Monday, May 09, 2011
The photo above was mercilessly swiped from Tom Spurgeon's thorough/awesome TCAF recap over at the Comics Reporter, But maybe it's allowed, because if you look closely, you can find me in the madness on the floor of the Toronto Reference Library, during this past weekend's excellent Toronto Comics Art Festival. I'm the one wearing green.
This was my first trip to the show and it was pretty damn great all around. It was so crazy I didn't even really have time to go to any panels or even see much of Toronto. The show was packed from start to finish on Saturday and steadily attended throughout the day on Sunday. I was there with the Secret Acres crew: Edie Fake, Ken Dahl, Joe Lambert, Sam Gaskin and Barry and Leon, our fearless publishers. We had a whole bunch of fun and sold some books, too. Sam was selling his new comic, 2012, which looked great, but I didn't have a chance to snag. Joe was selling his new book, I Will Bite You, which seemed to be well received by the crowd.
There was a lot of trepidation about border-crossing and customs agents before the trip, but even the drive to and from Toronto was pleasant, thankfully featuring uneventful crossings in both directions. (The Acres-mobile car ride also featured plenty of tension-filled games of Risk, played on Barry's iPad2.) We heard a few stories of people who had it a little worse at the border, a few books were confiscated, but nothing too horrible. All in all, TCAF had to be one of the best organized, nicest, cleanest, best located/outfitted, and best attended shows I've ever been to, with one of the most talented guest lists to boot. I'd like to go back there, please.
I picked up a few really cool books, and here they are:
I bought a complete run of King City from Brandon Graham - I've been following his awesome blog for a while now, but have never been able to find the comics in stores (which, since it's an Image title, I can't explain - I blame Diamond. just kidding. kinda.). Mr. Graham was also really cool to meet. I was, like, giddy to finally find these comics. I also picked up his new one, Multiple Warheads.
Michael DeForge seemed to be all over the place at TCAF this weekend - and rightly so, he is a Toronto guy and he had a big hand in two of the best books of the show: Lose #3 and Root Rot, both published by the fabulous Koyama Press (also Toronto-based). Root Rot contains some of the best illustration and short comics I've seen this year. And Lose #3 has one of the stories of the year in "Dog 2070." Definitely buy both of those books as soon as you can.
Aaron Costain's Entropy series looks great. I've read the first few issues on his site, and now own the first six issues. It looks great and I'm excited to check it out. He was another super friendly and awesome guy to meet.
I first heard about Eric Skillman from his blog, where he posts great design breakdowns and process posts of his Criterion Collection cover designs, so I was really excited to check out this comic he and Jhomar Soriano made together.
There was some other stuff, but maybe I'll talk about that later. Oh, also,
I just got a new Koi Water Colors set and I have been playing around with it a little and really enjoying it. It is portable, to take to shows and on trips. Finger point to Chuck for the idea - he brought a similar setup to the Reading CGS Super Show last weekend and we had a lot of fun using water color on our sketches. Chuck and Alex and I had a great time at that show, too, by the way - their presence was definitely missed at TCAF.
Okay, convention season is over for a little while. I feel excited to get back to the drawing table, which is maybe the highest compliment I can give TCAF - it made me hungry to keep getting better and keep drawing. Thanks, TCAF and everyone who made this weekend great.