Men in comics – just a fad or important new voices in the comics medium? You can listen to this important panel from TCAF along with 14 others – including Ronald Wimberly and David Brothers’ “Radical Application of Black Aesthetics ” – which several people called the best panel they’d ever attended – and the hilarious Doug Wright Awards, Understanding Canadian Comics and much more.
Jamie Coville really deserves a hand from the comics community for doing this service.
Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) 2018 (May 11 – 13) 42 Photos
Note: Friday May 11th was Librarian & Educator day as well as the CSSC Academic Conference and Word Balloon Academy. For the general public TCAF was May 12-13th.
White as Milk, Red as Blood – Willow Book Launch (10:11, 9.33mb)
Willow Dawson and Jennifer Lum explained how this book came together. Willow had learned that in 2012 500 new fairly tales were discovered and they were written by Franz Xaver von Schonwerth. Franz had worked under The Grimm brothers (author of the world famous Grimm fairly tales) and continued to write in their tradition after the brothers passed away. This book translates some of them and Willow illustrates
what the fairy tales don’t say.
Understanding Canadian Comics (1:05:46, 60.2mb)
Amie Wright and Lucia Cedeira started off by talking about Canadian
Comic history from the 1800s to today. Then they went into what
makes a comic Canadian and how The Joe Shuster Awards, The Doug Wright
Awards and the Canadian Government defines a Canadian Comic. They discussed
Canada Reads and the Essex County controversy, the classification of
books by writer first and how that affects the listings of comics,
they informed which publishers were Canadian and which titles are
Canadian, spoke on trends in Canadian publishing and gave tips on
Academic Round Table (1:03:32, 58.1mb)
Lindsay Gibb invited some of her academic colleagues Michelle Miller, Michael Jones, Barbara Postema, Jamie Lee Morin and Frederik Kohlert to discuss issues of comics in Academics. The room was set up with the chairs in a circle and several audience members joined in on the discussion. Among the topics covered were: Is their institution on board with comics? Comics being used outside of comics classes, introducing comics to co-workers and helping them incorporate them into their courses, Representation in comics to reflect their audience, Teaching corporate superhero comics, the goals of using comics in the classroom and how do they measure their success, resistance to certain books and Zine collections.
Books with Bubbles: Comics for Beginning Readers (36:57, 33.8mb)
Kevin McCloskey went through the books he’s worked on and discussing how some of them came about, his new Snails Are Just My Speed! book and how snails are gender neutral, switching from doing children book type narration to using word balloons, the bias against comics from the catholic church, funny stories about bringing worms to events, sound effects in comics and recommendations for other books.
Convincing Parents, Teachers and other Gatekeepers (55:32, 50.8mb)
Moderated by Scott Robins panelists were Michelle Miller, Leigh Hurtitz, Fatma Faraj and Amie Wright. The group gave their experience of how they encountered resistance to comics, what is advocacy in their day to day jobs, the main misunderstandings on comics, children repeatedly reading books, should we ask/make kids read prose books if they are only reading comics, how they deal with parents who are resistant to graphic novels, the 5 finger/word rule & why it’s bad and web comic recommendations.
Radical Application of Black Aesthetics (58:14, 53.3mb)
TW: Language and racial slurs
David Brothers asks Ronald Wimberly questions about his thoughts on how the black body is depicted in pop culture. Ronald reads from his LAAB magazine in regards to that issue and other images he created in it. Why the depictions of the black body was bad and what their purpose was. They spoke briefly about the Cotton Club, the production of Cotton and it’s impact on Europe. There was just discussion on Jay Z’s The Story of OJ and the Sambo character. Other topics touched on was Anime and appropriation, seeing stereotypes as kids and changing it for modern audience (eg the Mammy character from Tom & Jerry cartoons), black women vs black men depictions, blaxpoitation done by white creators, the 1975 Coonskin animated movie, Donald Glover’s / Childish Gambino’s This is America video, the White Gaze & David Chappel and Monsters & black bodies.
Note: There is some swearing and racial slurs spoken on this panel.
Toronto Comics: Past, Present and Future (1:19:47, 73mb)
Chris Butcher started off with an introduction and thanks to TCAFs sponsors. Mark Askwith interviewed Fiona Smyth, Michael Comeau, Hartley Lin, Georgia Webber and Ho Che Anderson. The group introduced themselves and explained why they moved to Toronto and if comics played a role in that. Some of the group reminisced on The Silver Snail and Vortex Comics. Seth, Chester Brown and Joe Matt’s work gets discussed. They spoke about at what point did they decide they wanted to do comics and what role did Toronto played in that. They talked about comics that represent Toronto for them, being depicted in comics that other people made, if/how Toronto influenced their work, what do they think of Toronto comics scene now and more.
Chris Reynolds and Seth (50:39, 46.3mb)
Seth started by talking about discovering Reynolds work in a British anthology called Escape and then tracked down as much of it as he could. Seth interviewed Reynolds on a wide range of topics, among which were: Where Chris grew up, the intentions behind the work, the focus on children, his involvement with film, his childhood, his learning curve with comics, the level of detail in his art, his involvement with the British comics community, what he did after Escape ended, his love of Harvey Pekar’s work, how he designs a page, his parents and education.
for Creators (45:17, 41.4mb)
Nick Dragotta and David Brothers talked about their new Creators for Creators
charity designed to give new creators $30,000 to produce creator owned
They talked about why they created this award, being inspired by the Peter Laird’s Xeric grant, their submission process, they spoke about last year’s winner and how they are now being published by Fantagraphics, that they have several publishers willing to publish their winners, they announced who won the 2nd year’s grant and showed their work, they spoke about growing and how they want to have more than 1 winner, what they are doing to help ‘finalists’ of sorts in terms of pairing up really good creators with publishers, how they are providing mentoring to the winners based on their needs, Nick spoke about his own path through Marvel and how publishing via Image taught him about how much it costs to produce comics and what his worth is as a creator, they also mentioned that Spike C. Trotman is a big part of this endeavor. They also said they’d like to pair up this award with TCAF in terms of making future winning announcements here, giving the creators a spotlight panel and more.
in Comics (42:35, 38.9mb)
This hilarious all non-male panel consisted of moderator Eleri Harris, Iasmin Omar Ata, Sanya Anwar, Sheika Lugtu and Caitlin Major. They spoke about their favourite male character, growing up (or not) reading comics by men, the effect of the web in evening the playing field in terms of who gets to make comics, writing male characters, drawing male bodies, male stories they don’t want to see, if they worry about objectifying men, writing male characters accurately within the power dynamic.
in Comics (47:29, 43.4mb)
Moderated by Glen Downey, the couples were: Brigitte Findakly & Lewis Trondheim (with translater Thomas Cote), Ananth Hirsh & Yuko Ota and Audrey Niffenegger & Eddie Campbell. They discussed how they became a creative couple, what have they learned from each other creatively, how they interact when they are working creatively vs when they are not, do they put their partner in their work in some manner, do they have a project they want to do together and when collaborating how much do they do themselves vs doing it together?
Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell (59:46, 54.7mb)
Mark Askwith moderated this panel. Eddie started off playing a video of all the characters of their new book Bizarre Romance. They then spoke about several topics including how their collaboration started, how did they divide the work as they are both writers and artists, if the 13 stories in the book was inspired by old music albums that always had 13 songs. They spoke about specific stories and which were their favourites, the supernatural elements in their work, getting married and moving in together as they were working on the book, colourizing From Hell and fixing mistakes in the art and they took questions from the audience.
Wander 10th Anniversary (57:18, 52.4mb)
George Rohac interviews Johnny Wander creators Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota. Among the topics they discussed were their early auto bio work, using kickstarter to publish volume 3 and reprint volume 1 and 2, how Yuko had to teach herself how to draw using her left hand due to injury and the Offhand book that came from it, the design of their books, their merchandise, specific details of their books Cuttings, Lucky Penny, Barbarous, Our Cats Are More Famous Than Us Omnibus, their travel comics and their creative process.
a Comics Community (35:13, 32.2mb)
On the panel was Sagan Yee, Olivia Ongai, Althea Balmes, Steven Andrews, Stephanie Wunderlich and moderator Gina Gagliano. They introduced themselves and what their respective communities were, discussed how their artistic community interacts with the fan/market community, the need for change to keep their community going, the benefits of face to face meetings, the fundamentals of building a community, the amount of work that goes into maintaining it.
Doug Wright Awards 2018 (March 12th) 17 Photos
Doug Wright Awards (59:34, 54.5mb)
Brad Mackay did the opening and Dustin Harbin hosted the ceremony.
There was a word from the family of Doug Wright, Don McKeller, Marc Ngui and Bo Doodley also spoke at the ceremony.
Pigskin Peters Award (For the best experimental,
unconventional or avant-garde comic)
The Dead Father by Sami Alwani
The Death of the Master by Patrick Kyle
Crohl’s House Nos. 1 & 2 by Alexander Laird, Jamiel Rahi and Robert
Creation: The First Three Chapters by Sylvia Nickerson
Potluck by Wavering Line Collective
Doug Wright Spotlight Award (a.k.a. The Nipper) (For a Canadian cartoonist deserving of wider recognition)
Kris Bertin and Alexander Forbes for The Case of the Missing Men
Gillian Blekkenhorst for All-Inclusive Fully Automated Vacation and
House of Strays
Eric Kostiuk Williams for Condo Heartbreak Disco (Koyama Press)
Jason Loo for The Pitiful Human-Lizard Nos. 12, 13 and 14 (Chapterhouse
Jenn Woodall for Magical Beatdown Vol. 2 and Marie and Worrywart
Duncan Macpherson (1924–1993), editorial cartoonist at the Montreal Standard, Toronto Star and Maclean’s magazine was inducted to the Giants of the North Canadian cartoonist hall of fame by fellow hall of famer Terry “Aislin” Mosher. The award was accepted by his son Ian Macpherson.
Doug Wright Best Book Award (for the best English-language book published in Canada)
Hostage (Drawn & Quarterly) by Guy Delisle
I’m Not Here (Koyama Press) by GG
Crawl Space (Koyama Press) by Jesse Jacobs
The Abominable Mr. Seabrook (Drawn & Quarterly) by Joe Ollmann
Anti-Gone (Koyama Press) by Connor Willumsen
Brad Mackay closed the ceremony.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.