Having gone last year and thoroughly enjoying ourselves, Christa (@ More Than Just Magic) and I decided to meet up once again to explore the annual Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), a free event held at the Toronto Reference Library. We started our morning by meeting Ardo (@ A Wordsmith) at the nearby Starbucks which, upon entering, we discovered that it used to be the Britnel Bookstore and was huge and gorgeous inside. I don’t know how many times we’ve walked by this Starbucks and never ventured in till now. It certainly won’t be the last time, now that we know it’s there!
This year, we didn’t attend any of the panels and just opted for wandering around the extremely busy floors. The main floor alone housed almost 180 exhibitors among the regular computer library users on the side. It was definitely jam-packed as the three of us made our way through the tables.
Once we got through the first floor, we headed upstairs where Christa & I remembered from last year to be filled with even more talented artists. At the entrance to the second floor room, however, we were told that they were at capacity and that the line-up to get in was at the other end. Wow! It was while we were there that Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit met up with us among the shelves. And at least the line moved along fairly quickly because we were inside the 2nd floor room within 5-7 minutes I’d say. Christa & I eventually lost Ardo & Tiff for a bit as we all wandered off to look at our own things. While downstairs felt like more of the “mainstream” and possibly more established artists and graphic novels, it was upstairs that I enjoyed the most because this was where a lot of the budding artists were, I felt. This floor seemed more personal and less commercial.
We then wandered around and found Raina Telgemeier where we got our copies of Drama signed before heading back out again and meeting up with Ardo and her Twitter friend Maddy (@fullofwhoa). We sat for a bit to reconvene and organize our bags, went downstairs to try and find Matt Kindt since Ardo & I both finished Mind MGMT recently and enjoyed it but I don’t think he was there, or he was busy so we decided to grab some lunch.
I have to mirror Christa’s sentiment, that I wish we had all the money to buy everything we saw that we had wanted. Unfortunately, not enough people were accepting credit cards, saying that the internet wasn’t working. However, there were some that accepted credit using the old school non-internet way. That was how people bought things with credit card before the invention of wireless internet. That being said, I truly think that so many people had missed out on potential sales by only accepting cash. There were so many that I had to walk away from to either think about or eventually find a bank machine for and come back (which I unfortunately didn’t end up getting around to doing.)
Some of the notable graphic novels that stood out were:
- Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kaczynski (I believe Ardo picked this one up)
- Glitter Kiss by Adrianne Ambrose & Monica Gallagher (which Christa purchased and got signed)
- Once Upon a Time Machine by Andrew Carl, Chris Stevens, Jason Rodriguez, Lee, Nordling, Tara Alexander (which Christa also got, autographed)
- Kill Shakespeare by Conor McCreery
- DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary by Erika Moen (which I bought and got signed)
- Aurora Borealice by Joan Steacy (life in art school, in Toronto!)
Christa & I learned from last year, where we bought a few similar titles.. this time we got different ones, so we can then share! Twice as much enjoyment! 😎 All in all, yet another enjoyable afternoon surrounded by graphic novels, extremely talented people and the fans who love them.