With the record-breaking attendance at New York Comic Con 2014 and the hit parade of Comic-Con International, it’s no doubt that comic conventions are big business. But as some who attend these events can attest, it can sometimes be difficult to find the comics amid the multimedia blitz. Not so with the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. The event is celebrating its 10th consecutive year May 8-10, with ambitious plans for the fiture.
Described by festival director Christopher Butcher as a “celebration of comics, graphic novels, and their creators, from Canada and abroad,” TCAF will once again be held at the Toronto Reference Library and The Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, with additional events at neighboring venues. Featured guests include Charles Burns, Jillian Tamaki, Eleanor Davis and Chip Zdarsky.
Last year’s TCAF saw attendance increase by more than 20 percent from the previous two events, which Butcher partly attributes to “really great weather” in 2014 but also portends increased interest. The festival remains free to the public, both for the professional development day on May 8 and the general exhibition dates of May 9 and 10.
TCAF isn’t the first comics festival of its kind nor the most popular, with events like APE, SPX and SPACE in North America, but Toronto’s thriving comics community and the curation by Butcher (who manages The Beguiling) has made it highly regarded.
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