While 2013’s plum pudding is yet to be fully digested, the menu for 2014’s comics events highlights is being set. And here to light the first burners is TCAF with it’s first guest announcements and news of greatly expanded programming. Among the guests for 2014: Lynn Johnston, Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki, manga-ka Est Em, Kate Beaton and Gabrielle Bell. That’s a dynamite start for what will eventually be 300 comics professionals.
TCAF’s programming will also grow in 2014, with Friday May 9th seeing three separate events, including a day aimed at creators, one at librarians and the scholarly conference Society for the Study of Comics taking place in conjunction with TCAf for the first time. Oh to be in three places at once!
In addition, TCAf proper will include an expanded schedule of readings and events spotlighting Canadian authors.
Now in its 10th year (although festival were bi-annual at for the first few) the Toronto Comic Arts Festival has become one of the absolute highlights of the comics event calendar, an unapologetic celebration of comics creators and readers over a broad swath of genres and publishers. See you there!
TCAF 2014 will see a remarkable collection of authors and special programming.
Lynn Johnston: The creator of the enormously popular comic strip For Better or For Worse, and inductee into the Canadian Comics Hall of Fame, welcomed as an honoured guest of TCAF 2014.
Jillian Tamaki: Artist and co-author of the Canadian Governer General’s Award-nominated SKIM, Society of Illustrators Gold winner, debuting her new graphic novel This One Summer (Groundwood/First Second).
Mariko Tamaki: Writer and co-author of the Canadian Governer General’s Award-nominated SKIM, acclaimed author and playwright, debuting her new graphic novel This One Summer (Groundwood/First Second).
Est Em: TCAF is proud to welcome accomplished Japanese manga-ka Est Em, author of nearly two-dozen graphic novels in Japan, working primarily in the field of BL (homoerotic manga for women).
Kate Beaton: New York Times bestselling author of Hark, A Vagrant! (Drawn & Quarterly), named one of Time Magazine’s best books of the year.
Gabrielle Bell: Frequently chosen for inclusion in the Best American Comics series, Gabrielle Bell’s short stories are among the best being produced today, and a new collection of them will debut at TCAF entitled Truth is Fragmentary (Uncivilized Books).
These are the first six guests of what will be more than 300 Canadian and international cartoonists who will make up the 2014 Festival. Featured guests will continue to be announced throughout the month of December, with the full exhibitor list going online in January at TorontoComics.com.
In addition, TCAF will greatly expand its programming across the city for 2014, including a full day of programming on Friday, May 9th, aimed at the professional community of comics creators, publishers, and librarians. May 9th Special Programs Include:
The Word Balloon Academy: This year, TCAF will be presenting a full day of programming on Friday, May 9th, aimed directly at the creative community! Under the moniker The Word Balloon Academy, experienced comics authors and professionals will present skills-building workshops, business-related classes, and health & safety seminars.
CSSC-SCEBD Academic Conference: TCAF welcomes the Canadian Society for the Study of Comics under the Festival umbrella for the presentation of its 2014 conference on May 9th, 2014. A call for papers has been announced with details at http://www.comics-scholars.com/.
Librarian & Educator Day: TCAF will continue its successful Librarian & Educator programming on Friday, May 9th, 2014. Featuring experts in the field of using comics in libraries and education, as well as an outstanding selection of presenting authors and publishing representatives!
TCAF Exhibition Special Programs on May 10th and 11th include:
Canadian Reading Series: Putting the Canadian content front and center, TCAF has created a new space that will feature readings and presentations from Canadian graphic novel authors across both days of the festival. This will be in addition to all existing streams of programming, and a great way to discover local authors and those from across Canada, as TCAF itself becomes more internationally diverse.
Additional programs to be announced over the next few months will include TCAF Kids Day 2014, Comics Vs. Games 3, Gallery Showings, Screenings, and more!
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.