TCAF is here! The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is a huge highlight of the North American comics schedule, and this year’s show has an amazing stellar guest list of cartoonists from around the world and is expanding with a new venue, the Masonic Temple just for you Invisibles Fans.

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While the TCAF website has all the info on the show in more concise fashion that I could ever manage, here are some highlights:

• Signings and floor map
Parties, art exhibits, and other gatherings
• Debuting Books: spend all your money

• Friday night kicks off the show with a big panel discussion on “The Graphic Novel Revolution” with Conundrum’s Andy Brown. First Second’s Mark Siegel, Koyama Press’s Annie Koyama and writer/publisher Brian K Vaughan. This great assemblage of talents is marred only by the moderator, yours truly. So now you now why I was reading all those “how to moderate a panel” links the other day. You need to reserve a ticket via Eventbrite, although it looks to be sold out already!

Also for your TCAF veterans: in the past the kickoff event was held AT THE LIBRARY but this year it’s AT THE MARRIOTT BLOOR FOREST HILL BALLROOM, where the Doug Wright Awards are held.

• There’s the usual array of allied events, including the Library and Educators day on Friday, Kids day etc. A quick link guide:

COMICS VS GAMES: the ongoing exploration of the intersection of indie comics and indie gaming. Held this year at the main Toronto Reference Library – May 13-15
• Librarian and Educator Day, held once again at the Toronto Reference Library on Friday May 13.

Word Balloon Academy, a day of professional programming for creators, held Friday, May 13 at the Marriott Bloor. The 10 am “What is Money” program with David Brothers moderating Spike Trotman, George Rohac, Benjamin Woo is already the must see!
TCAF Kids Day, Saturday May 

• Big news this year, with the Masonic Temple, just minutes north of the Torotno Reference Library on Yonge street, open for both singings, sketch events and exhibitors. All info here. 

Sponsored by venue owners Info-Tech Research Group, The Masonic Temple brings thousands of square feet of new space for exhibitors and programming. With appearances all weekend by TCAF Featured Guests Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, Sean Phillips, Steve Skroce, Adrian Alphona, Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, Chip Zdarsky, and many more exhibitors, it’s the place to be!

That’s a VERY brief overview of the show this year. I’ll have more info on the site tomorrow.

The Beat’s coverage of TCAF is made possible this year by the generous support of  Z2 Comics.






  1. Unfortunately, TCAF has gotten too big for its venue. I know the Toronto Reference Library allows them to keep the whole thing free and accessible, but every year the crowd gets bigger and bigger and it’s at the point where it’s impossible to get near a table or move around. The line to get into the salon on the third floor where they stick all the webcomic artists, especially, is always huge. I think this is going to be the first year I skip it.

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