This weekend it’s the Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2013, with the actual event to be held May 11-12 at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street in Toronto.

Normally I would be listing debuts and parties and whatnot, but the TCAF site already has just about every shred of info you will need.

DEBUTS: New books by Spiegelman, Modan, a couple from David B, John Martz, Matt Kindt, Hope Larson, and Tintin Pantoja…most of them are indeed BOOKS and not minis but a lot of them too. It could be the finest lineup of debuting books I have ever beheld. Seriously.

Programming. A very few highlights!

Saturday, May 11
Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel, Forest Hill Ballroom

1:30 – 2:30pm    Moebius, Past and Future
Jean Giraud, also known as Moebius, was a legend in the comics industry – his lush, whimsical art and creative storytelling inspired a generation of cartoonists around the world to take the comics medium to new directions and new heights.  Four cartoonists discuss Moebius’ life, work, and his role in inspiring the industry today – as well as their own books. With Frederik Peeters (Sandcastle), Paul Pope (THB), David B. (Black Paths), Glyn Dillon (The Nao of Brown). Moderated by Xavier Guilbert (du9.org)

Sunday, May 12,
Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel, Forest Hill Ballroom

12:15 – 1:15pm TCAF’s Debut Book Spotlight: DeForge, CF, Fink, McEowen, Kindt, & Modan
The TCAF Debut Book Spotlight shines on six of the most exciting books and authors of this year’s show, giving them a chance to talk about their own work, and each other’s. Featuring Michael DeForge for Very Casual; CF for Mere; Jess Fink for We Can Fix It; Matt Kindt for Red Handed; Patrick McEown for Hair Shirt, and Rutu Modan for The Property.

1:30pm-2:30pm  Spotlight: Taiyo Matsumoto
TCAF is proud to welcome one of the most exciting and acclaimed manga creators in the world, Taiyo Matsumoto, as he celebrates his first international art exhibition and the North American debut of his new graphic novel SUNNY. Please join Taiyo Matsumoto in conversation with TCAF Festival Director Christopher Butcher, as they discuss Matsumoto’s career, his forays into new media, and his new graphic novel series.

…anyway that’s just three. There are spotlights on Ivan Brunetti, Gengoroh Tagame, David B., Boulet, Bryan Lee O’ Malley, Ulli Lust, Michael Kupperman and so on. You will need a clone to take it all in. Jamie Coville, you’re my only hope!

In addition to the TCAF festival itself here are the satellite events:

Comics VS Games is a confluence of video games and comics, with an art show and on Saturday the Bit Bazaar,

TCAF and Bento Miso are teaming up to present the first-ever Bit Bazaar on Saturday., May 11th, 2013, part of Comics Vs. Games 2. With over 20 independent game developers and studios exhibiting, Bit Bazaar will be a unique celebration of the art and craft of indie games in the tradition of zine fairs. Fans will have a chance to meet the developers behind games they love—and probably some they don’t know about yet—and take home one-of-a-kind, limited-edition merchandise such as zines, books, comics, t-shirts, posters, mixtapes, and toys!

Librarian and Educator Day
On Friday, May 10, as a kick off for TCAF there will be an entire day of programming for librarians and educators—complete schedule in the link. Raina Telgemeier presents at the keynote at 8:45 am. I believe the programming is free to attend but you must buy a ticket for the Creators lunch.

New Narrative IV: Seeing is Believing! Voire c’est croire!
Friday, May 10th, 2013
9am – 6 pm
UC140, University of Toronto,
15 King’s College Circle, Toronto, ON
Free to Attend

ANOTHER whole day of programming, this one devoted to comics and literary theory. With panels like “Empty Speech Balloons: Aleatory Comics and the Adventures of Nitnti” this is definitely for theorists and eggheads who want to dig deep into the workings of the medium.


Tonight kicks off with three:

Tekkon Kinkreet Screening and Q&A
with Creator Taiyo Matsumoto, Director Michael Arias, & Screenwriter Anthony Weintraub
Thursday, May 09, 2013
7pm-11pm, Doors at 6:30pm.
Innis Town Hall Theatre, 2 Sussex Ave, Toronto

The Comics Vs. Games 2 Gallery
Thursday, May 9, 2013 | 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Bento Miso
#300 – 862 Richmond St. West, Toronto

Other Tongues: International Cartoonists Discuss Their Work in Translation
Thursday, May 9, 2013 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
The Pilot
22 Cumberland Ave.

You can see the rest–including events with Rutu Modan–but we must also call out


The Doug Wright Awards
The 9th Annual Doug Wright Awards
Hosted by Scott Thompson (Kids in the Hall, Hannibal)
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel, 90 Bloor St E, Toronto, ON
Free Event

These are simultaneously the most endearingly local and artistically serious comics awards we’ve ever been to, and you must see it to believe it.


One news note. As reported by Tom Spurgeon, French master Blutch who was to have participated in events in NYC and Toronto, had to cancel due to passport problems.

Reminder: when planning an international trip, don’t wait until the last minute to renew your passport. That isn’t exactly what happened with Blutch, but it’s always a good reminder.

Finally just because we like to embed, here’s a map of what’s happening where AND a map of restaurants suggestions. Seriously, they have thought of nearly everything.

View TCAF 2013 in a larger map
I’m just as excited for TCAF this year as I am for the San Diego Comic-Con but with none of the crushing dread and nightmares—except for one about Gengoroh Tagama, but who doesn’t have that? The lineup of great literary and indie cartoonists is practically unmatched, and everything is primed for a great weekend.