Official Press Release
TORONTO, Ontario – The Beguiling, Canada’s premier comics bookstore, is proud to announce the 2007 Toronto Comic Arts Festival, to be held Saturday Saturday August 18 and Sunday August 19 2007 in Toronto, Canada. This is the third gathering of independent cartoonists, comic artists and graphic novelists under the TCAF banner, and it’s looking to be the biggest and best yet!
Featuring a diverse array of Canadian cartoonists, in addition to artists and graphic novelists from the United States and Europe, The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) will showcase the talents of its guests with an ambitious programme of exhibitor presentations, gallery showings, lectures, workshops, discussion panels and interactive readings. The whole event kicks off on Friday August 17 with the historic on-stage reunion of famed graphic novelist trio, Chester Brown, Seth, and Joe Matt (Joe having departed Toronto years earlier, when he heard the siren call of Hollywood…). Other guests include Society of Illustrators 2006 Gold Medal winner, James Jean, founder of the Center for Cartoon Studies and esteemed graphic novelist James Sturm, and fan-favourite creator of Milk & Cheese, Evan Dorkin, in his first ever Canadian appearance!
TCAF 2007 has expanded to fill the entire Old Victoria College building and Burwash Quad on the University of Toronto Campus, just across the street from the recently-revitalised ROM and steps from Museum subway station. Featuring over 15,000 square feet of festival space, more than 200 cartoonists, and 2 jam-packed days of programming and events, TCAF 2007 will redefine comics events not just within the city of Toronto, but across North America.
TCAF was founded in 2003 in response to the overwhelmingly positive feedback to interaction between the creative community and the public witnessed at similar festivals around the world. TCAF’s innovative format is modeled on grass roots comics festivals such as MoCCA (Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art) Festival in New York (http://www.moccany.org), and the more artist-oriented European festivals such as Stripdagen in Haarlem, NL (http://www.stripdagenhaarlem.nl). Attending Canadian cartoonists including Chester Brown, Svetlana Chmakova, Darwyn Cooke, Bryan Lee O’Malley and Seth are continually recognized as leaders in their fields. Canada is also home to one of the world’s renowned and important English-language comics publishers, Drawn & Quarterly. TCAF is Canada’s opportunity to not only promote and celebrate homegrown artistic talent and publishers, but also to broaden its scope beyond our borders and showcase creators from around the world, many of whom will be in Toronto for the first time. This prestigious gathering of artists is sure to attract a massive national and international audience.
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is proud to welcome the following guests of honour (please check http://www.torontocomics.com/tcaf often, as new guests are regularly being added to the line-up):
Chester Brown: Chester Brown’s graphic biography of historical Canadian anti-hero Louis Riel in the graphic novel LOUIS RIEL has drawn critical acclaim from the international comics press as well as closer to home in publications like The Globe and Mail and Maclean’s. Brown’s ED THE HAPPY CLOWN [currently in feature development by Canadian filmmaker Bruce MacDonald] was recently re-released by publisher Drawn & Quarterly, and Brown is hard at work on his new autobiographical graphic novel due in 2008. Chester Brown was born in Chateauguay, Quebec, and now lives in Toronto, Canada.
Darwyn Cooke: Internationally acclaimed storyboard artist for numerous Warner Brothers animation projects (including BATMAN ADVENTURES and SUPERMAN ADVENTURES) Cooke broke new ground with his illustration-influenced graphic novels SELINA’S BIG SCORE (a noir crime-drama featuring a modern-day Catwoman) and DC: THE NEW FRONTIER (a McCarthy-era epic featuring the DC Comics/Warner Brothers superheroes). 2008 will see the release of an animated feature film based on Cooke’s DC: THE NEW FRONTIER from Warner Brothers animation.
Darwyn Cooke is also the artist behind the 2007 Toronto Comic Arts Festival poster, featuring a truly festive crowd celebrating with comic books.
Evan Dorkin: The notorious creator of MILK & CHEESE and DORK will be joining the Toronto Comic Arts Festival for his first-ever comics event in Toronto! After starting at Marvel Comics, Dorkin made his name on hip, contemporary looks at youth in popular culture through his series HECTIC PLANET and his short humour strips in anthologies including INSTANT PIANO. Currently, Dorkin’s work can be seen in annual issues of DORK and in NICKELODEON MAGAZINE, MAD MAGAZINE, and on the cover of the new Larry Doyle novel “I Love You Beth Cooper”.
James Jean: Currently the cover illustrator for the best-selling graphic novel series FABLES, James Jean is a graduate of the School Of Visual Arts, New York. He has received an impressive number of comics and illustration awards including Eisner Awards, the Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators of LA, American Illustration, and has appeared in The New York Times, SPIN and Playboy magazine. James was born in Taiwan, raised in New Jersey, and educated in New York, where his love of comics inspired a career in illustration and dreams of painting.
James Jean is also the artist who created the limited edition print celebrating the 20th Anniversary of TCAF sponsor The Beguiling Books & Art.
Joe Matt: For over ten years Joe Matt has been notorious in cult circles for the embarrassing frankness with which he reveals his distressing habits and predilections. His most recent graphic novel, SPENT, took over 8 years to complete. Matt was born in Philadelphia in 1963. By his own account (collected in the graphic novel Fair Weather in 2002) he was a spoiled, selfish, and unpleasant child with a bedwetting problem, who also happened to be obsessed with collecting comics.
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 channel, among others, and his work has appeared in print outlets like Spin, Entertainment Weekly, Jalouse, V Magazine and The Village Voice. He is also the only American cartoonist to have worked for Japan’s largest manga publisher (Kodansha). His recent works have included stints on popular comics icons in BATMAN YEAR 100 and THE FANTASTIC FOUR, and 2007 will see the releasing of his career-retrospective art collection PULP HOPE, debuting in time for TCAF.
Seth: Chief among the Canadian contingent will be internationally-acclaimed cartoonist Seth from Guelph, Ontario. With his recent graphic novels CLYDE FANS and WIMBLEDON GREEN drawing popular and critical acclaim, Seth has been hard at work on a number of new projects including GEORGE SPROTT (1894-1975), a graphic novella which recently finished its serialization in The New York Times. 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.
OTHER TCAF ITEMS OF NOTE:
– A large family area, with activities for young readers and a number of top children’s and young adult graphic novelists including Raina Telegemeier (BABYSITTER’S CLUB graphic novels), Mike Cho (MAX FINDER MYSTERIES, Owl Magazine), and J. Torres (DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION, TEEN TITANS GO!).
– Scott Chantler, artist on the forthcoming adaptation of Stephen Colbert’s ‘novel’ TEK JANSEN IN ALPHA SQUAD SEVEN.
– Noted international manga creators and experts including Svetlana Chmakova (DRAMACON), Becky Cloonan (EAST COAST RISING), and Jason Thompson (author of MANGA: THE COMPLETE GUIDE).
– A strong presence of internet-oriented cartoonists and webcomics creators, including Ryan North (DINOSAUR COMICS), Rich Stevens (DIESEL SWEETIES), Joey Comeau (A SOFTER WORLD), and Roxanne Bielskis (staff cartoonist, Torontoist.com).
– More than 200 comics guests, with over 130 already confirmed!
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, including:
The Beguiling,Canada’s foremost purveyor of comics, graphic novels and high-art funnybooks. http://www.beguiling.com.
The Ontario Arts Council
The Toronto Arts Council
Please submit all interview requests, press inquiries, and press accreditation requests to: firstname.lastname@example.org.