FEBRUARY 21, TORONTO: The Toronto Comic Arts Festival continues its incredible 2017 Festival announcements with its Kids and Young Adult Guests and Programming! Perfect for kids and teens as well as everyone who loves comics for young people, TCAF’s extensive Kids and YA Programs offer a chance to meet and interact with some of the biggest names in publishing!


Now in its sixth year, TCAF Kids Day 2017 returns to St. Paul’s on Bloor, 227 Bloor Street East (at Church). A full day of programming for young people, including live presentations, draw-alongs, author signings, activities, and much more! Best of all, it’s completely free, and none of the activities require tickets: just show up and enjoy! The full details of TCAF Kids Day will be revealed in March, but you can count on many of the great creators listed below taking part! TCAF Kids Day starts at 10am, and concludes right around 5pm.


In addition to our special-venue, one-day-only event, TCAF will have an on-site space for kids both days, all day, at Toronto Reference Library in the Beeton Auditorium. There’ll always be something fun on for the younger set, so swing by and meet authors, take part in activities, and more!


TCAF has always been lucky enough to have some of the biggest names in comics for young people attend the Festival, and this year is no different! Check out this list which includes Governor General’s Award-Winners, picture-book makers, manga creators, cartoonists galore, and some of the biggest names in Young Adult publishing!


Isabelle Arsenault and Fanny Britt are the team behind Jane, the Fox and Me. It was the winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustration (French) and the Joe Shuster Award for Best Writer and Best Artist. It was also named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book. They’re attending TCAF to promote Louis Undercover, out this Fall from Groundwood Books.

Svetlana Chmakova is an award-winning graphic novelist, with over 10 books published, and work translated into 13 languages. Her full-length manga series include the fan-favorite romantic comedy Dramacon, the award-winning urban fantasy Nightschool: The Weirn Books, as well as the manga adaptation of the NYT bestselling Witch & Wizard by James Patterson. Svetlana’s current work is the critically-acclaimed and award-winning middle grade graphic novel Awkward, as well as its follow-up Brave published by Yen Press (and debuting at TCAF 2017!).

Elise Gravel is an author illustrator from Montreal, Quebec. A prolific artist, she currently has over thirty children’s books to her name which have been translated into a dozen languages, including I Want a Monster! and The Disgusting Critters series. In 2012, Gravel received the Governor General’s Literary Award for her book The Great Antonio, about the famous Montreal strongman with a heart of gold. Elise will debut her sketchbook, If Found… Please Return to Elise Gravel, with Drawn & Quarterly at TCAF 2017.

Matt Forsythe is a cartoonist and illustrator known for his award-winning comics Ojingogo and Jinchalo, as well as being the lead designer on Adventure Time from 2012-2014. His picture books include My Name is ElizabethWarning:Do Not Open This Book, and it’s follow-up, Please Open This Book. He is attending TCAF in support of his latest picture book, The Gold Leaf, which was done in collaboration with Kirsten Hall.

Jarrett Williams is best known for his pro-wrestling/adventure series Super Pro K.O.! for Oni Press. When he is not drawing graphic novels, he’s working on covers and back-up comics for Invader Zim (Oni Press), Adventure Time (Boom Studios), and Powerpuff Girls (IDW). He currently writes and draws Hyper Force Neo for Z2 Comics.

Welcoming First Second Back to TCAF!

Industry leaders in Kids and YA Publishing, First Second Books celebrated its 10th Anniversary at TCAF last year, and are returning to TCAF 2017 with a truly incredible list of participating creators!

Scott Westerfeld is the author of the worldwide bestselling Uglies series and the Locus Award–winning Leviathan series, and is co-author of the Zeroes trilogy. His other novels include the New York Times bestseller AfterworldsThe Last Days, Peeps, So Yesterday, and the Midnighters trilogy. He is attending TCAF to debut Spill Zone, his first comics work, published by First Second Books.

Shannon Hale is the bestselling author of many books for children, including the Ever After High series, Princess Academy (Newbery Honor book), and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl MG novel. She co-wrote the graphic novels Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack and the chapter book series The Princess in Black with her husband Dean Hale. She is attending TCAF to debut Real Friends with artist LeUyen Pham, published by First Second Books.

LeUyen Pham is the bestselling illustrator of The Princess in Black series with Shannon and Dean Hale.  She wrote and illustrated Big Sister, Little Sister and The Bear Who Wasn’t There and is the illustrator of many other picture books, including The Boy Who Loved Math. She attends TCAF to debut Real Friends, published by First Second Books.

In addition to these Featured Guests, TCAF is proud to welcome even more great creators from First Second Books for 2017, including:

  • Faith Erin Hicks – debuting The Stone Heart, her latest in the Nameless City trilogy. Other graphic novels include Friends with Boys, the Bigfoot Boy series, The Last of Us: American Dreams, and the Eisner Award–winning The Adventures of Superhero Girl.
  • Molly Ostertag – artist of the award-winning webcomic Strong Female Protagonist. She is debuting Shattered Warrior.
  • Matthew Loux – creator of Sidescrollers and the Salt Water Taffy series. Artist of F-Stop, Good Night Gabba Land. His latest book is The Time Museum.
  • Mike Cavallaro – artist of many books, including Parade (with fireworks), The Life and Times of Savior 28, the Foiled series , and Decelerate Blue.
  • Mike Holmes – debuting Secret Coders: Secrets & Sequences, the latest volume of his series with Gene Luen Yang.
  • George O’Connor – creator of the Olympians series as well as such graphic novels as Journey into Mohawk Country and Ball Peen Hammer.
  • Farel Dalrymple – creator of the highly acclaimed WrenchiesPop Gun War: Chain Letter, and IT WILL ALL HURT.
  • Box Brown – Ignatz Award-winning creator of Andre the Giant: Life and Legend and TetrisThe Games People Play.
  • Penelope Bagieu – Already announced, Penelope Bagieu returns to TCAF 2017 with her First-Second Published Graphic Novel California Dreamin’.
  • Alison Wilgus – author of comics, prose, and animation, Alison Wilgus attends TCAF in support of Science Comics: Flying Machines.

But Wait, There’s MORE!

Did you know that this year, almost one third of TCAF’s more than 400 exhibiting creators ALSO make comics and graphic novels for young people? It’s true! Stroll the exhibition floor to meet famous creators like Cecil Castellucci (Soupy Leaves Home, Dark Horse), Gigi D.G. (Cucumber Quest, First Second Books), Becky & Frank (Capture Creatures), Britt Wilson (Cat-Dad, King of the Goblins, Koyama Press), Ru Xu (NewsPrints, Scholastic Books), and literally dozens more! Best of all, we’ve made them SUPER-EASY to find on our website! Just visit the Kids Creators [Link] and YA Creators [Link] tabs on torontocomics.com.

In Closing…

TCAF is thrilled to continue to provide programs to comics readers of all ages, and we would like to thank all of the publishers who make our great kids programs possible!