Announcing Kodansha x TCAF!

TCAF is excited to announce that we will be featuring an EXCLUSIVE online art show in partnership with mangaka Akane Shimizu and her publisher Kodansha. Get a peek behind the scenes of the hit series Cells at Work! this May! 

Check out a sneak preview of the upcoming final volume (complete with a look at the virus that’s upended our lives), along with rough sketches from creator Akane Shimizu. Dive into the secret world of the human body manga-style!

We will also be hosting a panel to continue our highlight of Cells at Work!. Join us on Thursday, May 13th, at 3:00 PM EDT (link coming soon), as we examine the dynamic, entertaining, and educational world of the hit manga series. A science teacher, a doctor of medicine, and a manga writer band together to look at the series through their respective lenses, talk about the science behind the stories, and consider the intersection between science literacy and visual storytelling. 

Thanks to support from publisher Kodansha, you’ll also get a sneak peek of the upcoming English release of Cells At Work! volume 6! Don’t miss it!

Read More

Apply now for Blind Date 2021 — France / Canadian Edition / Postulez maintenant pour le Blind Date 2021 – France / Canada!

Applications Open!

Les candidatures sont ouvertes!


We are delighted to host a fourth year of this initiative, and add the French Embassy in Canada as our second partner organization!

Le Toronto Comic Arts Festival (Toronto, Canada) et l’Ambassade de France au Canada ont le plaisir de vous inviter à participer la nouvelle édition de Blind Date 2021.


In 2018, TCAF and the Ministry of Culture of Colombia launched the Blind Date project (Cita a ciegas), which aimed to connect two comic artists from each country to collaborate digitally. In December 2020, we selected two more artists to continue this project. We are excited to show you the results very soon! 

Initié en 2018 par le TCAF et le Ministère de la Culture de Colombie, le programme Blind Date (Cita a ciegas), invite un bédéiste Colombien et un bédéiste Canadien à collaborer numériquement. Deux nouveaux artistes ont été sélectionnés en 2020 dans le cadre de ce programme.


At this time, we’re asking Canadian artists to submit their interest in being considered for the first ever French/Canadian Blind Date project. The selected Canadian artist will receive $1500 CAD to support the creation of this work. The selected French artist will also receive $1500 CAD. 

Pour la quatrième édition de Blind Date, en 2021, le programme s’étend en France! Auteurs français et canadiens: vous êtes invités à manifester votre intérêt pour participer au tout premier projet de Blind Date franco-canadien. Un artiste français et un artiste canadien seront sélectionnés: chacun recevra 1 500 dollars canadiens (environ 1000 euros).


The Canadian artist and French artist will jointly develop a comic art project around the theme of conversation with the expectation that they:

  • Deliver a total of 10-12 pages of comic, or the webcomic equivalent, to be hosted online and formatted for digital audiences.
  • Meet digitally at least once every two weeks (for example through Zoom, Skype, video calling, screenshare, etc.) with ongoing correspondence between meetings.
  • Create some official documentation of the artistic process that can be publicly shared.
  • Complete and submit the final project by May 5, 2021.

L’artiste canadien et l’artiste français développeront conjointement un projet de bande dessinée autour du thème de la conversation, et seront invités à :

  • Livrer un total de 10 à 12 pages de bande dessinée, ou l’équivalent en webcomics, qui seront hébergées en ligne et formatées pour une diffusion numérique.
  • Se rencontrer virtuellement au moins une fois toutes les deux semaines (par exemple via Zoom, Skype, appel vidéo, partage d’écran, etc.) et échanger régulièrement en dehors des rencontres.
  • Documenter le processus de création  artistique sous un format qui puisse être diffusé et partagé publiquement.
  • Terminer et soumettre le projet final avant le 5 mai 2021.


If you are interested in participating, please submit your application to by April 11, 2021 at 11:59pm. We recognize the short turnaround for this deadline, so we are making the application process as straightforward as possible. Please send the following three parts to with the subject heading “Blind Date 2021 Application”:

  • A selected artist’s CV or bio (no longer than 2pgs) with relevant experience
  • Digital portfolio of 5-7 works/images of comic art
  • A short statement of interest (max. 400 words) OR a 15 minute zoomcall (let us know if you’d like to take this option and we can schedule it)


Si vous souhaitez participer, merci de bien vouloir soumettre à avant le 11 avril 2021 à 23h59. Nous sommes conscients du court délai, c’est pourquoi nous rendons le processus de candidature aussi simple que possible. Veuillez envoyer les trois éléments suivants à avec pour objet “Blind Date 2021 Application”:

  • Un CV ou une biographie de l’artiste (pas plus de 2 pages) indiquant toute expérience pertinente
  • Un portfolio numérique de 5 à 7 œuvres/images de bande dessinée
  • Une courte lettre de motivation (400 mots maximum) OU un appel Zoom de 15 minutes avec nos équipes (faites-nous savoir si vous préférez cette option et nous pourrons la programmer)


Canadian creators interested in participating in the project do not have to be exhibitors at TCAF to apply.

Les créateurs canadiens intéressés à participer au projet ne doivent pas nécessairement être exposants au TCAF pour envoyer leur candidature.

Registration is now OPEN for Libraries & Education Day 2021!


Libraries & Education Day 2021
Friday, May 14th
Free to Attend 

What’s this all about?

TCAF Libraries & Education Day is a day of programming aimed at teachers, teacher-librarians, librarians, library workers and collection managers who want to know more about incorporating comics and graphic novels into their collections and classrooms. Information-rich presentations and lectures, panel discussions, and workshops impart valuable information about building collections, improving circulation, targeting important demographics, and integrating comics into classroom use.

This year’s event will be online and you’re welcome to attend all of the programming or tune in for only the sessions that most interest you.

Registration is now open. 

Our 2021 keynote speaker will be Jeff Smith (Bone, Rasl, Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil). The rest of the 2021 program will be announced as it is confirmed (coming soon!). Our sessions will span a range of topics pertinent to comics librarianship and education. In past years we’ve run sessions such as: Indigenous-created Comics in the Classroom, Graphic Novels and the New Visual Literacy, Global Competencies, Comics in a Dangerous Time, Science Comics, and What’s the Deal with French Comics? 

If you have any questions, please email

Building a Better TCAF

To start, we want to offer a sincere thank you to everyone who has reached out to us. We appreciate your honesty and your willingness to share your voice. We are listening, and we know that we still have work to do. We are committed to building a better TCAF.

We released an anonymous survey in the summer of 2020. Over the course of six months, a committee of three Volunteer Directors, Coralie D’Souza (currently on leave), Kawai Shen, and Khristine Cuthbertson, reviewed all public comments and reached out to the individuals who requested further contact. The committee presented their findings to the TCAF Board of Directors and the anonymous form is now closed.

In an effort to create an equitable and inclusive workplace, TCAF has taken the following actions:

  1. Education and Training: The Board has been undertaking anti-racist and anti-oppression training, including various webinars offered through employers and independent consultants. We are planning to roll out training for Staff and Volunteers. So far webinar links and reading lists have been shared internally, and we plan to publicly share all updates in forthcoming statements.
  2. New Hiring Processes: The TCAF Board has implemented New Hiring Processes to make them standardized, competitive, and transparent. We focused on removing barriers known to reinforce systemic inequities. For example, we did not include an educational or industry experience requirement. Compensation was posted  transparently, and we shifted the focus from a candidate’s connections and/or credentials to their ability. All TCAF positions are now posted publicly, with underrepresented groups encouraged to apply. The board also aggressively promoted the positions to our diverse networks. We continue to seek to improve this new process to be more inclusive.
  3. Updated Policies: An Anti-Racism Policy, as well as an updated Conduct and Harassment Policy, will be expanded by the TCAF Board of Directors to include off-site events. This will also include an incident reporting process that prioritizes protecting those who come forward from retaliation. These updated policies will be posted on our website as soon as possible.

We promise to continue to improve our communication about the steps we are taking over the next few months, and in the years to come.

Growing and Evolving TCAF

With TCAF 2021 right around the corner, we wanted to take this opportunity to share the steps we are taking to create a festival that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive for all Staff, Volunteers, and Creators. We are very excited to share that TCAF is growing and evolving in powerful ways, and we have no doubt that TCAF 2021 will be an incredible event like never before!

This statement will address the changes we have made to improve our operational structure.

At the end of June 2020, TCAF co-founder Christopher Butcher exited his executive role and is no longer involved with the organization. An indispensable part of TCAF since 2002, Christopher was a passionate leader and innovator, without whom the festival wouldn’t be where it is today. We wish him the very best in all of his future endeavors, and thank him for his significant contributions over the past 18 years.

On July 1st, Miles Baker was promoted to Executive Director in recognition of 10 years of service in growing the festival. Since fall 2020, we have onboarded three new Volunteer Directors, all representing marginalized communities: Charles Roy, Emma Wakelin, and Patryce Bowling. The full Board of Directors also includes Peter Birkemoe, Kawai Shen, Gary Sherman, and Coralie D’Souza (on temporary leave). Khristine Cuthbertson has stepped down as Volunteer Director, and we thank her for contributions to emergency fundraiser and fundraising policies.

In order to restructure internal departments and executive management, new part-time positions have been created, with mentorship opportunities between those with more/less experience in a given area. We are committed to demanding an environment of collaboration and mutual respect, where everyone’s voice and opinion is valued equally.

Finally, we are dedicated to providing professional development opportunities for Staff and Volunteers in ways that are open and transparent, in order for personnel to gain more skills and experience, and advance within TCAF and the industry. We will provide more details about this in the months to come.

Without further ado, here is our new TCAF Executive Team:

Executive Director: Miles Baker
Production Manager: Pip Bradford
Marketing & Communications Manager: Cali Platek
Programming & Partnership Officers: Faduma Gure and Irene Velentzas
Production Coordinators: Jalen Innis and Pedro Salinas
Marketing Coordinator: Terrence Abrahams

TCAF 2021 Call for Programming

What do YOU want to see at #TCAF2021?

Every year, we offer over 100 hours of programming related to comics, graphic novels, manga, and more. Although this year’s festival will look a little different (totally virtual), we’ll still be including all of the regular programs you’ve come to know and love, including panels, lectures, readings, workshops, interviews, roundtables, and live drawings — and we’re open to new ideas, too!

While we work with authors and publishers to generate ideas for these programs, we’re also interested in suggestions from the larger comics industry and community. TCAF has multiple streams of programming, including:

• Readings, panel discussions, interviews, and other presentations
• Academic paper roundtables and presentations
• Libraries & Education programming
• Programming for kids and teens
• Word Balloon Academy (Skills Building for Creators)

Click here for more information, and to fill out the Call for Programming by March 12th, 2021!

TCAF 2021 Poster Reveal

TCAF is proud to reveal the official poster for #TCAF2021! The poster was created by Cole Pauls, a Tahltan First Nation comic artist, printmaker and illustrator, now in Vancouver but originally from Haines Junction, Yukon.

In his own poster reveal on Instagram, Cole writes, “Traditional indigenous storytelling can be expressed through song & dance. Transformation masks are regalia you’d wear performing sacred songs. This poster illustrates how comics can reveal a whole new world to the reader and how empowering it is to see authentic representation of your own culture on a page. Essentially, this is what it felt like to me the first time I read a Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas or Gord Hill book!!!”

Announcing TCAF 2021!

After a challenging year, we’re so excited to announce the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) is back — with a virtual twist! Free of the shackles of corporeal existence, TCAF’s marketplace will have more days than ever before, and include a week of on-demand programming. Comic and art lovers can visit TCAF 2021 online any time between May 8-15, 2021, to peruse and shop hundreds of exhibitors’ amazing works, sit in on classic Q&As, workshops, talks, and so much more! 

Our new exhibition website is being made in partnership with Canzine (the festival of zines) and the Toronto Hand Eye Society. Zinesters and indie video game creators will be among our 600 virtual exhibitors in May.

If you want to exhibit at TCAF 2021, fill out this form by March 3, 2021: CLICK HERE TO APPLY

The TCAF 2021 application period is now closed! Thank you to everyone who applied!

Applicants will have the choice to apply for TCAF, Canzine OR Comics x Games. Accepted exhibitors will have a customizable online shop page where they can upload up to 5 items for sale. After TCAF, exhibitors will send all sold items to a warehouse, where orders will be bundled and shipped off to shoppers. This process is to help save exhibitors and visitors excess transaction and shipping fees. There will be options to include additional products.

More details will come on Twitter @torontocomics, on our website at, and at



❥ When and where is TCAF?

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2021 will take place virtually May 8-15, 2021.

❥ Do I need to live in Toronto to take part?

Nope. International exhibitors are welcome!

❥ So, how does this work for me?

If accepted, you will have an online profile store page along with hundreds of other cartoonists in a shared marketplace. After the exhibition is closed, we will send you a report of all the items you’ve sold and you will ship those items to a centralized location. From there, our third-party warehouse will ship compiled orders to our happy customers.

❥ Why the additional item fees?

The additional fees will cover the costs of shipping, handling, and transactions. To save costs for exhibitors and visitors, shipping will be handled by a third-party warehouse. After the event, exhibitors will send all of their sold items to the warehouse to mail out to shoppers. This will save exhibitors and visitors quite a bit on shipping costs; however, this service comes with associated costs, hence the fees for additional items. 

❥ Why the different registration costs between TCAF and Canzine?

The different registration costs reflect the difference in products and audiences. TCAF exhibitors sell (relatively) higher-priced items that are heavier (e.g. books) and tend to sell at higher volumes. Canzine exhibitors sell low-cost items (e.g. 16-page zine) that are lighter and tend to sell at lower volumes.

❥ I was accepted to TCAF in 2020 but didn’t get to exhibit because of the pandemic. You said we’d be at the next TCAF? What’s the deal?

If you were accepted to TCAF in 2020, you can either defer to this year or defer to 2022. If you apply to TCAF 2021, we will assume that you are taking your deferral to this year. Please include that you were accepted into TCAF 2020 in the “Anything else we should know?” section.

❥ How do I defer to 2022?

If you’d like to defer to 2022, you do not need to take any actions at this time. You will simply need to fill out an application for 2022 when those go live next year.

❥ How do collectives and publishers apply?

Unlike past years, we are asking for a single application from collectives and publishers. If you’re a collective, please include a list of all members of your application. If you’re a publisher, please include authors you are planning on featuring with your application.

If you have additional questions, please email

Apply now for Blind Date 2021

Applications now closed. Thank you for your interest.


The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (Toronto, Canada) and Entreviñetas Festival (Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia), in alliance with the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, are proud to be mounting a third and final year of the Blind Date project (Cita a ciegas) in 2020.

In 2018, TCAF and the  Ministry of Culture of Colombia launched the Blind Date project (Cita a ciegas), which aimed to connect two comic artists from each country to collaborate digitally. Two comic artists — Anna Kwan from Toronto, Canada, and Mariana Gil Ríos from Medellín, Colombia — worked together to create a shared digital graphic work over the course of the Fall, using the internet to develop the piece from their respective countries. You can see the result of their project here: In 2019, Karen Shangguan and Laura Cañas collaborated on the second iteration of the project, and their collaborative comic A First Meeting was featured in the TCAF 2020 Exhibitor Showcase, available on gumroad, 

We are delighted to host a third year of this initiative in 2019, and we are inviting Canadian artists to submit their interest in being considered. The selected Canadian artist will receive $1000 to support the creation of this work. The selected Colombian artist will receive 5 million Colombian pesos. 

The Canadian artist and Colombian artist will jointly develop a comic art project around the theme of “conversation” with the expectation that they:

  • Deliver a total of 8-10 pages of comic, or the webcomic equivalent, to be hosted online and formatted for digital audiences
  • Meet digitally at least once every two weeks (for example through Skype, video calling, screenshare, etc.) with ongoing correspondence between meetings
  • Create some official documentation of the artistic process that can be publicly shared
  • Complete and submit the final project by January 30, 2021

If you are interested in participating, please submit your application to this email or to by December 20, 2020 at 11:59pm. We recognize the short turn around for this deadline, so we are making the application process as straightforward as possible. Please send the following three parts to with the subject heading “Blind Date 2020 Application”

  • A selected artist’s CV or bio (no longer than 2pgs) with relevant experience
  • Digital portfolio of 5-7 works/images of comic art
  • A short statement of interest (max. 400 words) OR a 15 minute phone interview (let us know if you’d like to take this option and we can schedule it)

Canadian creators interested in participating in the project do not have to be exhibitors at TCAF to apply.

Want to Work with Us? Taking Applications Now for Festival Production Manager, Marketing & Communications Manager, and Programming & Partnerships Officer

Deadline extended to December 14, 2020 @ 12:00 pm EST.

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is hiring for 3 positions to work on our 2021 Festival, to be held in May 2021. We are currently looking to hire a Festival Production Manager, Marketing & Communications Manager, and Programming & Partnerships Officer. Details on these positions are below.

TCAF welcomes those who have demonstrated a commitment to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion and will assist us to expand our capacity for diversity in the broadest sense. In addition, to correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment in Canada, we encourage applications from members of groups that have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including but not limited to, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour), persons with disabilities, and those who identify as women and/or 2SLGBTQ+. Please note that all interested candidates are encouraged to apply and self-identify; however, applications from Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

If you are interested in applying, please email a resume with a short (200ish word) cover letter in the body of the email to You can apply between now and December 11, 2020 December 14, 2020.

Festival Production Manager

The Festival Production Manager is a lead position of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF). They are responsible for the management and execution of the Festival’s exhibitions, receptions, panels, and additional organizational events. General duties include event planning, execution staffing, and management.

The Festival Production Manager reports directly to the Executive Director, and will work closely with the entire Festival staff.

The Festival Production Manager will need to work at least 5 hours per week, though these hours will ramp up as the festival approaches. We expect that you would work approximately 5-6 hours per week for four months after hiring, ramping up to approximately 15-20 hours per week for the 2-3 months before the festival, and full time for 4 weeks before the festival.

Duties and Responsibilities:

– Work with leadership to plan TCAF from start to finish according to program and organizational requirements, target audience and objectives
– Work with TCAF Executive Director to maintain and coordinate master timelines, and departmental goals/milestones
– Working with TCAF Executive Director, to lead the TCAF team with the day-to-day logistics, supply orders, and inter-departmental communication
– Work with TCAF Programming & Development staff to ensure Artist deliverables & accreditation are fulfilled on time
– Assist TCAF Executive Director to prep event budgets and ensure budget adherence in conjunction with finance and other department heads
– Create and update Festival Staff contact sheet
– Receive incoming Festival materials, and distribute to the appropriate department lead.
– Participate in weekly Festival Staff meetings
– Participate in conference calls and/or meetings with vendors and select event partners
– Work with Executive Director to assess progress against production timeline
– Work with Executive Director to secure production needs and site visit dates for each venue
– Work with Volunteer Coordinator to plan production timelines for Festival Receptions
– Prepare and implement production schedule to enhance the event’s success
– Source and negotiate with vendors, contractors and suppliers.
– Supervise TCAF personnel (contractors, seasonal staff, vendors etc.)
– Function as a liaison to venue partners and vendors to track incoming contracts, exhibition formats, invoices, etc.
– Coordinate all event operations
– Ensure events are staffed appropriately, and executed smoothly at every phase of each event (set up, execution, break down)
– Step up to resolve any problems that might occur during the Festival
– Event wrap up report


– Excellent communication & record keeping skills
– Proven project management skills and experience
– Detail-oriented, team-player, and able to work under multiple deadlines
– Command of contemporary diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts, paradigms and issues highly desirable, including, but not limited to, anti-oppression and intersectional approaches
– Experience supervising staff positions
– Fluency in Google Drive (Docs, Sheets) MS Office, and Adobe Suite
– Experience in film, theatre, or literary festivals
– Knowledge of Comics and publishing industry a plus

Festival Employee, on a 8-month contract. December 2020 – July 2020

Compensation: $7,500 – 8,000 total

Marketing & Communications Manager

The Marketing & Communications Manager is a lead position of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF). They are responsible for the management and execution of the Festival’s marketing, social media, internal communications. General duties include event planning, execution staffing, and management.

The Marketing & Communications Manager reports directly to the Executive Director, and will work closely with the entire Festival staff.

The Marketing & Communications Manager will need to work on average 8 hours per week; with a lower amount of hours worked at the beginning and end of the contract, however these hours will ramp up as the festival approaches. These hours would be near full time for the three to four weeks surrounding the festival.

Duties and Responsibilities:

– Develop & execute an annual marketing plan for the organization that incorporates strategies for TCAF and any other ongoing initiatives or events, in consultation with the Executive Director
– Develop advertising and promotional strategies in line with departmental budget, working closely with in-kind partners to increase scope and reach
– Responsible for communication strategies and execution of TCAF website, Social Media feeds, and e-newsletters in partnership with applicable departments
– Monitoring and reporting the results of all marketing and advertising campaigns Brand Management
– Project managing the printed Festival Guide
– Coordinate the development of key organizational messages and brand voice across in-person and digital platforms with the Executive Director, staff team and Marketing Committee
– Develop the creative brief in alignment with the strategic direction and in partnership with the ED and programming team for external designers
– Approve brand alignment and visibility at all organizational events to maximize the Festival and event experiences
– Maintaining consistent use of brand guidelines for by all internal and external stakeholders and festival partners Communications:
– Develop publicity plans, in conjunction with the Executive Director and Programming Department, which includes developing, reviewing and approving press releases and press outlets
– Manage festival volunteers, including social media team, photographers and videographers to assist with the documentation of all Festival events 


– Excellent communication & record keeping skills
– Detail-oriented, team-player, and able to work under multiple deadlines
– Command of contemporary diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts, paradigms and issues highly desirable, including, but not limited to, anti-oppression and intersectional approaches
– Experience supervising staff positions
– Fluency in Google Drive (Docs, Sheets) MS Office, and Adobe Suite
– Experience in film, theatre, or literary festivals
– Knowledge of Comics and publishing industry a plus

Festival Employee, on a 8-month contract. December 2020 – July 2020

Compensation: $7,500 – 8,000 total

Programming & Partnerships Officer

Reporting to and working closely with the Executive Director and other departments, Festival Programming & Partnerships Officer is accountable for activities relating to the overall planning, programming and execution of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival and other programming initiatives.:

The Programming & Partnerships Officer will need to work an average of 8 hours per week, though these hours will fluctuate up as the festival approaches.

Duties and Responsibilities:

– Completing background work for and executing internal elements of programming plans and new programming initiatives for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival
– Leading internally-focused new programming initiatives
– Support the development and programming plans
– Cultivate and manage external partnerships with cultural agencies and other programming stakeholders
– Liaise with programmers throughout the festival curation process
– Oversee internal relationships with key departments and personnel
– Day-to-day management of festival programming


– Excellent communication & record keeping skills
– Proven project management skills and experience
– Detail-oriented, team-player, and able to work under multiple deadlines
– Command of contemporary diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts, paradigms and issues highly desirable, including, but not limited to, anti-oppression and intersectional approaches
– Fluency in Social media platforms, Google Drive (Docs, Sheets) and MS Office
– Experience in film, theatre, or literary festivals
– Knowledge of Comics and publishing industry a plus

Festival Employee, on a 8-month contract. December 2020 – July 2020

Compensation: $6,000 total

Page & Panel Holiday COVID-19 Shopping Update

SundayHey everyone,

We don’t usually post Page & Panel updates in this space, but this year we need all the help and exposure we can get.

We’re happy to say that Page & Panel will still be here for your holiday shopping needs. It’s going to be essential for all small businesses, especially retail like ours, that customers shop locally this year.

We will be open this week from Tuesday to Saturday for curbside pickup and online delivery. Ways you can order:

  • has more products than ever! And many new sections to help you browse those products
  • Didn’t see what you were looking for? Need suggestions? Give us a call at 416-323-9212 or email and we’ll work with you to pull together whatever may need. We’re happy to put together recommendations for any taste or age group.
  • Last but not least! We’ve added free shipping within Canada for orders over $100.

We’re going to be trying out a few different hours this week and next, but for now these are our hours:

Curbside Pick Up & Phone Order Hours:

Wednesday – Friday: 12pm – 6pm
Saturday – Sunday: 11am – 4pm

Keep your eyes on this space and @tcafshop on Instagram for the latest.

Staff of Page & Panel

TCAF 2021 Application Period Delayed

Hi everyone,

When we cancelled the festival in March 2020, we told creators and publishers that applications for our 2021 festival would open on August 1st, 2020. As conditions and public health advisories surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve, we can’t currently confirm festival dates for 2021. Therefore, we will not be able to open applications as scheduled. 

We’re hopeful that we will be able to announce festival dates soon, but we need more time to see how current health policies play out.

There will be a festival of some kind, but we don’t know what that looks like yet. We’ll provide an update in November 2020. 

Miles Baker
Executive Director

Building a Better TCAF

We’ve created a form to collect anonymous feedback for those of you who don’t feel comfortable sharing your concerns and suggestions publicly. The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) Board is committed to reviewing your comments as part of our commitment to action and doing better.

Kindly note, all fields are optional and you are encouraged to share as much or as little as you are comfortable with.

A subcommittee of three Volunteer Directors, Coralie D’Souza, Kawai Shen, and Khristine Cuthbertson will review your feedback and bring recommendations for changes to the TCAF Board in September 2020. We commit to communicating those changes publicly on the TCAF Blog. All specific responses to this form and any personal contact information shared will be kept within the subcommittee. We invite you to share this form as well, the more information we’re able to collect the better informed our policies will be.

We are also currently reviewing our existing Conduct & Harassment Policy and will be creating an Anti-Racism Policy, along with clear and safe processes for bringing these issues forward, and for addressing these issues, going forward.

We whole-heartedly agree. #TCAFCanDoBetter

TCAF’s Commitment to Ending Anti-Black & Anti-Indigenous Racism

“Stay safe.”  We say it so often and without thinking. It’s even starting to lose its meaning. 

These words have a very different meaning to Black and Indigenous peoples, groups who are subject to greater precarity, particularly when intersecting with gender, class, and other forms of systemic discrimination.

In the wake of recent events, including the widespread outpourings of solidarity against anti-black racism in North America, and specifically in Canada, the killings of 8 indigenous persons by police since just this April — we are taking stock and acknowledge the systemic and institutional barriers we play a part in. 

Simply put, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF)—whose leadership currently lacks Black or Indigenous representation —can do better. 

We exist to support creators of comic works in their broad and diverse voices in order to promote the medium of comics as a legitimate medium of literary and artistic worth. We believe we have a role to play in supporting diversity in our field and are making a commitment to do so, with intention. 

We will begin with a commitment to learning by ensuring our staff and volunteers and the board receive resources and materials to help facilitate their understanding of issues raised by BIPOC communities, with attention to intersectional identities, including but not limited to QTBIPOC identified individuals. We are also exploring new ways of applying an anti-racist lens in building our community, including our staff and volunteers, with the understanding that accounting for anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism must be at the forefront.

We do not see this as a one-time project, but a life-long one that will inform the organization we aspire to be going forward. We look forward to working with the larger comics industry, and community to do so and will provide updates as we develop our plans.   

— Christopher Butcher, Miles Baker + The TCAF Board (Coralie D’Souza, Gary Sherman, Kawai Shen, Khris Cuthbertson, Peter Birkemoe)

Regarding Conduct & Harassment in the Comics Industry

In light of the recent allegations made by women against various men in the comics industry, we at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) wish to make it unequivocally clear that all forms of harassment and predation, including subtler forms such as grooming, are not tolerated by the festival.

We recognize that TCAF plays an important role in the comics industry, that the festival is an active space for networking, and this tasks us with the responsibility of continually addressing and revisiting the challenges of maintaining a safe space for all attending and aspiring creators. 

We are currently reviewing our existing Conduct & Harassment Policy, with the aim of explicitly addressing events we host or co-host with our cultural and business partners off the main exhibition sites of the festival where TCAF staff are harder to identify. We will announce revisions before our next live event.

In addition, we will be reviewing our past and current processes for inviting and handling reports of harassment and will provide updates as necessary.

— Christopher Butcher, Miles Baker + The TCAF Board (Coralie D’Souza, Gary Sherman, Kawai Shen, Khris Cuthbertson, Peter Birkemoe)

New #TCAF2020 Panel: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Crew! Featuring Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Derek Charm, and Wil Moss!

Hey TCAF fans! One of the programs we were excited to present at TCAF this year is a panel celebrating the successful conclusion of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, a popular Marvel series that started basically when we opened Page & Panel: The TCAF Shop, and whose creators have been a fixture at TCAF over the years! While the physical festival couldn’t go forward, we moved this panel online (thanks, Zoom!) so come meet the series’ writer Ryan North, artists Erica Henderson and Derek Charm, and editor Wil Moss, hosted by TCAF’s Alice Quinn and assisted by Festival Director Christopher Butcher.

The full panel discussion is online now at:

While you’re there, why not check out some of the cool archival videos from the history of the fest in the Torontocomics account, and give it a subscribe? 🙂

Announcing the TCAF 2020 Digital Showcase!

We’ve created a FREE digital book, showcasing the amazing creators and publishers of #TCAF2020! 

At the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, we try to celebrate and showcase great cartooning from all around the world. Part of the thrill of the festival is to walk down the aisles of our exhibition and discover new works that you’ll love. After this year’s festival was cancelled, we wanted to replicate part of that experience and have created the TCAF 2020 Digital Showcase!

Head over to Gumroad to download your PDF copy of the book:

The TCAF 2020 Digital Showcase is the result of an open invitation to the creators and publishers who were scheduled to appear at TCAF 2020 to share their art with you. In this book, you’ll discover over 100 comic creators and over 400 pages—a stroll through the exhibition that you can enjoy from your home.

The Digital Showcase also includes an original (and beautiful) comic by Karen Shangguan & Laura Cañas. This comic was commissioned as part of the “Blind Date” initiative, our collaboration with the Entreviñetas Festival in Colombia.

We hope you enjoy the showcase and support the exhibitors by clicking on the links provided on their pages, and checking out their work!

Full creator list under the cut:

Read More

Word Balloon Academy: Labour Organizing with Vanessa Kelly

As a part of the Word Balloon Academy program, TCAF presents an interview Vanessa Kelly from the Art Babbitt Appreciation Society (ABAS), a Vancouver-based labour organizing group that has exhibited at the comic arts festival, VanCAF. Please note this interview has been edited for length and clarity.
You can learn more about ABAS at their official website and from this article by Our Times which goes into more detail about specific working conditions for animators and their relations with employers.
The groups mentioned by Vanessa include IATSE, the Animation Guild, and ACTRA. Listeners may also be interested in GWU, an organizing group in the gaming industry who you might have seen at the Hand Eye Society Ball, an event hosted by TCAF’s partner, Hand Eye Society.
One of the challenges in talking about labour organizing is that workers can take on the significant risk of retaliation from employers. Because of this, organizers are often not at liberty to disclose certain details about campaigning, especially ongoing campaigns. This makes knowledge more difficult to share. While there are online resources that document and analyze past campaigns, learning about organizing is greatly benefited from contacting groups experienced in labour rights like ABAS.

Vanessa and other organizers contacted regarding this program also noted that labour organizing can improve working conditions outside of a collective agreement between unionized workers and their employer. In addition to ABAS’ campaign to have employers recognize overtime pay of non-unionized animation workers, workers can achieve other goals such as pooling funds to purchase healthcare or creating a public payment schedule like the one organized by CARFAC. These types of goals are especially beneficial to freelance workers who usually do not have a central employer, or even a small group of central employers, to organize around.

If you found this podcast helpful or would be interested in similar content in the future, please let us know. We are always trying to improve the Word Balloon Academy to support the professional needs of artists. We’d also sincerely appreciate it if you could support our emergency fundraiser for Page & Panel. Thank you!

Page & Panel Emergency Fundraiser

Since 2014, Page & Panel has strived to provide a community-focused retail destination for comics, art, and book culture. As some of you may already know, Page & Panel is not just a place to buy books and merchandise, but a vibrant space for comics and arts events and a partner in creating original art. Since our inception, we have been proud to support the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, playing our part in growing the visibility of comics as a medium and fostering the growth of a community we hold dear. Now, during these unprecedented times, Page & Panel is asking for your support.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious and immediate financial impact on Page & Panel. The closure of the Toronto Reference Library and State of Emergency in Ontario led us to close our doors on March 17. As a result, we have lost nearly all of our revenue and made the painful decision of letting go some of our staff members. In addition, the cancellation of TCAF has meant losing our best weekend for sales, which supports the store and the festival year-round,  while we are still liable for mounting overhead fees.

We’ve set up a GoFundMe to address these issues, and we would greatly appreciate your financial support:

Page & Panel: The TCAF Shop, has also reopened its online store, and is selling TCAF goods for curbside pick-up and delivery. New materials are being added every day, please visit for the full list.

Thank you,

  • The Toronto Comic Arts Festival

Announcing the winners of the 2020 Doug Wright Awards

The Ceremony No Pandemic Could Stop

The 16th annual Doug Wright Awards took place last night. This year’s ceremony was held at a new venue for us: the Internet. Nearly 200 people tuned in on YouTube and Facebook to find out who eventually will receive this year’s trophies once Seth gets his curbside pickup service running. We’re pleased to share the names of this year’s winners one more time:

The Doug Wright Award for best book
Nina Bunjevac
Published by Fantagraphics Books

The Nipper: The Doug Wright Award for emerging talent
(Sponsored by Broken Pencil and Valleyview Artist Retreat)
Sylvia Nickerson
for Creation
Published by Drawn & Quarterly

The Pigskin Peters: The Doug Wright Award for best small- or micro-press book
Freddy Carrasco
Published by Peow Studios

The Egghead: The Doug Wright Award for best kids’ books
The Worst Book Ever

Elise Gravel
Published by Drawn & Quarterly

Giants of the North: The Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame
Walter Ball
Creator of the strip Rural Route

Earlier this year, we announced that, for the first time, winners would receive a modest cash prize. Along with their trophies (or, in the case of the Pigskin Peters, their bowler hat), the winners of this year’s best book, Nipper, Pigskin Peters, and Egghead awards will each receive $100, an amount we hope to be able to increase in the future.

This year’s Nipper award was sponsored by Broken Pencil magazine and Valleyview Artist Retreat. Valleyview will present Nipper winner Sylvia Nickerson with an additional prize: a week-long retreat in Caledon, Ontario.

Normally, we’d be selling copies of 2020’s nominated books at our TCAF booth this weekend. With the festival cancelled, our friends at the Beguiling have created a DWA nominees list on their new online bookstore. You’ll also find a list of many new books that were slated to debut at TCAF.

If you missed the ceremony last night (and really, what else were you doing? Surely you’ve read all your comics by now), it will be playing in eternal reruns on both YouTube and Facebook. Trust us, you really want to see what David Collier gets up to. (You also missed out on special guest appearances by Fiona Smyth, Lynn Johnston, Dustin Harbin, and Chip Zdarsky.)

Congratulations to this year’s winners! Thanks to our sponsors—Broken Pencil, Valleyview Artist Retreat, Taddle Creek, and the Beguiling—thanks to our host, Don McKellar, thanks to everyone who took part last night, and a special thanks to all those who watched.

ANNOUNCING #CanCAF! Promoting Comics Events Across Canada!

So we’ve introduced you to #TCAF2020, a wide-ranging hashtag to be used to support and promote creators that would have been in attendance at TCAF 2020But TCAF has also joined up with festivals across Canada, originally scheduled to run this spring, for the #CanCAF initiative! #CanCAF is our cross-festival hashtag that will be used by the programming teams at TCAF, VanCAF, DCAF, MCAF and Québec BD, to promote and share online content featuring creators and publishers.

The official CanCAF page will be at to link back to.

Here’s the official press release, in English and French!

Header image by Jesse Jacobs


A month of digital comics events spotlighting top creators from Canada and around the world. 

Comics festivals across Canada are thrilled to announce a month-long digital initiative called #CanCAF. The internet-based initiative will promote the work and careers of cartoonists and publishers scheduled to participate in their festivals this year, now cancelled or postponed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Events will take place across social media platforms using the hastag #CanCAF, and a complete schedule of events through the month of May will be listed at

“We were all disappointed to cancel our respective events,” said Miles Baker, Managing Director of TCAF, The Toronto Comic Arts Festival. “But when we reached out to our colleagues it was incredibly heartening to see that so many of the festivals across Canada are still planning on creating original programming and promoting artists, writers, and publishers in this incredibly difficult time. #CanCAF will be the first-ever cross Canadian comics festival. And we can’t wait to begin sharing it with you.”

#CanCAF programs will range widely from workshops to interviews, live drawing to panel discussions, podcasts to videocasts, and a few surprises along the way. Comic book and graphic novel fans, old and new, can look for the #CanCAF hashtag on their favourite social media to find great content and new ways to support and enjoy the work of Canadian and international creators.

Creators, publishers, and other comics events who would like to create content for the #CanCAF digital event, please reach out to

#CanCAF is a joint initiative of, and presented by:

Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival (DCAF)
Festival BD de Montréal (MCAF)
Quebec BD
Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF)
Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VanCAF)


Un mois d’événements de bandes dessinées numériques mettant en vedette les meilleurs créateurs et créatrices du Canada et du monde entier.

De nombreux festivals de bandes dessinées de partout au Canada sont ravis d’annoncer une initiative numérique présentée durant tout le mois de mai : #CanCAF. L’initiative en ligne fera la promotion du travail des auteur.e.s et des éditeurs qui devaient cette année participer à ces festivals, désormais annulés ou reportés en raison de la pandémie de COVID-19. Les nouveaux événements se dérouleront sur toutes les plateformes de médias sociaux à l’aide du mot-clic #CanCAF, et un calendrier complet des activités virtuelles présentées au cours du mois sera disponible au

« Nous avons tous été déçus d’annuler nos événements respectifs », a déclaré Miles Baker, directeur général du TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival). « Mais lorsque nous avons communiqué avec nos collègues, c’était stimulant de constater qu’un si grand nombre de festivals à travers le Canada prévoyaient toujours proposer une programmation originale et promouvoir les artistes, les écrivain.e.s et les éditeurs en cette période difficile. #CanCAF sera le tout premier festival de la bande dessinée pancanadien, et nous avons hâte de le partager avec vous. »

La programmation du #CanCAF sera très variée :  des ateliers aux entrevues, des dessins en direct aux discussions en groupe, des podcasts aux vidéocasts et quelques autres surprises en cours de route. Les amateurs de bandes dessinées et de romans graphiques, aguerris et amateurs, peuvent rechercher le mot-clic #CanCAF sur leurs médias sociaux préférés afin d’y trouver du contenu formidable et de nouvelles façons de soutenir et d’apprécier le travail des créateurs canadiens et internationaux.

Vous êtes un créateur, une créatrice, un éditeur ou un autre intervenant de la bande dessinée canadienne et vous souhaitez contribuer du contenu à l’événement numérique #CanCAF ? Veuillez communiquer avec nous dès maintenant au

#CanCAF est une initiative commune présentée par:
Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival (DCAF)
Festival BD de Montréal (FBDM/MCAF)
Quebec BD
Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF)
Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VanCAF)

TCAF EXHIBITORS: Submit to the #TCAF2020 Exhibitor Digital Showcase!

TCAF, The Toronto Comic Arts Festival will be undertaking a multi-faceted digital initiative this May across its social media: #TCAF2020. We’d like you to participate!

In an effort to help support the creators, publishers, and other exhibitors who would have been present at TCAF this year, we are compiling a digital booklet of sample works and bios of all exhibitors from this year’s canceled show. This is what we’re calling (for now) the 2020 TCAF Exhibitor Digital Showcase. The Showcase will be available to download on Gumroad, for free. It will receive TCAF’s highest level of promotion, being widely promoted and advertised on all of TCAF’s media channels (email newsletter, press list, twitter, tumblr, facebook, website, etc.).

Any creator or publisher who was scheduled to exhibit at TCAF 2020, including those who withdrew their participation for whatever reason, is invited to submit to this project. 

Read More

Announcing #TCAF2020 – Introduction & TWEETSTORM

Hey everyone, Christopher Butcher from TCAF here. As you might know, this weekend, May 9 and 10, was when TCAF 2020 was scheduled to take place. We’ve been seeing the nice things that folks have been posting and sending to us on social media, saying how much you’ll miss the show. We really appreciate it.

We want to take the love we’ve been getting, and send it out to the creators and publishers that work with us. To that end we’ve come up with the #TCAF2020 digital initiative to help draw attention to the great comics being made by our exhibitors year round, and hopefully send interest and sales their way.

We’ve already begun posting creator-focused material across twitter, instagram, and tumblr with the #TCAF2020 hashtag, and our exhibitors have started using it as well. Well, this week, things heat up as we add even MORE content to #TCAF2020 across all social media!

Our goal here is to draw attention to the great comics creators, publishers, and projects being posted in the #TCAF2020 hashtag, to help support creators in this difficult time. And so we’ve scheduled a #TCAF2020 tweetstorm, where we ask all of our exhibitors and friends to tweet at the same time, and get TCAF trending!

Tweet a message using #TCAF2020 on:
Friday May 8th at 6pm EST
Saturday May 9th at 1pm EST

Post about a creator whose work you love, or a comic or graphic novel that you found at TCAF. Post about a great TCAF experience, or a creator you’d like to meet some day. Try to keep it positive, and it will help draw attention to all of the great cartoonists that are also posting their work in the hashtag!

TCAF will also be posting content all this week in that hashtag, so when you go to check it out you’ll hopefully find lots of awesome comics to suit your interest!

Right now we can’t hold TCAF, but we can keep supporting the creators who would have been there this year.

Thanks for your time, and see you this Friday at 6pm and Saturday at 1pm!

  • Christopher Butcher, Artistic Director, TCAF


TCAF Exhibitors: Submit Your Debuting Works

Were you going to be an exhibitor at TCAF 2020 or Zineland Terrace 2020? Do you have a new work that was going to debut at the Festival?

We’ve got a handy new form where we’re accepting submissions of books that were planned to debut at or near the festival. Fill out the form, and we’ll spotlight these works on our Debut Books page and on our social media!

We ask exhibitors to please include a link where your work can be purchased, whether it is a digital copy or a printed copy that can be delivered. Also please make sure your book will be released between March 2020 and June 2020.

Here’s the form!

To see the debut works that have already been submitted, please visit our Debut Books page.

More to come!

TCAF 2020 Announcement of Event Cancellation

Dear fans and attendees of TCAF,

It is with great sadness that we announce that TCAF 2020, scheduled to take place on May 8, 9, and 10, has been cancelled due to a host of factors resulting from the Covid-19 Global Pandemic.

The response within Canada and internationally has been progressing extremely rapidly, with significant protocol changes being made every single day. TCAF’s team has spent the past two weeks interfacing with leaders in the comics community, TCAF partners, sponsors, venues, our Board of Directors, and health care officials, about the best way to move forward, and we have decided yesterday to cancel this year’s festival based on that feedback, and due to the restrictions on travel and events, with no forecasted end to quarantine measures.

We want to say to the entire comics community: We tried very hard to make this work, as we’re very aware of the financial and career necessity that TCAF has become for many working comic authors. At present, cancellation is the only ethical option.

All TCAF exhibitors will receive refunds for their tables, and they have been sent refund request information.

TCAF is committed to using our media and organizational resources to support all of our exhibitors, including those who had deferred or cancelled, however we can. We’re currently putting together a media plan to promote exhibitors online and through TCAF’s original May dates. We’ll have more information next week.

We are also inviting collaboration and feedback from the comics community, with ideas on how we can work to promote and elevate creators. Online comic con? Hashtag? Store orders? We’re brainstorming internally, and we’re willing to work to build a larger coalition too. We’re heartened by the efforts that have been made by other events and organizers on creators’ behalf, and we want to contribute to and build on that. More details will come on twitter @torontocomics, and on our website at

The whole staff of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival is sorry to have to cancel this year. It has been an unprecedented time for the comics community. We’ve been humbled by your letters of support, and it was clear to us that creators, publishers, and readers were rooting for TCAF to happen. That makes this harder in so many ways, but it also makes it a lot easier too, knowing you have our back.

Our sincerest apologies, and our greatest thanks to you.

The staff of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival

Questions You Might Have:

Q: Why cancel the festival? Why not postpone?

While other shows announced postponement rather than cancellation, at this time we’re not comfortable postponing because of the uncertainty around the duration of this pandemic. In addition, there are now multiple open-ended government orders around international travel and cancelling large gatherings, and that makes any postponement or possible rescheduling impossible.

Q: Is it possible for TCAF to be rescheduled later this year?

TCAF is a very complicated event, involving not just the front-facing festival, but a massive shipping and receiving infrastructure, international cooperation, the coordination and rental of multiple venues, and a small army of staff and volunteers. Ramping that up takes about 9 months, each year, and it’s not really something we can press pause on for the next 2-3 months and easily resume. Our best estimate is that from the time quarantining measures are halted, it would take us 5 months to relaunch the festival.

Q: Does this mean Zineland Terrace, or Word Balloon Academy, or Library & Education Day are also cancelled?

All TCAF events and TCAF-partnership events are fully cancelled, including the three above and others. Some events have been announced, and may be a part of long-lead promotion and marketing and may still be out in the world, but all events are in fact cancelled.

Q:  Is TCAF going to be okay?

The best answer that we can give you at this time is: We think so. TCAF’s lead sponsor, The Beguiling, as well as our Festival shop, Page & Panel, have both had to close their doors temporarily due to the virus. There are also a lot of costs around the festival that may be unrecoverable. This will put a financial strain on the organization, but we’re hopeful and we’ve had some amazing support from our granting bodies.

Q: What can I do to support TCAF?

TCAF is made up of many moving parts, with many people working on the festival as well as literally hundreds of working artists exhibiting. Right now the best way you can support TCAF is to support the artists that we work with. We’ll try to make it easy for you to find them on social media, and we’ll announce more plans soon. Follow us on twitter @torontocomics, or keep an eye on

If you’d like to directly sponsor TCAF or make a donation, feel free to reach out at to discuss first please.

Q: You didn’t answer my question, how can I get in touch with you?

Please email for anything that we may have missed in this letter. Please be patient with us if we don’t get back to you right away. We’re doing our best but the whole situation is just a bit overwhelming.

March 13 Update on TCAF 2020

March 13 Update on TCAF 2020

As per our last update on this COVID-19 situation, we wanted to keep you up to date on information about impacts to this year’s Festival as soon as we receive it.

We just learned today at 5pm that all public libraries in the City of Toronto are going to be closed for the next 3 weeks, until April 6th, along with a host of other services in the city. This was also the same time libraries learned they were going to be closed, so you can imagine the speed at which these decisions are being made.

We also learned today that the Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is recommending the immediate suspension of all events and public gatherings over 250 people.

Because of this, we strongly recommend against making any purchases regarding transportation or accommodation to attend TCAF at this time. TCAF’s official hotel block is offering reservation cancellations with full refund, and Air Canada is offering no-fee flight changes. Exhibitors are also still able to cancel participation with no penalty and receive a full refund.

TCAF is currently moving forward because it falls outside of these windows, but that could change very quickly. Closures may be extended and we have no way of knowing when those announcements will be made. Because of this, we want to minimize the financial risk of exhibitors and attendees.

While these government recommendations are being touted as temporary measures ending a month before TCAF, they’re also the first real directives we’ve received from health agencies to make alterations to our program. This is also significantly different than their earlier statements this week, and as an independent arts festival we’re relying on governmental guidance to know the best way forward.

TCAF recognizes the important role it plays for it’s attending creators, both for career building and the often precarious financial situation of working artists. Cancelling the Festival is not a decision to be made lightly, and with 2 months until the event we believe there is time and a real need to consult with our attending creators, our partners, venues, staff and stakeholders, about how we should move forward together. We will update the public as soon as we have more information.

As always, if you have any questions you can reach out to us at

Update to the Comics Community Regarding COVID-19 from TCAF and VanCAF

Update to the Comics Community Regarding COVID-19 from TCAF and VanCAF

In the months leading up to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, including Comics X Games in partnership with Hand Eye Society (May 8-10) and the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (May 16-17), we wanted to update you on our plans. 

At this point, both festivals will be moving forward, with enhanced cleaning procedures at venues, and additional cleaning/sanitizing materials made available to exhibitors and the public. 

Read More


Please include in your event listings:

TCAF 2020

Sat May 9, 9am-5pm & Sun May 10, 9am-5pm
@ Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge

Free to attend  |  |  #TCAF

TORONTO, CANADA: Building on the introduction of our Young Adult programming stream in 2019, TCAF is thrilled to announce the Featured Young Adult Authors attending the 2020 Festival! What’s more, each of these creators will be on hand debuting a major new in the red-hot Young Adult graphic novel category, for readers 12 years old to 18 years old.  TCAF aims to create an amazing experience for fans of the YA category at the 2020 Festival, taking place Saturday May 9 and Sunday May 10, in Toronto, Canada.

“We’re really excited to build on our already strong YA program,” said TCAF Artistic Director Christopher Butcher. “Last year we were fortunate to host Mariko Tamaki and Valero O’Connell for the debut of Laura Deen Keeps Breaking Up With Me, which recently took home a highly-coveted Printz Honor! We are excited to keep making space for important YA authors and graphic novels, and their fans, at TCAF. This year is going to be an incredible year.”

This year, TCAF’s 100+ hours of programming will have a clearly labeled “YA” stream in all panel descriptions and grids, and clearer search tools and pages on the TCAF website, In addition, the website and program guide will feature a YA program overview so that even casual attendees can discover these authors and their works at the Festival.

Full programming will go online at the TCAF website in April. Now, keep reading to be introduced to some of this year’s Featured Young Adult Author Guests!

Featured Young Adult Author Guests of TCAF 2020 include:

M.T. Anderson and Jo Rioux, debuting Daughters of Ys

M.T. Andersonis the New York Times–bestselling author of FeedThe Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, and many more. Jo Rioux a Canadian author and illustrator whose first graphic novel, Cat’s Cradle, won the Joe Shuster Award for Comics for Kids. Together the duo attend TCAF to premiere The Daughters of Ys, their new Fantasy graphic novel intended for an adult audience, from First Second Books.

Daniel Barnes and DJ Kirkland, debuting Aggretsuko, and supporting Black Mage

Daniel Barnes is a writer from Fresno, CA, and DJ Kirkland is a comic book artist from Charlotte, NC. Together the duo created the incisive young adult graphic novel Black Mage, published by Oni Press in Fall 2019, exploring race and racism in Fantasy worlds. The duo attend TCAF in support of Black Mage, and to debut issues from their smash-hit new series Aggretsuko, based on the popular Netflix animated series, and published by Oni Press.

Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg in support of The PLAIN Janes

Long time friends of TCAF, writer Cecil Castellucci (Girl on Film) and cartoonist Jim Rugg (Street Angel) return to the Festival with The PLAIN Janes, the completed, all-in-one graphic novel trilogy that originally made its debut at TCAF back in 2007! This early foray into Young Adult graphic novels is now complete and ready for a new generation of young readers to discover its message of rebellion through art!

Wook Jin Clark, debuting Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy

Wook Jin Clark is a Korean-American illustrator, cartoonist, and storyboard artist, based in Portland, OR. The creator of a number of original graphic novels for Young Adult audiences including King Doug and Megagogo, Wook Jin Clark attends TCAF 2020 in support of his new graphic novel Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy, based on the hit character by SanRio, and published by Oni Press.

Tyler Feder, debuting Dancing at the Pity Party

Tyler Feder is a full-time illustrator from Chicago, IL, and graduate of Second City. Best known for her work illustrating Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin’s Unladylike, you may have also seen her work for Netflix, Comedy Central, or ESPN among others. Tyler Feder attends TCAF to debut her new memoir dealing with loss and acceptance, the bracingly candid and sweetly humourous Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir, published by Dial Books / Penguin Random House Canada.

Laura Lee Gulledge, debuting The Dark Matter of Mona Star

Laura Lee Gulledge is a teaching artist in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the author of the graphic novels Will & Whit and the Eisner-nominated Page by Paige. She attends TCAF in support of her brand new graphic novel The Dark Matter of Mona Star, a bold new work about battling doubt, insecurity, and fear, from Amulet Books / Abrams.

Robin Ha, debuting Almost American Girl

Robin Ha grew up reading and drawing comics. At fourteen she moved to the United States from Seoul, Korea. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in illustration, she moved to New York City and started a career in the fashion industry. She is the author of the bestselling comic book recipe book / memoir Cook Korean!, and attends TCAF to debut her important new memoir Almost American Girl from Harper Collins Canada, about her experiences moving from Korea to the U.S.

Hope Larson, debuting All Together Now

Hope Larson is the author of All Summer Long, which was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018. She also adapted and illustrated A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel, which spent forty-four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and for which she won an Eisner Award. She attends TCAF to premiere her new coming-of-age graphic novel All Together Now, published by First Second Books.

Kat Leyh, debuting Snapdragon

Kat Leyh is a Chicago based writer and artist. She’s best known as the current co-writer and cover artist for the series Lumberjames, and for her queer superhero webcomic Supercakes. Kat Leyh attends TCAF in support of her witchy-new graphic novel Snapdragon, published by First Second.

Kamome Shirahama, debuting Witch Hat Atelier Volume 6

Previously announced, Shirahama Kamome is the author of the incredible Fantasy manga series Witch Hat Atelier, published by Kodansha Press. TCAF will see her first visit to Canada in support of the series, with a debut of volume 6 and a gallery presentation of her work at The Japan Foundation Toronto.

Ngozi Ukazu, debuting Check Please Volume 2: Sticks and Scones

Ngozi Ukazu is the Austin, Texas-based fan-favourite (and TCAF-favourite!) creator of Check, Please!, an online graphic novel. She graduated from Yale University in 2013 with a degree in Computing and The Arts, and received a masters in Sequential Art in 2015. She attends TCAF in support of Check Please Volume 2: Sticks and Scones, from First Second Books.


All of these authors will be present at TCAF on Saturday May 9 and Sunday May 10, either at their own exhibition tables or signing with their listed publishers.

And that’s not all! TCAF 2020 will feature more than 300 participating cartoonists! Head over to to see the cartoonists and publishers already announced, and keep watching our newsletter and social media for up-to-the-minute announcements!


Twitter: @TorontoComics




Please include in your listings: TCAF 2020. Saturday May 9, 9a-5p, and Sunday May 10, 10a-5p, at Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, and the surrounding neighbourhood. Attendance is free.

Select Guest Bios and hi-res Images available upon request. Please send all inquiries to


The Toronto Comic Arts Festival would not be possible without the assistance of our sponsors and partners, including presenting sponsor Toronto Public Library and primary sponsor The Beguiling Books & Art.

TCAF is produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

We would also like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. / Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.

Seneca College is a proud Sponsor of TCAF 2020.

Sponsorship opportunities for TCAF 2020 are still available, please email us at: for more info.

TCAF would like to thank publisher partners including Abrams Books, First Second Books, Harper Collins Canada, Kodansha Comics, Oni Press, and Penguin Random House Canada.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for TCAF 2020. Reach out and contact us!



Zineland Terrace Update

Hello from the Zineland Crew,
As you may have already seen, TCAF just announced that it has made the difficult decision to cancel its 2020 events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (See the full statement from TCAF here This includes Zineland Terrace.
We thank you so much for your interest in the event. We will be spending some time discussing what the next Zineland Terrace might look like and, as soon as any decisions are made about the future of the event, we will be in touch.
Keep well!
Kind regards,


Zineland Terrace Returns to TCAF 2020!

We are excited to announce that Zineland Terrace will be returning to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival for its third year.

The zine fair will run concurrently with TCAF, taking place 11am-6pm on May 9th and 10th at Cumberland Terrace, across the street from Toronto Reference Library. 

Zineland Terrace is meant to be a unique space at TCAF, with lots of offerings for zine creators, readers, and well, everyone! For the past two years we have been proud to offer this welcoming showcase of all types of self-publishing from Toronto, Canada, and beyond as a complement to the festival’s broader comics focus. Zineland distinguishes itself from TCAF’s other fabulous spaces and endeavours because it is focused on the people and projects using  self publishing, DIY, and zine culture to forge new and critical narratives and communities — whether or not they are comics or illustration. 

We are inviting all zine creators to apply! You do not need to make comics or have exhibited at TCAF before. 

We support a wide range of zines and self-publishing styles, and we want to showcase the broad and diverse spectrum of people working in the medium. We especially encourage local, emerging, and marginalized creators to apply and exhibit at TCAF’s Zineland Terrace.

Applications are open now, until 11:59pm on March 20th. 


What are you waiting for? Apply here now!

Feel free to email with any questions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where and when, exactly?

Exhibitor tables for Zineland will again line the second floor of Cumberland Terrace, with workshops and programming in the basement level. Both floors’ activities will be in the eastern half of the mall, closer to Yonge St, with the best entrance at the corner of Yonge St and Cumberland St. (7 Cumberland St). The event runs 11am-6pm, which is concurrent with TCAF’s main festival site and exhibitor marketplace directly across the street at the Toronto Reference Library, but with a later start time and end time.

Applying, paying, and planning ahead of the festival

How much is the fee for each table spot?

This year tables are $75 (+HST, totally $84.75), there is no fee to apply. For those of you who have tabled with us previously, you’ll know that this fee is higher than last year. Tabling fees are what directly covers our costs: from the venue, to snacks, to artists fees for the poster the tabling fee is what allows Zineland to run. There is no fee to apply.

What size is each spot? How many people can fit?

Each table spot is roughly 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep, or half of a shared standard 6ft event table.  We will have few extra chairs available to accommodate people staffing the tables, however no more than two people at a time is comfortable. Take turns!

Is there assigned table placement/seating?

No, tables are available first come first serve at TIME on Saturday May 9. If you need assistance with your table don’t hesitate to ask any of the volunteers or coordinators! 

Can I share a table with a friend? Do we both need to apply?

It depends on what you mean! Each exhibitor spot (as in one fee, one application) is half of a standard 6 foot event table, about 3ft x 2.5ft of total tabletop space.

  • If you want to sit next to each other, but have your own separate exhibitor spots, please apply separately. On fest day, try to arrive together on the early side so you can find a table with both halves unclaimed.

  • If you want one shared 3ft exhibitor spot (half of a 6ft table) for you and a friend, you may apply with one application. Please include the relevant info, names, samples etc both artists. It’s possible but tight to squeeze behind the half-table spot, so you may consider taking turns staffing it at different times.

Can I exhibit for only one day?
Unfortunately we do not offer one day table spots; it’s a big logistical task to accommodate (especially since seating is not pre-assigned), and we want to prioritize people who can commit to  table both days. However, if you want to split the table with another person, or if different individuals will staff the table on each day, that is up to you to coordinate — we only ask that you indicate these plans in your separate applications or apply together. Please let us know if you have made any such arrangement!

Do table spots have outlets available?

Only one or two tables might have an outlet available, and these are reserved for people who require them as an accessibility accommodation. If you think this is you, let us know and we’ll plan for it.  

I’m coming from out of town. Where can I stay?

Unfortunately we are unable to offer a place to stay for visitors to Toronto. Hostels, short-term rentals and hotels are plentiful but really book up quickly for TCAF weekend, so it’s worth booking soon or reaching out to friends, family, or internet crushes to ask if you can stay. TCAF also has a 

Should I apply to Zineland Terrace? What kind of tablers are you looking for?

You probably should! All kinds of zines and zine creators are represented at Zineland, from perzines to chapbooks to mini comics to mail art. 

Key words: text-based, underground, works in progress, old as heck, super new, DIY, political, community-based, experimental, sketchbook, artists getting paid, collabs, punk zines, fanzines, photo zines, pretty zines, accessible prices, cut-n-paste, new friends, screenprinting, staple binding, limited edition, activism, mutual support, zine trades, all that good stuff. 

All applications will be reviewed by multiple members of the Zineland crew. We collectively aim to create an unusually welcoming, wide-ranging and community-oriented space. We encourage, invite, and prioritize applications and support for zinesters who are: new and emerging, queer, trans, Two-Spirit, Black, Indigenous to Turtle Island, people of colour, disabled, poor, underhoused, sex workers, youth, elders, suburban/rural drug users, activists, and loners. community-based projects, loners, newcomers, people with disabilities. 

Are any tables available for free or for a reduced fee?

There are sliding scale table spots available for people who find that the full fee is a barrier to participation and we have some flexibility in terms of total number of tables and placement. Please contact us directly at to access sliding options or for any questions about tables.


About the venue

Is the venue wheelchair accessible?

The Cumberland has an elevator that goes to all floors that Zineland programming will be taking place. The bathrooms do not have stairs, however the clearance makes it difficult to access the facilities with most mobility devices. The closest accessible washrooms with better clearance are in the Reference Library, Starbucks, or Tim Hortons on the east side of Yonge St.

What is the washroom situation with regards to accessibility and gender markers? 

Two shared washrooms are in the basement of the Cumberland building, just right of the elevators or left of the eastern escalators. There are no single stall washrooms.  Typically they are genderedm but during Zineland they will simply be labeled as having stalls only or urinals and stalls both. There are single stall washrooms across the street. 

In previous years, the Cumberland Terrace washrooms were sometimes locked or bizarrely patrolled by venue security. This was really uncomfortable for a number of people. We are sorry. We’d specifically asked for unlocked, gender neutral washrooms but somehow that was misinterpreted. This year, we prioritized making a clear agreement to prevent this weirdness. The contract we’ve signed with the venue has a special clause which states:

The Releasee hereby agree to accommodate the Releasor’s special request to keep the lower level washrooms adjacent to L20 open and unlocked during the rental hours to accommodate the visitors of the book fair. The Releasor acknowledges that the premises are open to the public and that there are possible risks associated with off-hours washroom availability. 

As a condition of the Releasee’s accommodation of this request, the Releasor recognizes these circumstances and shall accept primary responsibility for the safety and comfort of any and all book fair visitors who may access the washrooms. The Releasor shall provide signage at their sole cost and expense. The signage shall indicate that the washrooms will be unisex for the duration of the book fair and shall confirm the available facilities (e.g. stalls, urinals) in each washroom. 


Festival time!

What should tables bring?

Bring lots of zines! It’s impossible to know precisely how many zines to sell, but if you have several titles it’s wise to bring at least 10 of each if possible. Please also bring a table covering of come kind. Feel free to have fun with the decorations! 

You are responsible for bringing the business essentials: a float with Canadian coins and bills, a cashbox, and a price list. If you have a card reader, go for it. Some people prep small text descriptions of the zines to make it easier for shoppers. 

Please also consider packing:

  • Business cards if that’s your thing
  • Water and snacks
  • A phone charger
  • Basic toiletries (toothbrush, deodorant, hand sanitizer, tampons, mints etc)
  • Glasses
  • Umbrella (check the weather!)
  • Your own spending money or extra zine copies to trade

Can I step out for a moment? Can someone watch my table for me?

At some point, you will need to take a break for food, washroom, quiet or anything else. This is fine, breaks are healthy! However we suggest limiting breaks to 30 minutes tops when possible — many zinesters will tell you how important it is to physically be present if you want to make sales! If an emergency comes up and you need to leave, please let a Zineland staffer know. We want you to be there the whole day, please plan to be there until 6pm. Nothing is more depressing than a half-empty zine fair, and it kinda makes us feel bad. 

There may be a volunteer available to sit at your table while you’re gone, but we cannot guarantee this. Most often, exhibitors find it easiest to ask their neighbours to watch their stuff, and can later return the favour. Some vendors arrange to have someone they know relieve them at a specific time. 

You probably know this, but keep track of anything you would hate to lose. Keep belongings hidden under your tablecloth or chair, behind you against the wall, or nearby.  outside of your view or reach. Set-up and takedown can be particularly chaotic and things can go missing. We can’t be responsible for any lost or stolen goods.

Can I keep my stuff overnight at the venue?

We will be clearing tables at the end of each day as the venue is open to the public after Zineland closes for the night. But there will be space available to keep your things at the venue overnight! Your things can be locked in a room for safekeeping located in the basement. 

What amenities are there at the Cumberland or close by?

Most of the shops in the Cumberland are closed weekends, and more and more are closed permanently. Here are some tips for the neighbourhood:

Green room:
Zineland will to provide some snacks and refreshments like fruit, granola bars and nuts, but please come prepared for a full day of tabling. If you have any food allergies we need to know about, please email us at Water bottles are highly recommended!

We are in the process of making arrangements with the Cumberland’s ground floor restaurants (Salad Days, Little Hut & Esther Soups) so that they will remain open during Zineland (typically they are closed on weekends). All of them offer coffee and healthy and hearty lunch options for under $10 (!!!), and between them they can accommodate most dietary restrictions. Otherwise, we suggest walking south on Yonge St a block or two where you’ll find many options including Lebanese, Jamaican, Korean, Taiwanese, fast food and small grocery stores.

There’s a Rexall pharmacy just West on Bloor St, and also a Shoppers Drugmart nearby. Dollarama, tobacco shops and convenience stores are all a few blocks south on Yonge St, after Bloor St.

Easy and fast printing can be hard to come by on weekends, so we encourage vendors to have everything done a few days ahead of the festival. Of course, we’re zinesters, so that doesn’t always happen. In a pinch, Print Pros and Print Cloud (commercial printer)  are open for a few hours on Saturday, but we can’t attest to their service.

While we recommend bringing a hearty float with lots of change as well as any spending money in cash, there are ATMs of all major Canadian banks within a block of the venue. York Foreign Exchange is nearby and open on Saturday, should you require currency exchange. 



TCAF 2020
Sat May 9, 9am-5pm & Sun May 10, 9am-5pm
@ Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge

Saturday May 9th, 10am-5pm
@ St. Paul’s on Bloor, 227 Bloor St. E.

TORONTO, CANADA: TCAF proudly unveils its Kids Author Featured Guests for 2020! These authors, illustrators, writers, and cartoonists represent some of the strongest work in all of comics, and many of the year’s best works will debut at TCAF 2020! TCAF will also hold a special offsite one-day event, TCAF KIDS DAY, which will put the spotlight squarely on books for young readers, in a venue welcoming kids and families!

“Comics for young people are some of the most exciting areas of comics publishing,” said TCAF Kids Programming Coordinator Andrew Woodrow-Butcher. “TCAF has long had a commitment to supporting all audiences when it comes to programming our guests, but this year we’re pleased to have one of the most robust and exciting lists of Featured Guests ever!”

Read More