Information and Registration for Word Balloon Academy will be announced closer to the festival, typically in April.

Word Balloon Academy
Friday, May 10th, 2019
10am – 5pm @ the Bloor Yorkville Marriott
Registration required


TCAF is pleased to present Word Balloon Academy, a full day of creator-focused programming on Friday, May 10th at the Marriott Bloor Yorkville, located at 90 Bloor Street East (Bloor/Yonge Subway).

Note: While registering, please be aware that there are multiple programs happening at the same time! Please be mindful that you’ve chosen the topic you want more, and are available at the time listed. Space is limited and we’d like as many people to be able to attend as possible– thank you for your cooperation!

Word Balloon Academy is a full day of presentations and workshops especially for comic creators and industry members, and includes programming spanning creative demonstrations, business development topics and professional concerns. These programs require registration, but are completely free to attend.


Just select the ‘ticket’ above for each program you’d like to attend on our Eventbrite page. You’ll be emailed a digital copy of the tickets. You do not need to print them, but on the day of the event, guests are required to check-in at the WBA registration table before each panel, by name. Please be mindful of your own programming schedule, late-arrivals will lose priority status over the rush line.

REMINDER: Registration is required for each individual program! There is no limit to the number of events a guest can register for (but try not to register for programs you’re not committed to attending, and be careful of programs running at the same time, but in different rooms).


We will be running ‘rush lines’ on the day of the event to ensure the greatest number of people get to participate, and that all seats are filled. Even without registering, there is a chance to see presentations, however we highly recommend that you register in advance and arrive on-time in order to guarantee a seat.


Registration closes on Thursday May 9th at 11:59pm, or when all tickets of any given panel are claimed. Afterwards, admission will be via rush-line only, on a first-come first-serve basis.

Beautiful logo thanks to artist Dustin Harbin!

Questions? E-mail Kim at!


Q: What is Word Balloon Academy? 

A: Word Balloon Academy is a full day of presentations and workshops for comic creators and industry members, free of charge and scheduled the day before the main exhibition days of the festival.

Q: Who is it for? Can anyone attend a WBA workshop or presentation? 

A: WBA was created with creators and industry members in mind, but is open to non-exhibitors as well. The only condition: for each presentation at the WBA, you must register to attend! There are separate dates for exhibitors and the public to register, so keep your eyes open for the registration date that applies to you.

Q: What is this ‘Professional Clinic’?

A: We’ve brought in various professionals to help YOU become more professional! In 2018 we’ve got a representative from Canada Council for the first time. With their new revamped system, you can apply online and keep track of your eligibility status. Ask all your burning questions one-on-one! We’ve also go some Come get an author portrait shot, or bring your creator bios in to be edited.

Q: If I want to attend a full day of presentations, can I keep my seat all day?

A: No! Sorry about that, but we need you to register for each presentation separately. There is ample time to clear the rooms and re-enter. There will also be tables to peruse in the breakout space! We’ll make it really easy, we promise.

Q: What can I expect from a WBA presentation?

A: Most presentations are a talk with slides, a live demonstration of skill, or experts in conversation, but there’s room for each presenter to make it their own. We’ve tried to choose topics that are a little beyond your comics basics — after all, we’re all pros here right? 🙂 Observe and ask pertinent questions at the end, and learn from the presenters as well as your peers. You should bring your own pen and paper to take plenty of notes — and it doesn’t hurt to have your business card on you!

Q: Can I ask a WBA presenter to sign my books? How about portfolio reviews?

A: That’s not what they’re here for, so we advise against it, but it will be up to them in the end. Please ask respectfully at the end of the presentations, or save it for the appropriate times during the rest of the festival weekend. There’s still lots to be partaken in at TCAF after WBA ends — you’ll not yet have missed an opportunity.