Each year, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) provides a unique experience for me. This one reignited by interest editorial cartoons and provided the opportunity to meet some very interesting and warm people from that world I would not have otherwise met.
I attended the Doug Wright Awards for the first time, which I had never seriously considered for whatever reason. I’m already looking forward to next May. (Look for a follow-up post on my awards experience in the coming days.)
I was especially glad to reconnect with Terry “Aislin” Mosher with whom I used to collaborate when I worked at Maclean’s magazine. He has the same passion today for promoting cartooning talent as nearly a decade ago. A veteran (dare I say, legend?) of the Canadian political cartoon scene, he was inducted into the cartoonist hall of fame, aka Giants of the North, over the weekend. Why did it take so long to recognize this talent? Hopefully he can take consolation in the Order of Canada award he’s already received.
Coming out of the weekend, I realized graphic novelists and editorial cartoonists operate in silos and rarely cross paths. I’m not entirely sure why I was surprised by this – it’s unfortunate but completely understandable. However, the Doug Wright Awards did a very good job of trying to break down the wall by inviting Terry in their front door. I think a lot of the editorial cartoonists invited to the show were exposed to some fresh talent. And I would hope many of the comic artists were inspired by Terry’s prolific output.
Among the artists I met is Wes Tyrell, whose work is very cool. Please check out his portfolio. I’m especially fond of his caricature of BBC host Andrew Graham Dixon styled after Daniel Clowes.
READ ALSO: Five tips for making the most of TCAF