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Toronto Reference Library, Salon

6:30 PM Kick-off Panel: The Next 20 Years

Come celebrate 20 years with TCAF at the Festival’s opening kickoff! We’ve seen a lot of amazing creators come through the festival over the last two decades, but for tonight’s celebration, we want to highlight great new voices taking over the industry right now: Lee Lai (Stone Fruit) Kat Simmers (Pass Me By), Conor Stechschulte (Ultrasound), and Akane Torikai (Sensei’s Pious Lie). These creators have their fingers on the pulse of the comics industry. What new directions are they taking it in? What important stories are there left to tell? What are the gaps still left to fill in this industry? We’ll talk about all this and more in the opening panel.




Toronto Reference Library, Hinton Learning Theatre


10:00 AM Akane Torikai Spotlight

Manga creator Akane Torikai makes her North American comics festival debut at TCAF 2022! In Sensei’s Pious Lie, Torikai explores the intersections of sex, violence, gender, and power through her naturalistic style and painful honesty. Join veteran manga critic Brigid Alverson in this thought-provoking and revealing panel on Torikai’s groundbreaking work.


11:00 AM Freddy Carrasco Spotlight

In this conversation with Freddy Carrasco, we will explore themes of escapism, fragility of love, alienation and the commercialization of youth culture told specifically through the lens of a Black man. Drawing from his works Hot Summer Nights and GLEEM, we’ll discuss some of the different styles Carrasco employs to deliver a surrealist take on the day to day.


12:00 PM Final Fantasy

Do you hear that? That’s the call to adventure! Join Stephanie Cooke (Oh My Gods! Paranorthern) and Jo Rioux (Cat’s Cradle) as they take us on an adventure-filled romp through their middle-grade fantasy books. How are alternate realities shaped by the fantasy genre? What wonderful creatures crop up in these stories? How can fantasy comics flip our everyday social scripts and expectations? Why are fantasy comics such a great genre for coming-of-age tales? All this and more will be explored by these creators.


1:00 PM Happy 25th birthday to Conundrum Press! 

Over the last quarter century, the press has proudly published work by an incredibly diverse range of artists, including Meags Fitzgerald, Shary Boyle, Billy Mavreas, Max de Radiguès, Jillian Tamaki, Cole Pauls, Aimée de Jongh, Michel Rabagliati, Stanley Wany, and Dakota McFadzean and many, many others. Join publisher Andy Brown and panelists Joe Ollmann, Nina Bunjevac, and Sonja Ahlers as they reflect on the accomplishments and adventures of the last 25 years and look ahead at what’s to come. 

2:00 PM Liquid Landscapes

Liquid Landscapes explores how landscape is an essential part of world creation in comics that affects the action and characters. On this panel, Ben Marra (Disciples), Geneviève Lebleu (Weeding), and Michael Deforge (Birds of Maine, Heaven No Hell) discuss both the practical processes that go into creating and designing these landscapes, but also the surreal! What goes into creating landscapes either real or imaginary? Whether natural or architectural, what are the different considerations creators make when world building in the comics medium? Are there different approaches when working in colour or black and white? Come explore these comic worlds and how they’re created!


3:00 PM Emily Hampshire Conjures Magic with Amelia Aierwood

This autumn, actress Emily Hampshire will cast a spell of delight and whimsy over readers with Amelia Aierwood: Basic Witch. The breakout star of Schitt's Creek and the upcoming sci-fi series The Rig will jump from the screen to the panel in the charming tale of a black-sheep witch struggling in the shadow of her reality-show family. Join Emily and special guests as she shows an exclusive, enchanting preview of her upcoming graphic novel.


4:00 PM Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot It in People, The Graphic Novel

This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of You Forgot It in People — Broken Social Scene's iconic statement of post-millennial indie rock. To celebrate this immense achievement, the Toronto-based collective is collaborating with Z2 Comics for Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It in People, The Graphic Novel. A series of interlocking vignettes, the project unites a collection of Canada's most talented cartoonists, mirroring the creation of its inspiring album. Join BSS members Kevin Drew, Justin Peroff, and Brendan Canning alongside writer Lonnie Nadler and artists Renee Nault, Scott Chantler, and more for an exclusive first look at this ambitious new project.

Toronto Reference Library, Learning Centre 1


10:00 AM Seth Spotlight: The Art of Multimedia

One of Canada’s preeminent cartoonists, Seth discusses his career trajectory and latest work with fellow cartoonist and curator Diana Tamblyn. This panel takes a deep dive into Seth’s work and contributions to the comics medium from his early autobiographical confessional comics, the launch of Palookaville, original graphic novel work (Wimbledon Green, It’s a Good Life If You Don’t Weaken), to his diverse array of design work including model building, anthology and collection designs (Peanuts, Elephant and the Projector), and multiform works (Omnis Temporalis).


11:00 AM (IM)Migration in Comics

Uprooting your life and migrating from one place to another isn’t easy whether it’s in the past, present, or future. Mikëal (Bootblack), Rumi Hara (Peanutbutter Sisters), and Marta Chudolinska (Babcia) discuss their different conceptions of immigrant stories and how New York City pervades the psyche of the immigration story whether in fantasy or reality. Come and find out how comics tell and shape stories about migration, its opportunities and struggles. Presented with the support of the Consulate General of France in Toronto. 


12:00 PM Water and Wash Days

In this panel we explore the works of Jamila Rowser (The Wash Day Diaries), Robyn Smith, (The Wash Day Diaries) and Johnnie Christmas (Swim Team). Moderated by Casandra Fullwood, we take a deep dive in the shared, yet deeply personal experiences of Black hair care, and the importance of these stories in slice-of-life fashion.


1:00 PM Queer Crossroads

What do you do when you don’t fit into society’s neat little boxes and categories? When you don't fit into a set of prescribed binary choices, but stand at a crossroads of multiple identities? In this panel, Catherine Castro (Call Me Nathan), Lee Lai (Stone Fruit), and Rhael Macgregor (Tinder, Earth Angel, Small Big Gay) explore how a medium full of little boxes can work to disrupt binary understandings of identity — whether gender, sexuality, or relationships — to create robust queer narratives. Presented with the support of the Consulate General of France in Toronto. 


2:00 PM THIS IS THE REMIX: Golden Age Hip Hop & Silver Age Comics / The Black Nerds in Conversation with Beddo

This program explores the work of Toronto-based artist Beddo, known for creating amazing variant covers of classic comic book issues with the golden age of hip hop. Moderated by Edgar Ndogo of The Black Nerds, we’re in for an exciting in-depth discussion about hip hop and comics. UDEJA, Beddo’s comic book, is debuting at TCAF this year!


3:00 PM Strange New Worlds, Same Old Problems

A starship captain might think that space is the final frontier, but what my theory presupposes is “what if the final frontier is humanity itself?” Deep, I know. Science fiction is always a mirror for the present and these creators have that mirror polished to a sheen. Open hailing frequencies with featured guests Freddy Carrasco (Gleem), Jenn Woodall (Space Trash Vol. 1) Zviane (Football-Fantaisie), and moderator Mark Askwith for this discussion on how to present the present in strange, new ways.


4:00 PM Aimée de Jongh Spotlight

Aimée de Jongh (Blossoms in Autumn, The Return of the Honeybuzzard, Taxi!) talks about her two latest books: the prize-winning Days of Sand (SelfMadeHero), a moving and unforgettable tale, inspired by real-life stories of courage and perseverance during the Dust Bowl of 1930s America, and Destination: Canada, a project created in association with the Dutch Consulate in Toronto about 10 Dutch emigrants who decided to build a new life in Canada between 1945 and 2022. Jimmy Aquino (Comic News Insider) interviews.





Toronto Reference Library, Workshop Discussion Room


11:00 AM InvestiCREATORS!

Join John Patrick Green, author of the InvestiGators series, as he tells you his comic book origin story, and introduces you to the first steps for creating your own cartoon characters and comics!


12:00 PM WHAT to Draw, not HOW to Draw

There are a thousand decisions for artists to make on every comics page. But how do you even begin to make them? Crack the code of comics storytelling with acclaimed cartoonist Scott Chantler, who leads a how-to-make-comics workshop focused on content, not drawing ability or art style.


1:00 PM Backside to the Drawing Board Part 1: Indigenous Storytelling through Illustration

In this workshop local artist Cal Badger will be covering the three “L’s”: Layout, Location, Lighting. Participants will learn the basics regarding how to convey a sense of place, time, mood, and emotion through a live drawing. Participants will be provided with a template for those who wish to draw along with Cal during the workshop. Presented in partnership with the 519.


2:00 PM INKPULP INSTRUCTION presents: Traditional Brush Inking with Shawn Crystal

Watch and learn as Shawn inks a drawing from beginning to end, using a brush and ink. Along the way, Shawn will discuss the theories and techniques behind his unique approach to inking. He will teach the concept of using a containment line, and how to create the illusion of a value system using only black ink. Shawn has been inking his own comics for the past 20 years, working for such publishers as Marvel, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Oni Press, Boom, Valiant, and others. He has started a new school that teaches the art of making comics. Shawn Crystal’s appearance is courtesy of R.A.I.D!


3:00 PM Writing and Drawing Difficult Topics for Kids Comics

There are many difficult topics young children deal with every day. Sickness. War. Immigration. Personal and historical tragedies. This workshop will explore the creative process behind Giju’s Gift, a graphic novel that explores the residential school system and its legacy, for readers ages 6-8. Creators Brandon Mitchell and Veronika Barinova discuss character design and development, along with building a story that connects young readers with difficult subject matter. They will also share how they collaborated in a virtual setting.





Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Auditorium (Kids Zone)


11:00 AM Illustrating a Picture Book with Anoosha Syed

Join author Anoosha Syed as shares her latest picture book, That's Not My Name, and how she illustrates her books. 


12:00 PM Making Kids Books with Katherine Battersby

Join Katherine, creator of the Cranky Chicken book series, for a fun and interactive session all about the process of making her critically acclaimed children's books. Find out where she gets her ideas and how they develop into characters that amble across the page. Get an insight into how she makes her textured artwork and discover how she combines words and images to create her playful stories. Kids will also enjoy several interactive book readings and live illustration games and activities.


1:00 PM Character Creation with Story Planet!

Want to make your own cartoon character? John Story Planet creators Sameena and KayGeni as they walk you through a character creation workshop with fun prompts!


2:00 PM Create a Family of Characters with Story Planet!

Now that you have a main character, how do you create a cast of characters around them? Join Story Planet creators KayGeni and Sabrina, who show you how to make a fun family of characters!





Toronto Reference Library, Hinton Learning Theatre



These Canadian creators have carved out a name for themselves in comics over the past two decades, but it wasn’t easy! Join us as Seth (Omnis Temporalis, Clyde Fans, It’s a Good Life, George Sprott), Ramón Pérez (Kukuburi, Stillwater, Tale of Sand, Jane), Ho Che Anderson (King, Godhead, Luke Cage), and Andy Brown (Conundrum Press) discuss the ups and downs of comics spanning the last twenty years. What did they wish they knew when they started? What could they not have expected? How did they pivot, change, and adjust alongside the comics industry, or maybe force it to change through their work? What are the expanding possibilities of diversifying to other media or using various social media streams to create and promote comics?


12:00 PM Artists on Artists: John Patrick Green and Marlyn Spaaij in Conversation

You’ve probably watched those Actors on Actors videos on YouTube, right? Well, this is that but it’s comics. Join John Patrick Green (Investigators) and Marlyn Spaaij (Sisters of the Mist) in this intimate conversation about their careers and journeys creating comics. From other career opportunities, to breaking a graphic novel, and spending countless hours at a drawing board.


1:00 PM Adventuretime (Not the Show)

Come grab your friends to talk about adventure! From escaping rolling boulders to swashbuckling on the high seas, there are a million different configurations of action set pieces and adventure storytelling. Join an incredible line up of creators, Terry Dodson (AdventureMan), Jim Zub (Dungeons & Dragons, Wayward), Sweeney Boo (Over My Dead Body, Marvel Action), and Henry Barajas (Helm Greycastle), as they discuss how comics make the best action and how to make the best action in comics.


2:00 PM Artists Talking to Artists: Experiments in Storytelling

There’s more than one way to make a comic! Sonja Ahlers (Swan Song) and Rumi Hara (The Peanutbutter Sisters) prove this through their experimental approach to comics. These creators push the boundaries of visual-verbal storytelling through zine-making, home printing, collage, diary writing, and more. Unrestricted by genre of form, come explore the edges of the comics-making universe with these experimental creators.


3:00 PM Premiere Screening: Neil Gaiman in Conversation with Mark Askwith (Pre-recorded)

Perhaps it’s easier to discuss what Neil Gaiman hasn’t done! The prolific creator behind such works as Coraline, American Gods, Good Omens, Stardust, Sandman, Swamp Thing, Secret Origins, The Book of Magic, The Eternals, and Batman, will be joined by Mark Askwith (Prisoners of Gravity, Space, and CHUM/CTV). Together, Gaiman and Askwith saw the beginning of the Toronto comics scene and its influence on other media like television and film. In this interview, they discuss the shifting shape of comics and delve into making comics, both then and now. Join us for this pre-recorded talk at this exclusive screening.



Toronto Reference Library, Learning Centre 1


11:00 AM The Finer Things: Painting and Comics

While comics have gained esteem in art circles over the last 20 years, there’s still an apex medium when it comes to the world of fine art: painting. Creators Stanley Wany (Helem) and Conor Stechschutle (Ultrasound) have both made careers where they have straddled the worlds of painting, fine arts, and comics. Where does the stationary world of the gallery meet the kinetic action of a comic? What can artists learn from each practice? Heidi Macdonald (Publishers Weekly) moderates.


12:00 PM Helping Yourself Through Comics

It can be difficult navigating the negativity and social injustice around you. It can feel overwhelming and demoralizing. You might not know how to reach out for help. This panel explores heartwarming, humorous, and informational self-help comics through the work of S. Bergman and Saul Freedman-Lawson’s Special Topics in Being a Human and Isabella Rotman’s A Quick and Easy Guide to Consent and Wait, What? A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up. Join us and learn a little bit about these topics, and maybe even about yourself!


1:00 PM Joe Ollmann Spotlight

In this interview, Joe Ollmann discusses his long career leading up to his tremendous work, Fictional Father, the first ever graphic narrative to be nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award in fiction. In his early days, Ollmann was best known as a contributor to the Hamilton Spectator and Exclaim! until he began self-publishing collections of short comics in his anthologized series Wag!. Winner of the Doug Wright Award for This Will All End in Tears, Ollmann’s energetic and chaotic style continued to evolve in works like Mid-Life and The Abominable Mr. Seabrook, and curatorial indie cartoon projects like This Is Serious. Join us as we explore and chart the evolution of Joe Ollmann’s exciting and enduring career.


2:00 PM Nordic Bridges

Nordic culture is rich in storytelling traditions, and they have the comic books to prove it! Join Swedish researcher, journalist and author Fredrik Strömberg (Swedish Comics History, Black Images in the Comics, The Comics Go to Hell, Jewish Images in the Comics and Comic Art Propaganda) in conversation with Anneli Furmark (Walk Me to the Corner) Amanda Vähämäki (Souvlaki Circus; The Bun Field), and Tatiana Goldberg (Kijara: Overløber). Join these talented creators as they discuss the unique culture of comics in their respective countries, and how their own work fits inside the landscape of Nordic comic art.


3:00 PM Inner Journeys: Grief, Love, and Neurodiversity

The beginning of a story is also the beginning of an emotional journey. Perhaps nothing captures the inner journey better than the comics form. Join Joshua Kremble (Jacob’s Apartment), Bex Ollerton (Sensory: Life on the Spectrum; Lavender Clouds), and Kat Simmers (Pass Me By) as they discuss how they bring the inner journeys of their characters to life on the comics page — whether it involves experiencing grief, dementia, autism, or ADHD.





Toronto Reference Library, Workshop Discussion Room


11:00 AM Publishing by the Seat of Your Pants

A journey of self-publishing comic books from the humble days of handmade zines to working with print companies on high end hardcover editions, Troy Little and Brenda Hickey (Butterfly House) have worked the spectrum when it comes to self-publishing, often by jumping in and learning as they went. Here they share their experience to inspire and guide other creators looking to go down this path.


12:00 PM Architecture in Comics (A French Language Workshop with Translation)

Mikaël presents his way of drawing New York City to make it a living character in his stories and talks about his way of integrating architecture into his storytelling. This workshop will be presented as a French language workshop with English translation. Presented with the support of the Consulate General of France in Toronto.




1:00 PM Backside to the Drawing Board Part 2: Giving Your Characters that Extra Dimension

In this workshop, Cal Badger will demonstrate how to make your characters pop! Together, we’ll explore how to apply texture, perspective, fabric, and hair through a live drawing. By the end of the workshop participants will have a better understanding of how these elements work together to enhance characters and storytelling. Presented in partnership with the 519.


2:00 PM Creature Feature with Alexis Deacon

Join the creator of Curse of the Chosen as he details the art of drawing fantasy creatures! How does Alexis draw those little bone-creatures that the sorceress uses to spy on people? Learn how to get the most out of drawing unconventional characters!





Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Auditorium (Kids Zone)


11:00 AM Drawing Emotions Out of Characters with Rosena Fung 

Create unique characters and draw different emotions with Rosena Fung, the creator of Living With Viola! In this workshop, there will be a live drawing event while participants learn to design characters, as well as different techniques to capture various emotions. We will then use these design tips for some fun and wacky drawing prompts! 


12:00 PM Three Panel Story Making with Story Planet!

Making comics is as easy as 1, 2, 3 panels! Join Story Planet creators Vincy and Pranavi as they take you through creating your own 3-panel comic!


1:00 PM Making Stories for Characters with Story Planet!

You have a great idea for a character, now what? How to make a story to go with a character? Find out with the help of Story Planet creators Pranavi and Vincy!



Available June 21-26 on YouTube


Neil Gaiman in conversation with Mark Askwith

Perhaps it’s easier to discuss what Neil Gaiman hasn’t done! The prolific creator behind such works as Coraline, American Gods, Good Omens, Stardust, Sandman, Swamp Thing, Secret Origins, The Book of Magic, The Eternals, and Batman, will be joined by Mark Askwith (Prisoners of Gravity, Space, and CHUM/CTV). Together, Gaiman and Askwith saw the beginning of the Toronto comics scene and its influence on other media like television and film. In this interview, they discuss the shifting shape of comics and delve into making comics, both then and now. Click here to watch

Hope Larson Spotlight

Navigating the ups and downs of teen stardom can be hard, but it’s always better when you have your friends beside you. Eisner Award winning author and illustrator Hope Larson (All Summer Long, All Together Now, All My Friends, Salamander Dreams, Chiggers, Mercury) sits down to talk about her popular Eagle Rock series, the magic of art in bringing people together, and the importance of friends and family in growing up and rocking out.


Kids Detective Comics

What’s better than a mystery? Solving it of course! Get out your magnifying glasses, dust off your deerstalker hats, and follow the trail of clues right to this panel! John Patrick Green (InvestiGATORS) along with Nathan Page and Drew Shannon (The Montague Twins) solve some of the mysteries of making great comics for young readers! Click here to watch


Seeing Sounds

Seeing Sounds returns with Volume 2. A collaboration between TCAF and Loop Sessions Toronto, Seeing Sounds is an event featuring a roster of three illustrators performing a live drawing session. The illustrators will be complemented by a roster of three beatmakers to provide a live soundtrack for an evening of creativity and great vibes. Click here to watch


Magic, Realism, and Magicrealism: Creating Queer Comics

Sometimes the best way to communicate queer experiences is in a completely realistic way. Other times it’s best to communicate those experiences in a completely magical way. And there are even times where communicating them in a magic realism way is best! How do real worlds or magical worlds impact telling queer stories? Find out as we talk to creators Joris Bas Backer (Kisses for Jet), Axelle Lenoir (Secret Passages) and The Kao (Magical Boy) about creating their queer comics.


Family Ties: Personal and Global Conflicts in Comics

Whether it’s a deeply personal issue like facing an eating disorder, or a global issue like war or immigration, it will affect not only you but also your family. How do personal and global conflicts impact our own identities and our family relationships? Join Maggie Edkins Willis (Smaller Sister), Fabien Toulmé (Hakim’s Odyssey), and Dave Ortega (Días de Consuelo) as they explore family relationships and identity in comics. Click here to watch


Anarchism and Comics

Gord Hill and Ben Passmore discuss the use of comics and zines to document and communicate their experiences and insights on organizing, anarchism, and counterculture. We explore what prompts one to choose this medium to share information and even mobilize. We will touch on intersections of anarchism abolitionism and critiques of pacifism and abolitionism. Click here to watch

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