I’m in Toronto for TCAF and I’m trapped in a hotel room with bags and bags of maple bacon potato chips. Oh, Canada!

Yesterday it was the Librarian-Educator Conference, and Word Balloon Academy and you can actually listen to my deeds and those of Brigid Alvelson, Deb Aoki, Erica Friedman and Johanna Draper Carlson on two new episodes of our no holds barred “Three (or five) Women in  A Hotel Room” Podcast!


That’s right, uncensored wild women alone in a hotel room with bags and bags of maple bacon potato chips. What can possibly go wrong!

This year’s TCAF has added a new venue – a zine terrace! – and new creators but there are also  a few missing faces. Drawn & Quarterly is missing from the floor. The official word is that “publishers take time off” but given D&Q’s attendance at fewer and fewer comics-focused shows,  you can make of it what you will.

Also missing from her planned keynote speech yesterday, Francoise Mouly, whose flight were delayed. Luckily librarian Amie Wright and educator Dr. Lucia Cedeira steooed i with a lively discussion of Canadian Comics history and their use in educational programs.

I got our of Newark at 11:30 Thursday and I guess all hell and storms broke loose right after as a lot of people were delayed. I’ve already spoken on Twitter of the heartbreaking removal of Porter Air’s cappuccino machine in their Newark lounge. It seems that passengers from other airlines were raiding the Porter supplies and Porter just got fed up because they couldn’t secure the area. So now it’s just a memory.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

But the rest of TCAF is one big nice thing! I enjoyed some Greek food yesterday with the Beat’s own Philippe Leblanc, took in lobby con with occasional Beat contributor Jake Shapiro, congratulated new Random House Graphic publishing director Gina Gagliano, and learned that Jaime Hernandez speaks fluent Canadian. And there was also a rijsttafel.

I only got to go to one session but the Word Balloon Academy day of programming for professional development is really outstanding, Exhibitors have all arrived but may be looking for fellow professionals, or not know where to go while they wait for the late evening table set-up. The panel line-up was sharply focused, relevant and star-studded. I’ve seen many other events try something like this and rarely seen it executed so well.

More later – but if you like the podcast, please hit like!

Photo by Brigid Alverson

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