Official Press Release
The Beguiling, Canada’s finest purveyor of comics and graphic novels is proud to announce The 2009 Toronto Comic Arts Festival, to be held Saturday May 9th and Sunday May 10th, 2009 in Toronto, Canada, in conjunction with The Toronto Public Library. This marks the fourth gathering of international graphic novel authors and cartoonists under the TCAF banner, and will be the most spectacular yet thanks to its brand new partnership with The Toronto Public Library.
Drawing a diverse array of cartoonists from around the world, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) is a phenomenal exhibition of international comics talent, and a chance to celebrate Canadian comics authors here at home. TCAF will showcase the talents of its guests through an ambitious programme of exhibitor presentations, gallery showings, lectures, workshops, discussion panels, interactive readings, and the 2009 Doug Wright Awards for Canadian Cartooning.
At the center of the Festival proceedings are the international premieres of numerous long-anticipated works, both by and celebrating Canadian cartoonists, and by graphic novel creators from around the world! Canadian programming highlights will include the debuts of The Collected Doug Wright – both a collection of work and tribute to the beloved Canadian newspaper cartoonist – and George Sprott, a new graphic novel by Seth collecting his acclaimed comics from The New York Times Magazine. Toronto’s own Bryan Lee O’Malley, creator of the popular Scott Pilgrim series will attend TCAF to present the fifth volume of the series, and to discuss the Hollywood adaptation of his work filming in Toronto this spring!
Among the international cartoonists appearing at TCAF for the first time will be: Emmanuel Guibert (France), with his new graphic novel The Photographer, a gripping account of the work of Doctors Without Borders in Afghanistan; Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Japan), debuting his massive 840-page biography A Drifting Life; Anke Feuchetenberger (Germany) will present new work at the Festival (TBA); American Adrian Tomine will premiere the softcover edition of his bestseller Shortcomings; and American Ivan Brunetti will offer the collection of his dark humour comics, entitled Ho!.
First held in 2003, The Toronto Comic Arts Festival was conceived to provide interaction between the creative community and the public, and was modeled on similar festivals around the world. TCAF 2009 will take place at The Toronto Reference Library, at 789 Yonge St. just North of Bloor Street in the heart of the city. The Festival will feature over 15,000 square feet of attractions within the Reference Library complex, more than 200 cartoonists, and more than two weeks of programming and events leading up to the 2-day exhibition extravaganza! For more information, visit http://www.torontocomics.com.
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is proud to welcome the following Guests of Honour (please check www.torontocomics.com often, as new guests are regularly being added to the line-up):
Ivan Brunetti: Based in Chicago, Illinois, Ivan Brunetti has been a mainstay of alternative and independent comics for more than 15 years, following the breakthrough success of his manic, psychologically intense autobiographical series Schizo. With a wide variety of artistic styles at his disposal, Brunetti’s work has ranged from incredibly dark humour comics in his books Haw and Hee! to his covers for The New Yorker, completing editorial illustration, comics, and curating an art show in between. Brunetti is the editor of Yale University Press’ Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories Volume 1 & 2, the definitive overviews of contemporary art comix and graphic novels. Brunetti is currently on the faculty of Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches classes on comics, drawing, and design.
Anke Feuchtenberger: Born in East Berlin, Anke Feuchtenberger co-founded the group “Glowing Future,” which carried out political actions through art-graffiti and wall paintings-in the public space. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the group combined their art with narrative comics, creating both books and gallery exhibitions shown around the world. Feuchtenberger’s work includes Hie kleine Dame, Mutterkuchen, Die Biographie der Frau Trockenthal, and Der Palast. Her only work available in English is the short graphic novel The Crossing which appears in the Actus Tragicus anthology Happy End. Anke Feuchtenberger appears at TCAF with the support of the German Consulate, who will be presenting a gallery exhibition of her work in conjunction with the Festival.
Emmanuel Guibert: The writer of a great many graphic novels for readers young and old, among them the Sardine in Outer Space series, The Professor’s Daughter, and Alan’s War, Emmanuel Guibert is a major talent in his native France who is garnering accolades here in North America. His most recent work is The Photographer, a gritty account of Doctors Without Borders’ 1980s mission in Afghanistan, as seen through the eyes of a great photojournalist, the late Didier LefÃ¨vre. Emmanuel Guibert appears at TCAF with the support of The French Consulate of Canada.
Bryan Lee O’Malley: Canadian cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley is best known for the Scott Pilgrim series of graphic novels an action/romance/comedy story heavily inspired by video games, and set in the city of Toronto. Scott Pilgrim Volume 5 is due this spring from Oni Press, and Scott Pilgrim is currently being produced as a movie for Universal Pictures, directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) and starring Michael Cera (Superbad) in the title role. It will be filming in the city of Toronto from March through July of 2009.
Paul Pope: In America, he’s been called the “comics destroyer;” in France, he’s been called the “Jim Morrison of comics” and “comics’ Petit Prince.” One of a handful of young cartoonists consistently gaining critical praise and media attention, Pope has been featured in Canada on MuchMusic and Space, among others, and his work has appeared in print outlets like Spin, Entertainment Weekly, Jalouse, V Magazine and The Village Voice. His recent works have included stints on popular comics icons in Batman and The Fantastic Four, original graphic novels Heavy Liquid and 100%, and the career retrospective art book Pulp Hope.
Seth: Internationally-acclaimed cartoonist Seth hails from Guelph, Ontario, and is one of the best-known Canadian cartoonists in the world. His works include the graphic novels It’s A Good Life If You Don’t Weaken, Clyde Fans, Wimbledon Green, and the ongoing comic series Palooka-Ville. 2009 will see the realization of a long-held dream of Seth’s: a career retrospective of one his favourite cartoonists, Doug Wright (1917-1983). Published by Drawn & Quarterly and edited and designed by Seth, The Complete Doug Wright Book One will debut during the fourth-annual Doug Wright Awards, to be held the evening of Saturday May 9th. Seth will also be premiering a new graphic novel of his own, George Sprott, which collects and greatly expands upon Seth’s comic strip serialized in The New York Times Magazine. In addition to his graphic novel work, Seth is a busy book designer and illustrator whose work regularly appears in The New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal
Yoshihiro Tatsumi: Born in Osaka, Japan in 1935, Yoshihiro Tatsumi is an incredibly influential Japanese comics artist widely credited with starting the “Gekiga” style of comics in Japan in the late 1950s, expanding the audience for comics (manga) to include more than just children. Beginning in 2006, Canadian publisher Drawn & Quarterly undertook the task of bringing Tatsumi’s work to the West, by publishing collections of his short stories The Push Man, Abandon The Old In Tokyo, and Good Bye. The 2009 Toronto Comic Arts Festival will see the international debut (in English) of Tatsumi’s masterwork-a massive 840-page autobiographic memoir about his career in comics entitled A Drifting Life. Already hailed as one of the most important graphic novels of 2009, Yoshihiro Tatsumi will be on hand to premiere the work alongside designer Adrian Tomine, and the two will discuss it in a special presentation.
Adrian Tomine: The creator of one of the most popular alternative comic book series of all time, Optic Nerve, Adrian Tomine is an accomplished writer, illustrator, and designer. His graphic novel collections include 32 Stories, Sleepwalk, and Summer Blonde, and an artbook entitled Scrapbook: Uncollected Work 1990-2004. In 2007 Tomine completed his most-acclaimed graphic novel to date, Shortcomings, and TCAF will see the premiere of the softcover edition of this bestseller as well as a special 10th Anniversary Edition of 32 Stories. Adrian Tomine was also responsible for “discovering” the work of Japanese creator Yoshihiro Tatsumi, bringing the work to the attention of Drawn & Quarterly and designing and editing the collections of his work published there. Adrian Tomine will be a part of a special presentation of Shortcomings and Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s new graphic novel A Drifting Life during the Festival.
For more information on all guests and a regularly updated listing of attending cartoonists, please visit: http://www.torontocomics.com/tcaf/guests.html.
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival would not be possible without the assistance of our sponsors and partners, including:
The Toronto Public Library
The Beguiling Books & Art, The Ontario Arts Council, The Toronto Arts Council, The Goethe Institute, The French Consulate of Canada, Magic Pony Shop + Gallery, and all of our publisher friends.