The 2013 Toronto Comic Fest – An Orderly Affair!
By Hervé St-Louis
May 11, 2013 - 19:20
The seventh edition of the Toronto Comic Art Festival is underway at the Reference Library of the city of Toronto. This year edition, like others in previous years, is also parallel to the Doug Wright Awards. This year, the Comic Festival welcomed guest cartoonists from several countries such as Taiyo Matsumoto, Boulet, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Chihoi, Ivan Brunetti and Frederik Peeters. Several Canadian cartoonists such as Maurice Vellekoop and Michel Rabagliati are also on hand. The festival, of course comes with a “flea market” area located in the main lobby of the huge library and mixed with other events and patrons using the library as usual.
Unlike other comic book conventions I have attended, the Toronto Comic Fest feels more intimate, although the organizers expect about 20,000 visitors for the weekend. Although there is a dedicated kids’ program at the festival, it felt less like a family affair than other festivals that I have attended, but perhaps that has something to do with the cartoonist orientation of the festival. Although it’s never spelled out clearly, the kind of comics featured by vendors and the guests, are the single author types rather than the popular comics seen elsewhere. That a large city like Toronto can support several kinds of conventions is a pleasurable thing for the local comic book industry.
The organizers have also partnered with the Toronto Library for several years and choosing this site to show such an exhibition is a good thing for both regular library patrons and comics fans. Specific events include Librarian & Educator Day, Other Tongues: International Cartoonists Discuss Their Work in Translation, LEGENDS: The Gay Erotic Art of Maurice Vellekoop & Gengoroh Tagame, and The World of Taiyo Matsumoto – Gallery Show. Of note, there is a program just for kids.
It’s not too late to attend the free festival. Visitors and residents of the Toronto area only have to visit the large Reference Library located midtown near Bloor Street and Yonge, Toronto. The event continues on Sunday, May 12, 2013. For more information visit http://torontocomics.com/
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