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Programming For TCAF 2023, Digital Marketplace, & More!

Word Balloon Academy, programming for adults and kids, the Digital Marketplace, and more are BACK at TCAF 2023! This will be a rather lengthy blog post–and we’ll have more to announce very soon–but it has tons of awesome information about what you can expect from this year’s festival, so dig in!





Kicking off the weekend of programming on April 28th, TCAF will host its annual day of skills-building and career management for comics creators with a jam-packed schedule of presentations, panels, and workshops through our Word Balloon Academy (WBA).


REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED for these events! Register here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/word-balloon-academy-2023-tickets-609685083497


What to expect from a day of WBA? Well, starting off bright and early at 9 AM on Friday (the 28th), after providing coffee and snacks, we will launch into several different workshops and panels focusing on the business and creative sides of the industry.


On the business side, we will have a returning popular pair of back-to-back sessions on copyright 101 and publishing agreements. Entertainment lawyers from Edwards Creative Law will host more relaxed, conversational, and informative lessons around the law of creating comics. Publishers from the frontline trenches of comics creation and distribution will paint a picture of day-to-day business, including Drawn & Quarterly, Renegade Arts Entertainment, and Conundrum Press.


On the creative side, we will have panels exploring topics such as: “How to Make Comics When You Can’t Draw,” techniques for writing long-form comics, making horror comics in six pages or less, and more! These panels will have industry veterans leading them, such as Joy San, Benjamin Rivers, and Kelvin Nyeusi-Mawazo of Black Sun Comics!


Programming for WBA Will run from 8 AM until 5 PM on the 28th. So don’t miss out!


Again, registration is REQUIRED for these events. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/word-balloon-academy-2023-tickets-609685083497





Starting with our kick-off panel Friday night and running through the April 29th - 30th weekend, TCAF will have a variety of programming for everyone to enjoy!


Starting at 6:30 PM on the 28th, TCAF’s Kick-Off Panel, Hurt Land, will discuss creating comics as we slide towards dystopia and have our featured guests Cole Pauls, Jesse Jacobs, and Nina Bunjevac there to discuss.


Then, on the 29th and 30th, we will have a wide range of Cartoonist in Conversation discussions, workshops, presentations, and more. Programming will run from 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and from 11 AM to 4 PM on Sunday. Here are some of the topics that will be discussed:

  • Cartoonists in Conversation: Living In Laneha House with Featured guests Lawrence Lindell and Breena Nuñez,

  • Publisher in Conversation- ShortBox For The Win with Zainab Akhtar and Annie Koyama

  • Graphic Medicine for Kids and Teens

  • Indigeneity and Comics Medium as an Action for Change

  • And MUCH, much more!



There will also be programming outside the TCAF venue, so keep your eyes peeled for our late-night programming announcement in the coming weeks!





For the kids, we have partnered with Story Planet to host creative writing workshops to inspire their imaginations and help them tell stories while building literacy skills and confidence in the value of their words and ideas. Story Planet is a nonprofit organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of children and young people in Toronto's equity-seeking communities.


The programming will be offered to kids of all ages, with some events catering to children of certain age groups. Come join the fun as artists like Scott Chantler get kids from the audience to help him make a Jam Comic while learning about comic storytelling, or attend storytime with Franny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault as they read from their newest graphic novel Forever Truffle, and attend a comic workshop to have your kids make their own comics!


Programming for kids will run from 10 AM until 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, look at the programming portion of our website, here.





Digital Programming will take place during TCAF, but will also be available before and after our festival too! That’s right, in the week leading up to the in-person festival we’ll be hosting programming events in some pre-recorded discussions with artists like Kate Beaton, Dave Ortega, Anoosha Syed, and Chris W. Kim that will be available as early as April 21st! We will be hosting viewing parties on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@TorontoComics) so visit our website here to see the full schedule! You will be able to view this content at any time as well once it has been posted, but we would love to have you there with us for the viewings as some of the artists will be there in the chat to answer your burning questions! For more information, look at the programming portion of our website.





The TCAF Digital Marketplace will be returning this year, opening on April 21st until May 7th! To check out all we have to offer, visit tcaf-digital-marketplace.myshopify.com, as it will be your online TCAF destination! Showcasing 700+ comics, zines, graphic novels, art prints, and other amazing items from 90+ artists, publishers, and comics creators from all over the world.


Join us for these great in-person and digital programs at the Toronto Reference Library at 789 Yonge St, or online at torontocomics.com.


Questions? Feel free to email us at registration@torontocomics.com We look forward to seeing you in Toronto or online!



In order to support our efforts to expand accessibility to our programs, TCAF is launching a Crowdfundr campaign this year! Any funds contributed go towards supporting Access TCAF, our partnership with Retreat, and expanding our ability to provide ASL interpretation for our programming. Head to crowdfundr.com/torontocomics to donate!


That’s all…for now! We are so excited to see you all in less than a month. Keep tuned into our social media accounts (@torontocomics) on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates and sign up for notifications from our website. See you soon!


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