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  • TCAF

Sixth Round Featured Guests

We’re less than two weeks out from #TCAF2024! Check out the next round of featured guests who’ll be appearing at the Toronto Reference Library May 11-12, 2024.

Chester Brown was born in Montreal, Canada, on May 16, 1960, and grew up in the nearby suburb of Chateauguay. At nineteen he moved to Toronto where, in 1983, he began self-publishing his work in photocopied mini-comics under the title Yummy Fur. He is best known for Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography, Paying for It: A Comic-Strip Memoir About Being a John.

Özge Samanci, media artist and graphic novelist, is an associate professor in Northwestern University’s School of Communication. Her interactive installations have been exhibited internationally, including Museu do Amanhã, Siggraph Art Gallery, FILE festival, Currents New Media, The Tech Museum of Innovation, WRO Media Art Biennial, Athens International Festival of Digital Arts and New Media, Piksel Electronic Arts Festival, ISEA among others.

Her autobiographical graphic novel Dare to Disappoint (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2015) received international press attention and was positively reviewed in The New York Times, The Guardian, Slate along with many other media outlets. Dare to Disappoint has been translated into six languages. Her drawings appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Slate Magazine, The Huffington Post, Airmail, Guernica, The Rumpus. In 2017, she received the Berlin Prize and she was the Holtzbrinck Visual Arts Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. Her other awards are Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumni Award (2020) from Georgia Institute of Technology and the Artist Fellowship Award in Media Arts (2023) by the Illinois Arts Council.

Tessa Hulls is an artist/writer/adventurer illuminating the connections between the present and the past. As the mixed race daughter of two first generation immigrants who landed in a tiny town of 350 people, she grew up with no models of how she fit within American culture. Her family didn't have TV and the internet didn't yet exist, so she spent her formative years reading her way through the public library and roaming alone through the hills with a backpack full of books (she still does this). This fusion of solitude, research, and forward motion remains the bedrock of her extremely multidisciplinary creative practice.

Tessa went quietly and happily feral in 2011 after a 5,000 mile solo bike ride from southern California to Maine, and her restlessness has joyously dragged her across all seven continents. Her travels have led to everything from bartending in Antarctica to painting murals in Ghana to hosting book clubs in Denali National Park, but these days she is staying still and saying no to pretty much everything in order to focus on her nonfiction graphic novel, Feeding Ghosts (forthcoming March 5,2024 from MCD at Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux)

She is the recipient of grants from The Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and 4Culture, and a fellowship from The Robert B. McMillen Foundation. She received the 2021 Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award, and has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, Hedgebrook, Ucross, and others. As the 2019 awardee of the PEN Northwest Margery Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency, she spent 6.5 months living alone in a remote off grid cabin with no cell service or internet while writing the outline of Feeding Ghosts. She never fully left the woods and has no plans--or desire, or ability-- to truly re-domesticate.

Rick Altergott is the creator of the cartoon character, Doofus, who with his pal, Henry Hothckiss, reside in Flowertown, U.S.A. These two have appeared in tandem in various publications over the years, usually in short gag-oriented "adventures". Now with the release of "Blessed Be", they are embroiled in a book-length story containing the usual lowbrow humor, as well as sexual content, eccentric small town behavior; and Flowertown itself transformed into a battleground between the forces of good and evil! This is the first time Altergott has presented his characters in a full graphic novel setting. He lives in Cranston, Rhode Island with his wife, Ariel Bordeaux , also a cartoonist, and their son, Eddie.

Formerly credited as Emily Carroll, E.M. is the writer and artist of numerous award-winning comics, both online and in print. Their debut horror comics collection, Through the Woods, won both the Eisner Award and the British Fantasy Award in 2015. Recent work includes A Guest in the House, When I Arrived at the Castle, and a graphic novel adaptation of Laurie Halse Anderson's novel Speak. They are also known for the short comics they post on their website. E.M. lives with their wife, Kate, and their two dogs in Ontario, Canada. 

Chris Oliveros was born in 1966 in Montreal and grew up in the nearby suburb of Chomedey, Laval. He founded Drawn & Quarterly in 1989 and was the publisher for the following 25 years. Oliveros stepped down from D+Q in 2015 to work on Are You Willing to Die For The Cause?, a graphic novel about the early years of the Front de libération du Québec.

Colin Upton has been called the “King of Canadian mini-comics”. After dropping out of art school in 1985, he self-published over 300 mini-comics and digests. He also created indie comics Big Thing, Buddha on the Road, and Incubus, and has appeared in numerous comics anthologies. Colin has written about comics, co-hosted two radio shows about comics, and created award-winning cartoon illustrations, concept art for a miniatures line, and cartoons for a movie and for a play. When not creating comics, Colin performed in a garage band, Puke Theatre, and a noise band The Haters. He wargames, paints, collects stuff and creates assemblages for an art movement he created as a joke, Fraud Art. He lives on mental disability in Vancouver with his cat, Gojira.

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