There are a ton of cycling events happening in the city this summer. Here are a few coming up in the next few weeks:
(via City of Toronto)
Toronto SpeakEasy, a monthly gathering of the city’s creative community, hosts its annual Comic Book Show this coming Thursday, Nov 5, 8pm-midnight at the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen West, second floor lobby).
The main event is in the evening, but I think you might be able to pop in any time during the day to check it out. It’s pay what you can, but suggested donation is $4. Official blurb from the SpeakEasy web site.
Toronto is home to some of the best-known comics artists in North America. We have an active and vibrant community putting out some of the highest quality comics to be found anywhere. The SpeakEasy Comics Show features an eclectic mix of Toronto’s talented comic book artists – from those who do newspaper strips and political cartoons, to underground comix and mainstream superhero comic books! The event promises to display an exciting cross-section of the comics’ community here in Toronto, as well as a glimpse into how good comics are made. As the old cliché goes, there really will be something for everyone.
The complete list of exhibitors includes:
Hard Drive issue #1, Cyberpunk Comics
Toronto Comic Arts Festival (featuring work by Marc Bell, Darwyn Cooke, Evan Dorkin, James Jean, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Seth and more)
- Matthew Daley
- Ian Daffern, Freelance Blues
- DMF Comics & Elsewhere Media, Chris Hatzopoulos & George Todorovski
- George Michael Faust
- Gibson Quarter
- Lamin Martin
- Awesome Marcus Ninja, Joel Buxton & Shane Heron
- rutz (a.k.a. Ruth Tait), Talking Pictures
- David James
- Ben Rivers
- Dale Camus
- Greg Dunford, Cyberpunkcomics.com
- Shane Kirshenblatt Freefall Entertainment
- The Joe Shuster Awards
This is the big Word weekend across Canada. The Word on the Street book and magazine festival will be celebrated Sunday, Sept 27 in Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax, and Kitchener. Comics blog Sequential has done a good job highlighting comic related WoTS events. Check it out.
It turns out May was Ontario Graphic Novel Month. This is about the strangest concept/event I’ve ever heard in relations to comics. I really like the idea, it just sounds odd. Even so, I missed it entirely – probably because I wasn’t able to attend TCAF earlier this year. It seems to be aligned with Open Book Toronto, and launched around the time of TCAF also coinciding with Free Comic Book Day, both of which are in May.
You can read the how and the why of OGNM here. I’m glad curator Ian Daffern of Vepo Studios called out the talent that he did. There is also lots of content on the site: Clayton Hammer’s How I got into comics, CTON’s favourite comic, a whole selection of Q&As with creators and some video too.
It’s great they hooked up with Open Book. Not only does it give them a little bit more exposure, but I get upset when comics aren’t incorporated into reading initiatives like Open Book. Because the point of Open Book, after all, is to encourage people to use our library system, which is fantastic if you didn’t already know. There are so many comics in the Toronto library, I’m afraid to tell people about it because I’m worried everyone will start using it and my holds will take forever to fill.
Open Book also helps our local book retailers – who also happen to sell comics. So you can image my disappointment when bookstores don’t include a comic once in a while on their promotional tables. I was in McNally Robinson this week – a family-owned Winnipeg-based bookstore I respect for its great comics selection – and the summer reading tables were stacked with books. But were there any comics? No. And that too upsets me mostly because there is so much top notch Canadian and Toronto comics talent it’s easy to find a book deserving of greater exposure in the store.