This week it’s TCAF — the Toronto Comics Art Festival, which has rapidly become one of the greatest, most enjoyable, most informative comics events of the year. See the mouth watering floor map here. The complete list of events and party poop is here. With an incredible line-up of international comics greats, the programming is also pretty amazing and includes seven public or semi public events, all covering different aspects of the business. And so much of it! With a bunch of programming tracks here’s where to find what:

Toronto Comic Arts Festival Librarian & Educator Day: Friday, May 9th 2014
Toronto Reference LIbrary

This is open to, um, librarians and educators, but it sounds awesome as usual. There are three tracks of programming.

Saturday, May 10, 2014
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
St. Paul’s On Bloor
@ St. Paul’s on Bloor, 227 Bloor Street East
Saturday May 10th, 10am-5pm
Free to attend, no registration required!
All presentations are followed by a one-hour signing at this venue.

Jeff Smith, Luke Pearson, Akira Himekawa and more.

Inaugural Canadian Reading Series!
May 10-11
@ Toronto Reference Library (Second floor)
Appel Salon, Novella Room
Free to attend, no registration required.

Canadian authors read, both days Complete schedule above.

Comics VS Games
Presented by Attract Mode and Bento Miso
Opening Reception May 8, 2014
7:00 PM – 11:00 pm
Bento Miso, #100 862 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON M6J 1C9
Free Event

Bit Bazaar
Presented by Bento Miso
Saturday, May 10, 2014
11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Bento Miso, #100 862 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON M6J 1C9
Free Event

Both these involves indie games with a strong comics/animation/illustration crossover. This should be very eye opening.

CSSC/SCEBD Academic Conference
May 8-10, 2014
Marriott Bloor-Yorkville, 90 Bloor St. East, Toronto
Free — All TCAF visitors welcome. No registration fee to attend.
Please consult schedule for presentations in English and in French.

The Canadian Society for the Study of Comics is a scholarly association for the exchange of knowledge and research regarding all forms of graphic narrative.  The association is based in Canada and embraces an international membership.  Their principle activity, an annual conference, is taking place this year as part of TCAF 2014. Below is the conference programme, with information on speakers and sessions.

The conference takes place at the Marriott Bloor-Yorkville on May 9th and 10th, with a special talk from Trina Robbins on the 8th at Ryerson University.
The academic conference is open to anyone who wishes to attend.

And finally, themain programming lineup. There was a hiccup or two with last year’s programming but this year it’s full steam ahead with multiple tracks of top level stuff, including Lynn Johnston, Seth, Kazu Kibuishi., Mimi Pond, Ed Brubaker, Pscal Giraud. Trina Robbins and many many many more. Just check it out.

My own schedule includes three panels:

Marriott 400 (Forest Hill Ballroom)
11am-12pm: Spotlight: Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips
Separately these creators have produced definitive runs on some of the biggest properties in commercial comics, but together they have helped to reinvigorate the crime genre of comics, creating gritty, mean, and compelling works. Brubaker & Phillips have become synonymous with quality crime comics, and their series’ Criminal, Incognito, and most recently Fatale have been justly awarded and raved about. Now, join Comics Beat’s Heidi MacDonald as she interviews the duo the on their collaborative history, the forthcoming ending of Fatale, and what might be next!

The Marriott 50 (High Park 1)

12:15pm-1:15pm: Spotlight: Gabrielle Bell
Gabrielle Bell’s work has drawn acclaim for it’s boldness, subtle humour, and effortless surrealism. Now Bell has turned her attention to travel, both the destinations and the spaces between. Join TCAF Featured Guest Gabrielle Bell and journalist Heidi MacDonald for a spirited discussion of Bell’s career and her new work.

2:45pm-3:45pm: Comics Criticism
What is the state of comics criticism today, in both the public realm and academia? Join some of the industry’s top journalists, critics, and historians as they attempt to discern the current role, and state, of comics criticism. Featuring Trina Robbins (Pretty In Ink), Heidi MacDonald (, Tom Spurgeon (, Jeet Heer (The Comics Journal), Keith Friedlander (University of Ottawa), and moderator Blake Bell (The Secret History of Marvel Comics).

There is also the previously announced Pro Day on FRiday but it is “professionals only” and private.

The only problem is how my poor little brain is going to absorb all this wonderfulness.


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