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First annual Toronto Comic Arts Festival planned for March 29th

Official Press Release

BACKGROUND

TORONTO, Ontario - Premiere Canadian comic book retailer The Beguiling willpresent the first annual Toronto Comic Arts Festival on Saturday, March 29th2003. This will be the first such gathering of International independentcartoonists, comic artists and illustrators to take place in Canada.

Featuring a diverse array of Canadian cartoonists and talented creatorsfrom around the world, The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) will showcasethese talents through gallery presentations, lectures and discussions, anddirect interaction with the artists themselves through the sale of theircomics and original artwork. Unlike typical comics conventions, there willbe no "dealer's room", as the focus is intended to be squarely on thecreative people attending and speaking at the Festival.

Plans for the Festival were begun after seeing the remarkableinteraction between the creative community and the public through comicsfestivals such as the MoCCA (Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art) Festival inNew York (http://www.moccany.org), the SPX show in Bethesda Maryland(http://www.spxpo.com) or the more artist oriented European festivalsBarcelona International Comic Festival (FICOMIC) or the Stripdagen festivalin Haarlem, NL (http://www.stripdagenhaarlem.nl). There are many Canadiancartoonists recognized as among the best in the world, particularly in thefield of alternative comics. TCAF is Canada's chance not only to promoteits homegrown talent to visiting guests but bring many talents from the USand abroad to Toronto for the first time. This prestigious gathering ofartists will attract international and national attention.

GUESTS

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is proud to welcome the followingguests of honour for it's debut year:

Seth: Chief among the Canadian contingent will be acclaimed cartoonist Sethfrom Guelph, Ontario. Recently featured in a comprehensive article in TheToronto Star, Seth has lately completed a number of high-profileillustration projects, including the cover art and comic strip for popsinger Aimee Mann's latest album LOST IN SPACE. He has also worked onillustration projects for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, andThe New Yorker.

Chester Brown: Chester Brown's graphic retelling of the life of historicalCanadian anti-hero Louis Riel in the series LOUIS RIEL has drawn criticalacclaim from the international comics press as well as closer to home in TheGlobe and Mail. The critical acclaim is matched by the controversysurrounding the release of his surreal graphic novel ED THE HAPPY CLOWN[currently in development for the screen by Bruce MacDonald]. Chester Brownwas born in Chateauguay Quebec, but now makes his home in Toronto, Canada.

Phoebe Gloeckner: Hailing from Maryland USA, Phoebe Gloeckner's newestgraphic novel DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL is a gripping portrait of thedifficult life of a girl growing up in the 70's, as told through the motifof diary entries featuring prose, illustrations, and traditional comics.

Jason Little: Jason Little, Hailing from New York USA, came to great acclaimthis year when his graphic novel, SHUTTERBUG FOLLIES, was selected as one ofthe initial comic book offerings from publishing megalith Doubleday Books,and that book has been favourably received by the New York Times BookReview.

Jason Lutes: Renowned illustrator and storyteller Jason Lutes, hails fromSouth Carolina, USA. The author of graphic novels JAR OF FOOLS and BERLIN,the latter singled out by Time Magazine as "the longest, most sophisticatedwork of historical fiction in the medium" and described as having "thedensity of the best novels."

David Mack: Hailing from Kentucky USA, David Mack's painting andillustration straddle the line between popular culture and fine art in hisseries KABUKI, which mixes historical stories of pre- and post-war Japanwith the best of contemporary action-film staples; the mix of poetry,brutality, and adrenaline that propelled CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON tointernational success.

Michel Rabagliati: Creator Michel Rabalgliati of Quebec Canada experiencesgreat recognition the world-over, thanks to his crisp brush-work andengaging stories. His first book, PAUL IN THE COUNTRY, was released to greatacclaim and the follow-up, PAUL GETS A SUMMER JOB will be making it's debutat the Festival.

The complete list of featured guests attending the Festival includes:

Marc Bell, Matthew Blackett, Jason Bone, Chester Brown, Robert Bugatto,Scott Chantler, Becky Cloonan, Michael Comeau, Darwyn Cooke, David Cullen,Farel Dalrymple, Tom Devlin, Walter Dickinson, Catherine Doherty, PheobeGloeckner, Marcel Guldemonde, Sam Hiti, Kevin Huizenga, Ron Kasman, MeganKelso, Jeffrey Kilpatrick, Andy Lee, Jason Little, Jason Lutes, David Mack,Kagen McLeod, John Mejias, Sean Menard, Carla Speed McNeil, Scott Mills,Marc Ngui, Anders Nilsen, Christine Norrie, Bryan O'Malley, Joe Ollman,Lorenz Peters, Chris Pitzer, Joel Priddy, Brian Ralph, Seth, Vincent Stall,Jay Stephens, Diana Tamblyn, Richard G. Taylor, J. Torres, Noel Tuazon,Maurice Vellekoop, Rob Walton, Lauren Weinstein, and Chip Zdarsky.

For more information on all guests, please visit:http://www.torontocomics.com/tcaf/guests.html

THE BEGUILING

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is being hosted in Toronto'sarts-friendly Annex district. TCAF's chief sponsor is North America'spremier retailer of high art funny books, The Beguiling. The Festival wrapsup the celebrations of The Beguiling's 15th year in business. Thecelebration series has already included appearances by the most talentedpeople working in comics today, such as Norway's Jason (SSsssh, Hey, Wait!),Kim Deitch (Boulevard of Broken Dreams), Paul Pope (Heavy Liquid, THB),Chris Ware (Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid On Earth), Daniel Clowes (GhostWorld), Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve), and Chip Kidd (Peanuts: The Art ofCharles Schultz). Find out more about The Beguiling athttp://www.beguiling.com.

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