Official Press Release
The 2009 Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) is proud to announce its newest headline guest, acclaimed international lecturer Scott McCloud, author of the groundbreaking graphic novel Understanding Comics. Scott McCloud will be appearing at TCAF, being held May 9th and 10th 2009 at Toronto Reference Library, to participate in panel discussions, presentations, and book signings (details TBA). McCloud will appear at TCAF courtesy of Toronto Public Library, as part of their continuing commitment to the medium of comics and graphic novels, and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in particular.
Scott McCloud is probably best known for his graphic novel textbook Understanding Comics, one of the first long-form attempts to create an overview of the comic medium, which linked contemporary comic books and strips to works of art and antiquities as various as Egyptian hieroglyphs, The Bayeux Tapestry, and the woodcut novels of the 18th and 19th centuries. McCloud’s theories on storytelling and visual literacy have found incredible popularity in the fields of digital content and presentation (as well as comics!), and since the publication of Understanding Comics McCloud has become a celebrated international lecturer presenting to audiences that include Google, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Adobe Systems, Game Developers Conference, eBay, and Pixar.
McCloud’s appearance at TCAF casts a spotlight on the wide range of cutting edge digital comics creators that will be attending TCAF 2009. Digital comics (or “webcomics”) creators including Americans R. Stevens (Diesel Sweeties), Jeph Jacques (Questionable Content), Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie), Jeffrey Rowland (Overcompensating, Topatoco), and David Malki ! (Wondermark), and Canadians Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics), Kate Beaton (Hark, A Vagrant!), and Emily Horne and Joey Comeau (A Softer World) all produce comics on the internet with readerships in the tens and hundreds of thousands. Online artist collectives including Top Shelf 2.0, Dumbrella, and Toronto’s own Transmission-X Comics will have large presences at TCAF, showcasing their works in digital and “dead tree” editions.
To help further the exploration of digital and online comics, Toronto Reference Library offers a technology-friendly space for TCAF and all of its attendees. With free wi-fi for the public, dozens of public computer terminals to check out comics online, and two completely computer-outfitted digital learning centres that will host two full days of programming during the Festival, TCAF 2009 will be one of the most forward-looking comics events in North America.
The 2009 Toronto Comic Arts Festival is completely free to attend.
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 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!
Canadian cartoonists are recognized as among the best in the world, particularly in the fields of manga and alternative comics. TCAF is Canada’s opportunity to not only promote and celebrate homegrown artistic talent, but also to broaden its scope and showcase creators from the US and abroad, many in Toronto for the first time. This prestigious gathering of artists will attract an international and national audience.
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