Again, all hail to the mighty Jamie Colville, king of the recording device expertly placed, audio beautifully uploaded and then shared among the masses. If you didn’t go to Toronto Comic Art Festival 2013, then this is the very next best thing. And to check out his wonderfully notated photo galleries…
Comics Defense 101. Moderated by Robin Brenner and on the panel was Gene Ambaum, Charles Brownstein, Diana Maliszewski, Rebecca Scoble and Eva Volin. This panel was about challenges to Graphic Novels, which if successful can result in the book being removed them from the library or School. They started off talking about their more bizarre challenges, everything from Jeff Smith’s Bone to Phoebe Gloeckner’s A Child’s Life. They also talked about push back against comics both from the communities they are in and from staff within the library or school. The librarians and teachers in the audience
asked questions on how to deal with situations they are currently facing. One librarian told a funny story about how a child in her middle school had the Walking Dead TPDs and was
renting them out to his classmates to read at $2 a book, but wanted to house them in the library.
Bill Amend And Raina Telgemeir. This was mainly Raina interviewing Bill but Bill also asked Raina some questions about her career. The panel started with Bill explaining he did a comic strip in a thing
called a newspaper (and showed a really old newspaper, like it’s something most people don’t know about, which generated laughs). He had a sample of his strips that he put on screen and read them in voices. He did this because he learned not to assume that everybody knows his comic strip. Among the topics discussed was pitches prior to Foxtrot.
Bill’s education and his original career plan. He talked about the Foxtrot children’s book called AAAA! and the reason why it was published. Bill also talked about his self published
collection of strips formatted for the iPad. Bill revealed how much of Foxtrot he is creating now and what else he is doing with his time. He answered some questions from the audience and spoke about exchanging letters with Bill Watterson. Raina talked about how comic strips were her artistic influence and how when she was 10 a local teacher handed her a bunch of early Foxtrot comics he photocopied and she had the opportunity to have her art reviewed by Bill but never followed up on it.
The State Of YA Comics. Moderated by Gina Gagliano, Eva Volin, Robin Brenner, Cecil Castellucci, Svetlana Chmakova, Faith Erin Hicks and John Green talks about problems with the YA comics market and what they thought the market needed. They talked about a trend of publishers doing adaptations instead of original work. They all mentioned they like to see more ethnic diversity in the lead characters in YA, and they are hoping for a watershed book that really hits it big that will convince publishers to invest more in doing original work and supporting it. Other topics discussed was how in YA prose they can do things like a sex scene that they can’t do in a YA comic. The topic of Manga came up a lot in regards to it’s content and it’s limitations. They also took questions from the audience.
Comics And Accessibility. Tory Woollcott was the presenter of this panel. She talked about literacy and how she thinks it’s should be about our ability to understand vs. our ability to read. She read from herbook Mirror Mind which is about her experience growing up and being dyslexic. She talked about her experience with kids with a learning disability and explains the label of being illiterate (and by extension, stupid) creates life long self esteem issues that prevents kids from reaching their full potential in life. She also says it’s important to try find these kids and reach out to help them because they won’t talk about their problem. She gave examples of books that help kids with leaning disabilities like wordless books for various age groups and graphic novel adaptations of more famous books. She answered questions from the audience about dealing with people who feel that reading comics isn’t “real” reading and other stereotypes about comics. She also talked about her 5 ticks on what moves a book out of all ages category and into a higher age bracket.
Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez interview by Tom Spurgeon This was a special ticketed event held on Friday night. It was a Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez interview by Tom Spurgeon. To start off the night Ab Velasco of the Toronto Reference
Library talked about why the library hosts TCAF and why they think the event is great. Then TCAF organizer Chris Butcher came on and talked a bit about his history with the Beguiling and TCAF. Tom then proceeded with the interview. While Tom spoke he showed pictures of the Hernandez brothers art and a few pictures of them. Among the topics they talked about was when they knew they would be doing comics for a living, changing the format of Love and Rockets while it was being published, their place in comics when they started eg, not underground or mainstream, doing longer stories within Love and Rockets, their work outside of Love and Rockets and why they did them, Love and Rocket covers, character design, drawing with a 6 panel grid, being at this for 30 years and how it’s like to be the older established pro in comics industry. They also answered some questions from the audience.
Comics Adaptations. On the panel were creators who had adapted a book (or book series) into a graphic novel. The creators were Hope Larson, Raina Telgemeier, Daniel Lafrance and Svetlana Chmakova. The panel was moderated by Scott Robins. The group had talked about what makes a good adaptation, why they chose to adapt somebody else’s work, the positive and challenging parts of doing comic adaptations, working with the author or their estate if they are no longer alive, editing the book as they are adapting it in particular with modifying dialogue, what they learn and take to their own works after adapting somebody else’s story and if they would let somebody adapt their own creator owned work into another medium.
Michel Rabagliati Spotlight. Brigid Alverson interviews Michel Rabagliati on his series of Graphic Novels. The two talked about the new book Paul joins the Scouts. He mentions that it takes place when the FLQ (a Quebec Terrorist group) were bombing mailboxes and that environment is the backdrop of the story. He also talks about the catholic aspect of the book and they are highly involved with the scouting organization. Rabagliati also talked about his work in general, saying the stories are 80% autobiographical. He revealed his process of how he creates his books, going from writing to drawing. He explained where computers take part in the creative process and how he got his daughter involved in doing the toning of the book. He also talked about the books being translated from Quebec French to different languages. Rabagliati revealed a bit about his 8th book that he is working on now.
Writing Life. On this panel were creators that did autobiographical non-fiction Graphic Novels. They were Derf, Lucy Knisley, Ulli Lust and Raina Telgemeier. The group talked about their books. They felt there was a difference between non-fiction and memoir books and spoke about how different people remember events differently. Derf spoke about how he was able to go back and talk to his high school friends about events with Jeffery Dahmer and revealed that people usually remembered things pretty much the same way. They also talked about depicting other people they know (eg family members) and if their reaction to it changes the way they tell a story. The group talked about if they leave stuff out of their comics and if some personal stories are “not for sale.” This panel was moderated by Robin Brenner.
Michael Kupperman Spotlight. Michael Kupperman entertains the crowd by reading some of his comics and showed an animated short. Among the comic he read from was one that was supposed to be in the Greatest American Comics series, but was rejected due to legal concerns. Kupperman answers questions from moderator Jacquelene Cohen and the audience. Among the topics discussed was his children affecting his humor, his stand up comedy, how “dream logic” affects his work, pop culture influences, characters he likes to use, the changes in his art over the years.
Doug Wright Awards 2013
Introduction of nominee’s and sponsor appreciation by Brad Mackay.
Opening monologue by Scott Thompson.
Pigskin Peters Hat/Award: David Collier for Hamilton Illustrated (Wolsak & Wynn).
Seth gives an appreciation of David’s work (until David stops him by smacking him with a seat cushion).
Spotlight Award (AKA “The Nipper”): Nina Bunjevac for Heartless (Conundrum Press).
Julie Delporte gives an appreciation of Nina Bunjevac’s book.
Albert Chartier was inducted into The Giants Of The North hall of fame.
An appreciation was done by Jimmy Beaulieu and Guy Badeaux (Bado).
Best Book: The Song of Roland by Michel Rabagliati (Conundrum Press).
Joe Ollman gives an appreciation of Michel Rabagliati and explains why the jury chose his book.
Closing by Brad Mackay.