Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2009
I'm busy rushing from panel to panel but wanted to start you off with some photos. More info when I break for lunch, and tweets when I can remember to tweet..
It's not a secret that I hate converions. The crowds, the noise, the smell, the hucksterish atmosphere, everything about them. Also, I hate being charged $20 to get inside and spend more money. So it's probably worth emphasizing that the Toronto Comics Arts Festival is an actual arts festival and feels like it. Which is probably why it's my favorite show.
I've sat in two panel discussions today: "Concept Comics" with Scott McCloud, Jason Shiga, Dash Shaw and Tom Kaczynski; and "Manga Around the World" with Deb Aoki, Brian Lee O'Malley, Becky Cloonan, Eric Ko, Jason Thomas, and Antoine Dode. They were both very entertaining and informative, though I'm not sure what the first panel was subbosed ot be about. (Neither were the participants, it seems.) Actually, truth be told, I think the parallel academic track going on sounds fascinating too but getting into those presentations looks like a big pain in the butt.
Oh, and in case you weren't sure how big this show gets, here's a comparison shot...
Last time I was at the show, in 2005, I didn't bring a lot of cash and I sort of regretted that. So this time I bought a lot of cash. Turns out it still wasn't enough. Time to go out and hit the bank...
I left the convention for half an hour and it went from certified to certifiable. This place is packed and hot and full of crazy energy. It's all good. But my shoulder is sore from carrying my laptop around, my wallet is running low, and my clothes are still damp from the last downpour I got caught in. The crowds are getting hard to move through and it's getting hard to remember what I have and haven't seen. On the plus side I got a sketch from Kate Beaton. So day = officially made.
I think I'm going to spend all of tomorrow attending panels. My wallet will thank me.
Photomerge = fail.