorenzo to Toronto!
Lorenzo may have been a "Guest of Honor" at the con, but really, all of our artists were "guests of honor" at the Fantagraphics table! We feel so lucky to work with some of the nicest people in all of comics, like Zak Sally here (seen with fellow Ignatz artist Mattotti). Not only did Zak do beautiful signings, but "Professor Zak" came out, engaging customers (and us!) with his insane depth of knowledge on comic history! [Note to Zak: I totally wanna see that Osamu Tezuka DVD!]
It's not a TCAF without pre-eminent Ditko scholar Blake Bell, and we were thrilled to have Dave Cooperattending TCAF for what we hope was the first of many signings to come!
And, of course, it's everyone favorite: T Edward Bak, seen here modeling his sweet new Popeye shirt. Covey, I know you're jealous. Bak split his time between signing with us and signing with Koyama Press, ran by Anne Koyama, aka The Nicest Woman in Comics™.
On Saturday night, Mike, Lorenzo and I attended our first ever Doug Wright Awards, where this adorable picture was shown during the induction of David Boswell (far left in the photo) into the "Giants of the North." Yes, that isDaniel Clowes with The Hernandez Brothers and a grunged-out Chester Brown. Awesome.
Without a doubt, the most romantic moment of TCAF was when Drawn & Quarterly's Tom Devlin surprised Peggy Burns with the prettiest bouquet on Mother's Day! They were the Prom King and Queen of TCAF!
Another favorite moment was watching T Edward Bak and Lorenzo Mattotti at the TCAF After-Party on Sunday night. The two artists bonded over a crazy book T Edward found featuring Heavy Metal-style artwork. We got on the subject of "First Concerts." Mike and Todd both saw U2 on the Joshua Tree tour, albeit in separate cities. (High fives ensued.) And Lorenzo's first concert? Canned Heat. Just when you thought the guy couldn't get any cooler.
So, as you can see, it was a wonderful time at TCAF! (And there are lots more photos over at the Fantagraphics Flickr page.) Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by the Fantagraphics table to browse or purchase books — we're so grateful for your support and your enthusiasm, and we can't wait to see you again next year!
Brooklyn! Head over to Littefield on Thursday, May 19th for The Spectactular Superfriends Show, featuring a performance from our superfriend, Michael Kupperman! He will be doing a live performance along with some "amazing friends," and thank goodness for that, 'cause you don't wanna do a live performance with lame friends. Only amazing ones.
The rest of the line-up seems pretty awesome, too, and I'm talking particularly about the headliner Adam WarRock, who is apparently an attorney-turned-MC, and is considered "the Internet's foremost comic book nerdcore rapper." I hope he raps about Snake 'N' Bacon. I mean, that's a dope rhyme in itself.
Our conjoined neighbors, Georgetown Records, will be transformed into a "mom-and-pop punk rock emporium circa 1988 Seattle," as our curator Larry Reid explains it. Beloved local icon Russ Fallout will be DJ'ing records from that era; just don't make any requests for Leonard & the Love Gods -- I think Kurt, Kurt and Kurt are still after royalties.
And then, later that night, join Fantagraphics just around the corner at The Mix -- uh, I mean, Buddy & Jay's Scrap Metal Emporium, as it'll be known for the occasion! We've got Can You Imagine? on the bill, the Seattle supergroup featuring Peter Bagge and Steve Fisk. The Capillaries are back, and cartoonist Matt Southworth and friends will take the stage.
And also on the bill, it's Wormburner, all the way from Buddy Bradley's hometown of New Jersey! You can even catch a live in-studio performance from Wormburner at 1:00 pm PT that Saturday on local radio station KEXP 90.3 FM (streaming worldwide at KEXP.ORG).
[Full disclosure: KEXP is my other home aside from Fantagraphics... and, uh, that other building... thingy... where our beds and TV... is.]
Tune in this Saturday, May 7th at 7:00 pm PT as Charles guest DJ's on KEXP's Audioasis, the longest-running local music show in Seattle. He'll be spinning some of his favorite local bands, and talking to host Hannah Levin about his upcoming exhibit "Charles Peterson: Taking Punk to the Masses."
"Charles Peterson: Taking Punk to the Masses" opens Saturday, May 14th at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in the somewhat-noisy neighborhood of Georgetown. Join us from 6:00 to 9:00 pm for a reception with Charles, and a guest appearance from fellow grunge-era icon Peter Bagge.
After the reception, Pete's band Can You Imagine?(featuring another local icon, musician/producer Steve Fisk) will be playing a show around the corner at The Mix. Opening acts include the return of The Capillaries, fronted by cartoonist/musician Matthew Southworth, and Wormburner from Hoboken, New Jersey – who, incidentally, we'll be live on KEXP themselves, performing an in-studio session on May 14th at 1:00 pm PT.
And the great thing about all these KEXP sessions is that anyone can listen at any time, no matter where you live, thanks to the streaming audio at KEXP.ORG!
Fantagraphics is thrilled to be heading across the border for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, this weekend, Saturday, May 7th and Sunday, May 8th! Mike Baehr and I will be on hand, and, yes, it's true... we're bringing The Mouse to Canada! In fact, just look at all the new titles we're bringing with us:
Indeed, we will have The Raven after all, just in time for you to get your copy signed by artist Lorenzo Mattotti, making the trip all the way from Italy for a very rare international appearance! And he's just one of the many amazing artists signing this weekend!
Where can you find all this awesome-ness? Swing on by tables #162-163.
[ click the map to open a larger version ]
And don't forget to take in some of the great panels organized by TCAF! Listed below are the panels involving Fantagraphics artists, but, really, check out the entire schedule, 'cause there are tons of really interesting talks going on! (Mike, for instance, is especially excited about that "Adventure Time" panel!)
Saturday, May 7th
10:15 – 11:15 am // A15: Root Rot Release Featuring: T. Edward Bak, Michael DeForge, Ines Estrada, Bob Flynn, Jesse Jacobs, Hellen Jo, Joseph Lambert, Diana McNally, Robin Nishio, Angie Wang and Mickey Zacchilli Moderated by Anne Koyama Location: Learning Center 1 Koyama Press is proud to announce a launch party to celebrate the release of the Root Rot anthology. Ten of the artists will be in attendance for the book’s debut. Come and meet them! Plus live drawing, signings, giveaways and more!
11:30 – 12:15 pm // A16: Spotlight: Lorenzo Mattotti Moderated by Robin McConnell Location: Learning Center 1 Lorenzo Mattotti is recognized today as one of the most outstanding international exponents of comics art. His books have been translated all over the world. Mattoti, a Featured Guest of TCAF, appears here to discuss his life and his work, including his most recent graphic novels Stigmata and The Raven. Mattotti will be interviewed by the host of Inkstuds, Robin McConnell.
1:00 – 2:00 pm // A4: Creator Roundtable Panelists: Paul Pope, Brandon Graham, and Sam Hiti Moderated by Robin McConnell Location: The Pilot Paul Pope, Sam Hiti and Brandon Graham are creating modern comics built on a wealth of influences. Joined by Inkstuds host Robin McConnell, they will be exploring the tableau of work that inspires them and how that affects the creative processes in work such as Death Day, Tiempos Finales, King City, Multiple Warheads, 100%, THB and more.
Sunday, May 8th
12:30 – 1:30 pm // U2: Illustration Panelists: Lorenzo Mattotti, Jillian Tamaki, Adrian Tomine Moderated by Caitlin McGurk Location: The Pilot Many cartoonists also have a career in illustration. Come listen to four prestigious comics artists and illustrators discuss the difference between creating in a narrative form (comics) and a static one (illustration).
1:15 – 2:00 pm // U13: Print Culture Panelists: Tom K., John Porcellino and Dylan Williams Moderated by Zak Sally Location: Learning Center 1 From Comic Books to ‘Graphic Novels,’ from the Undergrounds to Art Comics, Fanzines to Zine Culture — the names may change, but one thing remains constant: they are all reproduced, on paper. No matter the decade, subject matter, or economics involved, comics have always been linked to print. With physical objects no longer being a necessity (and the book form itself on the decline), what will be the role of print culture in the next decade and beyond?
As the saying goes, they like 'em big in Texas, so it was surely appropriate that Jim Woodring brought the giant pen to Houston for its first public demonstration outside the Seattle area! (Was it brought as a carry-on??)
The appearance took part at the opening night of Walpurgis Afternoon, a joint art show with Mike-Baehr-doppelgänger Marc Bell at Houston's Lawndale Art Center. We've got some pictures from the show, thanks to attendee Alex Barber. Check out his entire set of photos on his Flickr set.
The internet says a "walpurgis" is, "the eve of May Day, observed in some European countries and in some Scandinavian communities in the United States in celebration of spring and marked by music, singing, and bonfires." ...And giant pens.
Jim, keeping it kid-friendly.
Jim invites Marc up to draw.
Marc, inking a drawing of liquid paper.
Jim invites the crowd up for a go. (You can see Marc's finished liquid paper drawing here, too!) [Update: The man wielding the pen here, Jason Willis, has stepped forward on Twitter to identify himself. Thanks Jason! – Ed.]
This Wednesday, May 4th, our own Ellen Forney will be the life of The Reading Party! Join Ellen and fellow artist Derek Erdman as they lounge about the Fireside Room at the Sorrento Hotel, starting at 6:00 pm.
The Reading Party is a monthly soiree, organized by our friends at Seattle's weekly alt-paper The Stranger. (As you'll recall, Lust is a collection of Ellen's past illustrations for their personal ads section!) It's a free event, the special is a $4 Manhattan, and apparently, everyone is invited to read! But, don't be surprised if everyone just wants to hear Ellen.
Gahan Wilson signing at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, Jan. 13, 2010
If you live in the Boston area, make plans now to attend the 2011 Boston Comic Con, this Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1, at the Hynes Convention Center! We're excited to announce that the legendary Gahan Wilson will have his own table there, and will be signing all day, on both days!
If you were at MoCCA a few weeks ago, you saw how quickly this set sold on just the first day! (Only one remained on Sunday morning, and as soon as Gahan sat down for his signing, the first person in line snatched it up!)
And, if you were at MoCCA, you got to see first-hand what a hilarious and delightful fella Gahan is! He is an absolute treat to meet, and I urge all you Bostonians to get over to the Hynes Convention Center this weekend to find out for yourself!
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