Tuesday, May 11
TCAF, a Hopping Good Time!
Crossing the Canadian border can be a little nerve-smushing when going into Canada, but is almost always simple and easy as long as you're honest and polite. BUT every time I come back into America, no matter how I act, the crossing guard is always a dick. I want to believe it's a coincidence but it has only happened each of the half-dozen or so times I've done it.
This time my friend Stephen (pictured above) was driving. The guard gruffly asked how long we had been in Canada, what we were doing, where we were staying and all that. All standard stuff. We told him the truth: we were seeing friends and going to a comic convention in Toronto. He asked if we went into Toronto often and we said not really. He then asked, "how can you have friends in Toronto if you don't go there often?" Stephen, a little flustered, said, "um, through the comics circuit."
Eventually he let us through, but we all had that feeling that you get when you're confronted, and made to feel like you did something awful, even though you didn't. We teased Stephen for using the phrase, "comics circuit," because it sounds ridiculous and cheesy, but we do have many friends in the comics circuit, and we did see them this weekend at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. And we had an amazing time alongside them, exhibiting our comics to the fine people of Toronto. I have fond memories and a positive feeling about this weekend, in spite of the jerk at the border.
I realize that I always post these pictures of the books I picked up at a convention. I realize that a lot of people do. And I realize that it might look like I'm trying to show off all the stuff I got, or whatever, but the truth is that I'm intensely proud of the purchases, trades and gifts that I receive at these shows and I want to show them to you. And if you're one of the generous who sold, traded or gifted one of these items to me I want you to know that I'm proud to have been a part of that transaction with you. I spend most of my life behind a table drawing, coloring, folding, printing or writing. So I'm thrilled when I get to stand behind a table and make a connection with a real person. And when I know that that person has been putting in hours behind their own table drawing, coloring, writing and all that, it strengthens my endurance for when I go back home to my own table.
To everyone who bought something from me, I am forever grateful. I wish I could arrange all of YOU on the floor and take a picture. My dog would LOVE that. He loves to jump on bellies.
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is a phenomenal convention. The biggest testament I can think of to say about it right now is that if I had ANY complaints about the way the show was run last year (the bottle-necking of attendee traffic is the only one I can think of) they were remedied expertly. And the venue (pictured above) is by far my favorite, the Toronto Reference Library.
I don't know much about how it is to be an attendee, but as an exhibitor I felt thoroughly taken care of throughout the entire experience, between the emails before the show giving tips on crossing the border and up-to-date weather statuses to convention staff offering to make change for us when we ran out and bringing water and garbage bags when we needed it.
Thanks to everyone involved in the show.
I traveled with my buddies Jon Chad, Colleen Frakes, and Alexis Frederick-Frost.
Colleen has a great (better) write-up of the show HERE.
and tabled with JP Coovert, Alexis, and Stephen Floyd of OnePercentPress.
The Chicken Bastilla Pie, from my favorite restaurant in Toronto, the Butler's Pantry.
A sketch I did for Brett Warnock's Teen Titans sketchbook that he passes around for cartoonists to do illustrations for his son. I think a themed sketchbook is a brilliant gift idea.
We made it to the Beguiling, but it was closed so Stephen chatted with Tintin and Snowy for a minute.
I am OBSESSED with trying to do a bicycle type kick, or whatever it is you call it when Michael Jordan moves his legs like he's running while he dunks. Or maybe I'm thinking Yoshi's flutter jump? Above, I am trying to teach Tintin the hop.
Might as well jump.
There are a couple more photos on my flickr.