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TCAF 2011: Totally Cool And Fun
Written by janice headley | Filed under Zak SallyT Edward BakLorenzo MattottieventsDave CooperBlake Bell 17 May 2011 11:13 AM

I can say, without a doubt, that was the Best TCAF Ever! 

...Okay, fine, so Fantagraphics has only done the Toronto Comics Art Festival twice, 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?

Timbits

Canadian donuts. Oh yeah.

Fantagraphics setting up at TCAF

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!!

Fantagraphics table at TCAF 2011

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!

Lorenzo Mattotti at TCAF 2011

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 Mattotti & Zak Sally at TCAF 2011

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!]

Dave Cooper & Blake Bell at TCAF 2011

It's not a TCAF without pre-eminent Ditko scholar Blake Bell, and we were thrilled to have Dave Cooper attending TCAF for what we hope was the first of many signings to come!

T. Edward Bak at TCAF 2011

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™. 

Doug Wright Awards

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 is Daniel Clowes with The Hernandez Brothers and a grunged-out Chester Brown. Awesome.

Peggy Burns at TCAF 2011

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!

Lorenzo Mattotti & T. Edward Bak

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!

The Fantagraphics makeshift cashbox at TCAF 2011
The Fantagraphics makeshift cashbox.