The Toronto Comic Arts Festival; this is a Con I can get behind!
I said it last year here in C&R and I’ll say it again: there’s a fissure that divides the comics world. One side is the oddly named Genre Comics and the other is Art Comics. Or Comixx. Or Underground Comics. And never the twain shall meet. I don’t really believe that, but try telling that to a die-hard Marvel or DC dude. I do however believe I have no patients for Genre Comics since I gave up on the X-Men in the 8th grade.
That being said this is the most glorious time of the year. The sakura are in bloom (you know all those trees people fuss about in High Park?), there’s this incredible freshness and lightness in the air and people’s attitudes, and then all these indie publishers, small presses, self-publishers, print artist and rad kids meet up at the Toronto Reference library and totally take it over. It’s a full weekend bookended by more scholarly events, where the Americans bus up and the Japanese fly over. Where people from Drawn & Quarterly stand at tables next to folks from Koyama Press and my heart just grows too big for my chest because it’s so darn awesome. It’s that time of the year where I see Chester Brown on the subway and find it equal parts wanderlust and aversion.
So, forget Mother’s Day this year (because if she doesn’t know you appreciate her by now there’s not hope for you) and head out to all the TCAF events! They’re all FREE!
Oh, and it’s the 10th Anniversary!
Vintage Crawl Toronto – It’s here! It’s finally here! With over 30 vendors this year this is set to be the best #VCTO ever. Deals, deals, deals and treats. Various locations (check the snazzy map) – 7PM-1AM – Free
Urban + Digital Meetup – Join U+D to talk about the next feature event in June. U+D works to improve life in the city, specifically in areas where technologies interact with day-to-day life. The Central (603 Markham) – 6-9PM – Free
Drive to Action & Uforia Video Shoot – Be in a music video yo. It’s like another other show except cameras will be rolling, and possibly on you so be on your best (or worst) behavior. Revival Bar (738 College) – 10:30PM-2AM – $5
The Truth Shall Set You Free – Monthly Trivia night. Categories are: First!, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Fakers, and Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery. Magpie Taproom (831 Dundas) 8-10:15PM – $10/team, max 6 people per team
Other Tongues – As part of TCAF International cartoonists will discuss their work in translation. The Pilot Tavern (22 Cumberland St) – 7-10PM – Free 19+
Foxygen – w/ Crumbs at Wrongbar (1279 Queen St) – 8PM – $13.50, limited tickets at door
Spookyfish – w/ Prgrss, Mesa Mesa, and Falls. Sneaky Dee’s (431 College) – 9PM – $7
WYRD IV – Weird Canada presents Wyrd Visions & Jennifer Castle, Zachary Fairbrother Feedback Guitar Orchestra, Soul Sisters Supreme Redux 2.0 (featuring Isla Craig). Installations by Alicia Nauta. The Music Gallery (197 John St) 10PM – adv. $10 or $13-17 at door
Altarus – w/ Gates, Voidfolk. This is going to be a heavy show, man. Serious drones, distortion, and abyss. The 460 (460 Spadina) – 9:30PM – $7 or PWYC
Fish Songs of the Shining Waters – HUNTCLUB presents draings by resident artist Lauren Pirie (her first solo show!). Show runs until May 29th. HUNTCUB (709 College) – 7PM – Free
TCAF Welcome Party – Not to be confused with the 10th Anniversary party ft Los Bros Hernandez (event listed right above this one). You can attend both! The Pilot Tavern (22 Cumberland) – 9PM-2AM – Free
Slaughter Nick for President – Screening of the film about an out of work Canadian actor who finds out he’s been cult-status famous in Serbia for decades and embarks on a journey to find out why, or just cash in on it. Carlton Cinema (20 Carlton St) – 7PM – Standard ticket prices $5-10 (See last year’s review from the NXNE 2012 Film Fest Preview [here])
90’s Party Spring Break Edition – Good Kids and She Does The City bring you another 90’s night that’s bound to be bright and get tight. $200 prize for best get-up, so dress to impress! The Annex WreckRoom (794 Bathurst) – 9PM-2AM – $5 before 12AM, $10 after
New Narrative IV – Seeing is believing/ Voir c’est croire! The conference is back, sponsored by The Canadian Society for the Study of Comics New Narrative explores comics and literary theory. U of T campus (UC140, 15 King’s College Circle) – 9AM-6PM – Free
Breakthroughs Film Festival – The only film fest in Canada dedicated to short films made by women. Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex) – 8-10:30PM – $15 at door
Feast In The East 2nd Anniversary – Absolutely Free, Fresh Show, Ostrich Tuning and Black Walls. Dinner by Basil AlZeri. Polyhaus (388 Carlaw Ave) – 9PM – adv. $7/$10 at door (dinner free with adv. Tickets)
TCAF – This is it! The parties aren’t over but this is the main event. Two floors of the TRL now belong to those hipster art types. Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge) 9AM-5PM – FREE
The World of Taiyo Matsumoto – An exhibition of original works from Japan’s most innovated manga creators. Japan Foundation Toronto (131 Bloor) – 11AM-5PM
Local Food Spring Celebration – Pop Up Market, y’all. Foodie movers and shakers will be in attendance. Patagonia Toronto (500 King) – 11AM-3PM – Free
Comics vs Games – Narrative Intersections featuring Scott C., Bryan Lee O’Malley, Ben Rivers, Jim Zub, Moderator Miguel Sternberg. Bit Bazaar, Bento Miso (862 Richmond) – 1PM-2:30PM – Free
Funk Off-May-Ham – No maybes. Time to drink, dance, do regrettable things and blame it on the summer heat .The Boat (158 Augusta Ave) – 10PM – $5
Official TCAF Queer Mixer – Featuring Gengoroh Tagame and Maurice Vellekoop. Church on Church (504 Church St) 7PM-10PM – Free 19+
TCAFête 2013 – “After the club is the after party. After the party is the hotel lobby…” and so on. You get the point. It’s the Day One after party! Rub elbows with your fave artist, see them get drunk, lose a little respect for them (or gain some). Sorry, but if you’re not a guest, vendor, volunteer, or staff member this is the only thing during TCAF that’s not free, though it’s only $5. The Pilot Tavern (22 Cumberland) – 10PM-2AM – $5 (or free for TCAF peeps)
XPACE Proposal Workshop – XPACE Cultural Centre would like to help you build your proposal for their upcoming submission proposal deadline. This includes the Main Space, Window Space, Project Space and the External Space (on OCAD U campus). XPACE (303 Lansdowne) – 1-4PM – Free (RSVP to Alicia@xpace.info)
Party Room – Milk Glass Co. 1st Anniversary group show. Featuring works of art from artist os all stripes and mediums with a jovial theme. Milk Glass Co. (1247 Dundas) – 6-10PM – Free
Everyone and their dog is hosting a Mother’s Day Brunch so avoid the usual haunts. Go to these instead.
TCAF Day 2 – Same thing only the next day so the artists and vendors might be hung over. Thank Buddha for the late start. Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge) 11AM-5PM – FREE
Rutu Modan’s The Property – A not to be missed audio/visual presentation by one of the most exciting cartoonists of recent memory. Miles Nadal JCC (750 Spadina) – 5PM-10PM – Free, FCFS.
Grey Kingdom – & Zachary Lucky @ Cameron House (408 Queen St W) – 8PM – $10