On the second weekend in May, 2014, the Toronto Reference Library was home to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF). This celebration of comics, graphic novels, and their creators is an annual event and the 2015 festival is set for May 8, 9 and 10 once again at the Reference Library. Dedicated to the promotion and enrichment of the careers of cartoonists and graphic novelists, the Festival has a special focus on all of the great work being done here in Canada.
This Festival is not the typical one-shot, one-venue convention. This year’s weeklong celebration included readings, interviews, panels, workshops, gallery shows, art installations, and much more scheduled at venues across the downtown.
The ultimate event for many is always the two-day exhibition and vendor fair at the library.
Admission to the library is free, as it is to most other TCAF events.
The first Festival was held in March, 2003 and was attended by about 600 comic enthusiasts. Last year attendance topped 18,000. It was a movable feast until 2009 when it anchored to the Toronto Reference Library and considers this home for the foreseeable future.
This was my first visit and happened mostly by chance. I enjoy perusing graphic novels while roaming around the book stores but I’m not the least bit knowledgeable about the art form. Having said that, I liked what I saw and I will be back for more. The art alone is just incredible. Styles vary greatly and renderings range from black-and-white through sepia all the way to all the shades imaginable. Story lines are varied and that means something for just about every taste.
Look it up… learn about it… GO-GO-GO!