The wait is finally over for comics enthusiasts – Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) is making its return to in-person events.
From June 18 to 19, TCAF will offer a wide range of free, in-person programming for those eager to get out of the house. The online festival, which will include several one-of-a-kind virtual events, can be easily accessed from June 18 to 26.
Comic creators and fans from around the globe will be thrilled to hear that this year’s festival is going to be the biggest, most comprehensive and inclusive TCAF to date. The programming team has worked hard to create a hybrid celebration unlike any other for TCAF’s 20th anniversary.
For those keen on physically attending TCAF, the events and creator exhibition will take place at the iconic Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge) on June 18 and 19. With the goal of sharing its passion for all things comic arts, the convention will spotlight hundreds of Canadian and international creators and publishers.
“We’re so excited to be offering our first-ever hybrid festival for the 20th anniversary of TCAF,” shares executive director Miles Baker. “The comics industry has changed so much since 2003, and so has our festival. It’s fitting that we’re able to return to in-person for our 20th anniversary but we’re also looking to the future of comics events with a suite of online programming and a digital exhibition of cartoonists from all over the world.”
The convention will also feature a new online marketplace where folks can shop for items made by top creators, independent publishers, collectives and small presses.
If you’ve been patiently waiting for TCAF 2022, here’s a sneak peek at four of the unmissable events included in this year’s lineup.
SURVIVING TWENTY YEARS
At 1 pm on Saturday, June 18, four Canadian creators who’ve carved out a name for themselves in comics over the past two decades will gather for a conversation. Seth (Omnis Temporalis, Clyde Fans, It’s A Good Life and George Sprott), Ho Che Anderson (King, Godhead and Luke Cage) and Andy Brown (Conundrum Press) unite to discuss the ups and downs of comics spanning the last 20 years.
They’ll talk about what they wish they knew when they first started, what they couldn’t have expected, how they’ve had to pivot and change alongside the comics industry and more.
FREDDY CARRASCO SPOTLIGHT
In this spotlight, attendees will be given insights into the multifaceted creative process that sculptor, illustrator, cartoonist, designer, animator and musician Freddy Carrasco has mastered. This event takes place on Sunday, June 18, at the Toronto Reference Library. Carrasco is best known for his works Gleem, Hot Summer Nights and SolTape, and has even been deemed the “renaissance artist of our generation.”
His art is full of influences from science fiction, Japan, hip-hop and video game culture. Within the interview, Carrasco will be asked what drives him to explore and express himself through these many forms and influences. He’ll also touch on how his artwork functions as a nexus of these many different source points, as well as how it speaks back to our culture and contemporary moment.
TILLIE WALDEN SPOTLIGHT
Beginning at 11 am on Saturday, June 18, folks are invited to meet Tillie Walden, the cartoonist who is taking the industry by storm. This event takes place at the Toronto Reference Library and will give audiences a look into Walden’s humour and thoughtfulness that’s reflected in the pages of her creative work.
In the last seven years alone, Walden has published such acclaimed works as Spinning, Are You Listening?, End Of Summer, I Love This Part and On A Sunbeam. She returns to TCAF with collaborator Emma Hunsinger, showcasing their new picture book My Parents Won’t Stop Talking!
From sci-fi to slice-of-life, Walden’s art is reflective, emotional and imaginative. At TCAF, she’ll be sharing how her identity affects her work, what stories she has told and has left to tell and her upcoming trilogy that’s titled Clementine, set in Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead universe.
DIGITAL PROGRAM: NEIL GAIMAN
In this intimate conversation between Gaiman and his longtime friend Mark Asquith (Prisoners of Gravity, Space and CHUM/CTV), they discuss his career in comics, dive deep into the art of some of his most iconic pages and shed light on the upcoming Sandman TV series from Netflix.
The prolific creator is behind works like Coraline, American Gods, Good Omens, Stardust, Sandman, Swamp Thing, Secret Origins, The Book of Magic, The Eternals and Batman.
For more information, visit torontocomics.com. The full festival lineup will soon be available on TCAF’s website.