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.
Aaaaaahhhh looks like I get to go to TCAF this year!! CANADA GET READY, QUEER COMICS ARE COMING FOR YA 🇨🇦✨
— Melanie Gill Man (@melgillman) January 9, 2018
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✨Cape of Spirits s3!!! (@hakuku) January 9, 2018
Guess who's got to thumbs and was accepted to exhibit at TCAF? DIS GUY
— Erin Burt ⚔️🐍 (@erintheunready) January 8, 2018
2018 is all about personal & artistic milestones including BABY’S FIRST TCAF! 💖 @TorontoComics so stoked to visit Toronto for the first time & to get to be in such great company!
— Ashley Robin Franklin🌵 (@ARFranklinstein) January 9, 2018
I got into #TCAF 2018! Cue the chicken dance. 🐔
— Julia Hut (@julia_the_hut) January 9, 2018
Ohp, I'm finally making my way to TCAF this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
— Irene Koh 🐯🍠 (@kohquette) January 9, 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 @Thought Bubble (@fineokpress) January 9, 2018
i'll be exhibiting at tcaf in may 2018
— kristina.exe (@Sskessa) January 9, 2018
I got into TCAF :>
— Miranda Harmon 🍓 (@MirandaMHarmon) January 9, 2018
We were accepted to exhibit at TCAF in May 12-13 2018! https://t.co/aJqrM2Byko See you all there ❤️❤️🗻!
— Love Love Hill (@love_love_hill) January 9, 2018
I got accepted to TCAF! See you all folks in Toronto ❤️
— Eggman Comics (@eggmancomicsgng) January 9, 2018
Got into TCAF! See you guys there!!
— 👁️Trevor👁️ (@slimyswampghost) 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 (DATES 3 on sale now!) (@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
Got accepted for TCAF in May!💥
— Grace Helmer (@grrrrace) 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✨ (@OneChrispy) January 8, 2018
Happy to announce that ELEMENTS: Fire will finally make it's Canadian debut at TCAF 2018 this year!
🔥Gonna bring this little light of ours!🔥 pic.twitter.com/QDkwVampA5
— ELEMENTS: EARTH NOW ON KICKSTARTER (@heyelements) 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 making Barbarian Comics (@fairywarriorcat) January 8, 2018
Guys….I made it into TCAF😲 I've never flown out of country before! Love! Love! Fighting! is going to Canada! OMG! I didn't think I'd get accepted since I've had so many rejections, this is so exciting! pic.twitter.com/nBFRgQQutx
— S-Morishita Studio (@Sharean_M) January 8, 2018
I'm going to TCAF!! 🎉🙏🌱
— Keezy Young 🌸👻 (a ghost) (@KeezyBees) January 8, 2018
Really happy to say ShortBox got accepted to TCAF!! ✨🐸
— ShortBox (@Short_Box) January 8, 2018
— Retrofit Comics (@retrofitcomics) 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
aaaaaa, I’m going to TCAF! 🎉✨🌈❤️
— Kathleen Jacques (@kathmachine) January 8, 2018
— Oliver East (@olivereast) January 8, 2018
Namesake/Valor team going to TCAF baby!
— Isa //Mothman is WILD and FREE and cannot be tamed (@Secondlina) 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!
When yr producing some of yr best work and excited to debut at TCAF but you get waitlisted 😩😩😩 pic.twitter.com/AAX2wgJi7b
— Kate Drwęcka (@thisiskatedee) January 9, 2018
A little disappointed I didn't make it into tcaf, but I can support the hell out of @TorontoComix while I'm there anyway!!! More time to work on Eos and my other upcoming projects
— Brenna @ truly just doing my best here (@pangolinart) January 9, 2018
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
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.