Word Balloon Academy

Word Balloon Academy (WBA) is TCAF's annual day of skills-building and career management programming for comics creators.

Word Balloon Academy will be held in-person at the Toronto Reference Library on

June 17, 2022. 

Schedule

Word Balloon Academy has two programming streams: CREATIVE and BUSINESS. 

Word Balloon Academy will take place in the Salon, in both the Bluma Appel Salon (big room) and Novella (small room). 

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Conceptualizing the Comic (Creative)

Featuring: Joana Mosi

What is it that inspires a good comic? And how do our culture, influences, education, and personal background affect the way we understand and create comics? In this panel/talk, we will share different ways and approaches of developing comics, its stories, and characters, by taking advantage of influences and references that are not necessarily related to the arts and comics medium.

Location: Bluma Appel

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Copyright 101 (Business)

Featuring: Michael Duboff and Burt Gidaro (Edwards Creative Law)

First of WBA’s double legal block in the business stream, entertainment lawyers Michael Duboff and Burt Gidaro from Edwards Creative law give a crash course in copyright law.

Location: Novella

10:30 – 12:00 PM

"WHAT to Draw, Not HOW to Draw" (Creative)

Featuring: Scott Chantler

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.

Location: Bluma Appel

10:30 – 12:00 PM

Publishing Agreements & You (Business)

Featuring:  Michael Duboff and Burt Gidaro (Edwards Creative Law)

Second session in WBA’s legal block, Michael Duboff and Burt Gidaro from Edwards Creative return with a session on the thing all comic creatives sign when they get the
coveted publishing contract. Navigate the legal complexities of signing on to work with others, indie or no, big or small.

Location: Novella

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Getting the Grant: Opportunities, Processes and Best Practices (Creative)

Featuring:  Jack Illingworth (Ontario Arts Council)

The Ontario Arts Council rewarded $78.6 million to more than two hundred communities in 2021. Arts council officer Jack Illingworth provides tips and best practices while exploring the provincial grant opportunities for Ontario-based comics writers, artists and grassroots organizations, and de-mystifies the assessment process used by the OAC and other public funders.

Location: Novella

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Publicity Practices for Comic Creators (Business)

Featuring:  Johanna Draper Carlson (Comics Worth Reading)

Sometimes publishing a comic can feel like being a little fish in a big pond. Join Johanna Draper Carlson, reviewer and creator of the longest-running independent comic review
site, for tips and tricks on creating press releases and approaching journalists, including what not to do, covering the basics of communicating about your work, market, and audience.

Location: Bluma Appel

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

DIGITAL PANEL: Whose IP is it anyway? (Livestreamed on site) (Creative)

Featuring:  Vanessa Stefaniuk, Megan Kearney, Ryan North, and Jim Zub

From Dungeons & Dragons to Disney Princesses, artists of all stripes can make a
career working in established IP. Artists discuss how to get into existing IP projects and their
experiences in this hybrid, live-streamed panel in the creative stream.

Location: Novella

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

By the Numbers (Business)

Featuring:  Alexander Finbow (Renegade Arts Entertainment), Andy Brown (Conundrum Press), and Peggy Burns (Drawn & Quarterly) 

Indie publishers get into the nitty gritty of funding, stock, supply chain, all the fun stuff! Hear stories from the frontlines of Canadian/Turtle Island comics with experts from across the country to get a rare look behind the curtain of indie publishing.

Location: Bluma Appel

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

From Manga to Bandes Dessinées: Translation in Comics (Creative)

Featuring:  Lorena Torres Loaiza (Host, indepdent artist), Jocelyne Allen (Freelance translator), Alexandre Fontaine Rousseau (Éditions Pow Pow)

Translators are the unsung heroes of comics and manga, especially as titles go global and come to North America. But even within Canada, the French language comics scene is flourishing. How did translators for different languages come to the work? What does it take to be a translator?

Location: Novella

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Don’t Pass Me By: Funding Indie Comics (Business)

Featuring:  Kat Simmers

So you've drawn the comic... now what happens? A multifaceted exploration of the route to comics authorship with Kat Simmers, who co-created Pass Me By (Renegade Press) with Ryan Danny Owen. Kat talks all things funding and jump-starting a series, from grants to
crowdfunding to indie publishing, with plenty of strategies, pitfalls and practical advice along the way.

Location: Bluma Appel

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