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TCAF pop-up shop becomes permanent fixture in Toronto library

The Toronto Reference Library has been the host venue for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) since 2009, and now visitors can sample some of what TCAF has to offer year-round with at the library's own festival-affiliated comic shop.

Opening in December as a pop-up shop, the store became a permanent fixture in the library this week under the new name Page & Panel: The TCAF Shop, with a new logo designed by artist Chip Zdarsky.

The store brings things full circle, in a way, as TCAF was founded by Peter Birkemoe and Christopher Butcher, the co-owner and manager, respectively, of the Toronto retailer The Beguiling; Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, manager of The Beguiling's kid-oriented sister store Little Island Comics, will be a product specialist for the TCAF shop. TCAF managing director Miles Baker will manage the store, and the profits will go back into the festival.

In addition to offering an eclectic array of comics, graphic novels and related merchandise, the new shop will create exclusive merchandise — it already has its own items from Kate Beaton and John Martz — and it will play host to signings and other events featuring local creators, including writer Jim Zub and artist Carson Ellis; they kicked things off this week with a gathering to launch the Toronto-based anthology Monster 2.

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