Just as American Idol is getting a scary looking reboot, a real talent contest took place yesterday, an event on the tension and triumph/tragedy spectrum somewhere between San Diego’s Hoteloween and getting into the state finals.
Exhibitor applications for TCAF (Toronto Comics Arts Festival) went out yesterday, and just like in American Idol, there were three rooms: the one where you got to go on, the one where you didn’t and the one that was a waitlist. And the twitter reactions were just as jubilant or deflated.
TCAF is one of the world’s best comics shows, and space is at a premium, so many more crators apply than are accepted – plus because of the size limitations, many individual cartoonists are rotated in and out each year. Just because you were chosen last year is no guarantee of getting in again, in fact it may weigh against you.
Exactly what formula the TCAF staff uses to pick exhibitors is unknown but before we meet the contestants, here’s a reminder: You can still apply for VANCAF, the west coast sibling show.
— VanCAF (@VancouverComics) January 9, 2018
And now some of the jubilant winners, some familiar but many first timers. I had barely heard of many of these artists so consider this your early guide to TCAF debuts.
Mindgator 2 #sketches
Looks like I’ll be tabling #tcaf2018 this is essentially the my first con outside of Japan. Good things are coming with me and will be available for the first time at tcaf. Hope to see you there! pic.twitter.com/JFEFoZWorw
— MuleleRedux (@muleleredux) January 9, 2018
After two years of applying to TCAF, I finally got in……!!! Anyone else going?!
— Haku (@hakuku) January 9, 2018
Guess who's got to thumbs and was accepted to exhibit at TCAF? DIS GUY
— Erin Burt, but slightly more festive (@erintheunready) January 8, 2018
turns out they sent the wrong email and i actually got into TCAF. rollercoaster day.
— Christopher Sebela (@xtop) January 9, 2018
— Fine OK Press (@fineokpress) January 9, 2018
i'll be exhibiting at tcaf in may 2018
— An ugly woman (@Sskessa) January 9, 2018
I got into TCAF :>
— Miranda Harmon (@MirandaMHarmon) January 9, 2018
I got accepted to TCAF! See you all folks in Toronto ❤️
— Eggman Comics (@eggmancomicsgng) January 9, 2018
"Hello! Thanks for your interest in exhibiting at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, May 12th and 13th, 2018, with a professional development day on May 11th. We’re pleased to inform you that you have been accepted as an exhibitor!
You Requested: 6 FOOT TABLE, FIRST FLOOR" pic.twitter.com/m9ZueXVDaZ
— Sandy (@skimcasual) January 9, 2018
Folks, we're incredibly honored to say: WE'RE GOING TO BE AT TCAF! Who else is gonna be in Toronto?
— Margins Publishing (@marginscomics) January 8, 2018
So I got into TCAF and now I'm in panic mode.
— Theodore Taylor III (@tedikuma) January 8, 2018
Heyyyy I got a table for TCAF. Should be up to Goro #6 by then.
— Sarah Horrocks (@mercurialblonde) January 8, 2018
— Jim Zub (@JimZub) January 8, 2018
Landed in Vancouver to the good news that I got into TCAF!!! Yeah!!! Get ready for a hecka lot of new comics coming soon!
— ✨Christine✨@Kakehashi Japan (@OneChrispy) January 8, 2018
Great news y'all, I got into TCAF! Less great news, I need to hustle up 200$ for my table, and lots more money to print books.
— Cat's going to Canada (@fairywarriorcat) January 8, 2018
Very excited to announce that I will be at TCAF this year! Only been in it once before (2012) and it was THE BEST. @TorontoComics
— Ryan Dunlavey (@RyanDunlavey) January 8, 2018
(I’ll see u all along with the minty fresh debut of Beyond 2 at TCAF 2018 💙💙💙)
— Sfé ✨⚧✨ Monster (@sfemonster) January 8, 2018
— Oliver East (@olivereast) January 8, 2018
Namesake/Valor team going to TCAF baby!
— Cheshire Isa (ↀᆺↀ)✧ (@Secondlina) January 8, 2018
I got accepted to TCAF! *POP THE CHAMPAGNE*
— Taneka Stotts (@neekaneeks) January 8, 2018
Excited to announce My TCAF application was successful
— Christian Ward (@cjwardart) January 8, 2018
I guess I got into TCAF.
— J.N. Monk (@JN_Monk) January 8, 2018
But over on the waitlist and the rejection pile, it was sadness, Zen acceptance or maybe getting up the gumption to try again!
Shout out to my fellow comic creators who applied to TCAF and did NOT get accepted. Your not alone. Stay strong, proud, and excited about your work. And remember, above all else, keep making comics! pic.twitter.com/fWBI2PpDid
— Ryan King (@Ryyyan_Kiiing) January 9, 2018
Sorry all, I've been waitlisted for TCAF.
— BINGOLOVECOMIC.NET (@MizTeeFranklin) January 8, 2018
TCAF takes place May 12-13 with exhibitors located at the Toronto Reference Library and events throughout the city. Neither guests not any other details have been announced yet but here’s Sana Takeda’s lovely poster from last year to whet your appetite.
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.