Monday, August 20, 2007

TCAF Wrap-Up

Well, TCAF is all over. It feels like a week happened over Saturday and Sunday. TCAF is always my best show so my expectations were high - as usual though, the show did not disappoint.

I put a lot into this show, doing up a new comic for the event as well as doing up a bunch of t-shirts at Hardboiled. Also, as mentioned, I was nervous going into this show as my new comic "The Rosie Stories" is so personal - I don't think I've ever put myself out there as much as I have with this comic.

I had a great table mate for the weekend, Claudia Davila who was selling her first-ever comic - Spoiled. Claudia was doing awesome business with her mini, and getting a lot of well-deserved attention. Check out her webcomic Luz, to see her latest stuff.

The morning was slow getting started, and I was very foggy-headed for at least the first hour as a result of going to the Doug Wright after-party the night before with my sister Jennifer who came down from Ottawa just to help me man my booth. Apologies to anyone who showed up at this time if I seemed weird and cranky.

At the party I happened to mention to Andy Brown of Cunundrum Press that I loved Rupert Bottenberg's work, and he said well this is Rupert right here! They were both down from Montreal to plug the new anthology Monster Island Three. The book contains comics and essays about monsters and comics and is edited by Billy Mavreas. I know Rupert's stuff from when I lived in Montreal and he did a bunch of illustration work for the local alt-weekly as well as a lot of band posters. It was great to meet him.

Things started picked up around 1 PM and got really crazy all afternoon. The venue, Old Victoria College is a big one and there were a lot of people there! Kudos to Chris Butcher and the Beguiling for really getting the word out for this show. I'd love to know the official attendance numbers...

Saturday night, Dave and I went to Sneaky Dee's for the after-party and specifically to see our friend Willow Dawson play the saw in her band Little Brown Bat. I was dead tired, so didn't last very long but the band was really good. Ray, the frontman has a great voice and the saw is surprisingly elegant and melodic as an instrument (I think I was expecting something more along the lines of a washboard!).

Saturday is always the busiest day of the show so I didn't really know what to expect for this day. After selling a lot of books and a few t-shirts the day before, I was pretty calm and relaxed though. My sister set up the t-shirts a different way this day and was modelling one of the designs. Her efforts really paid off, as the tees were flying off my table that day! I will updated my website soon with the images, colours and sizes. They'll be available through Paypal.

The morning again was slow so I tried to look around a little bit as I hadn't even been to each room of the show yet. I also brought a bunch of stuff to get signed and was successful in this regard. I got to meet Jillian Tamaki and had Gilded Lilies signed, Rebecca Kraatz signed my House of Sugar, and Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing signed my Blar and Bugbear. Good stuff.

Scott Chantler had the annotated Northwest Passage (which of course I picked up - it's gorgeous!) available and he was doing booming business. He said it was his best show ever and I started calling him "The man of TCAF".

Though it wasn't my best sales show ever (I think this was last TCAF for me which is when the Globe and Mail did an interview with me), it certainly is still my best and favourite show. In total I sold 90 comics and 20 t-shirts so I'm super happy about that!

Special thanks to my sis who not only helped at my booth, but got my lunch both days and babysat for Rosie so we could go out on Saturday night!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New Rosie Stories Mini-Comic out for TCAF!

Hey everybody, exciting news! As previously announced, I will have a new mini-comic out for TCAF, called "The Rosie Stories".

After bumping into Chip Zdarsky in the lobby of my building today where we talked about how excited we are for TCAF, I dropped off the mock-up for the printer. It will literally be hot off the press for Saturday. Here's the cover:

The Rosie StoriesThe comic is 13 pages long and features 2 autobiographical stories about all the experiences and feelings (both good and bad) that go with being a new parent, along with a couple of "L'il Rosie" cartoons of Rosie done up in a Peanuts style (big headed kid one page gags). These Peanuts-style cartoons were much tougher to do than I anticipated, but I do want to try some more in the future.

The Rosie in question, is of course my daughter Rosie. This comic is a real outpouring of my heart, and I'm feeling a bit vulnerable about putting this out there - but they are real markers of what's important in my life right now and the stories I'm interested in telling. The lady at the copy shop said it was "really cute" . When I said "Really? You thought it was cute?" - she said "Well yeah, and really well done." I'm good with this.

It will have a 2-colour offset cover, with B&W interior and will be available for the low, low price of $3.00. I will also have a couple of t-shirts for TCAF. One is a re-run of my Toca Loca kazoo shirt which was sold out in all small sizes. The other is a new design of an astronaut girl looking up at a Melies moon. I will post images once I have them. They will be $20.00 and $25.00 respectively and will be available in different sizes and colours.

What Else to Look for at TCAF
Where to start, where to start?

There is going to be so much good stuff available but I thought I would highlight the stuff I'm especially looking forward to...

Claudia Davila - Spoiled Mini-Comic

Claudia and her husband Michael Cho will be my tablemates at TCAF and I couldn't be happier about that! On top of being good friends and all-around great people, Claudia will be debuting her first ever comic at the show: Spoiled, an allegory about humankind's connection with nature in relation to petroleum.

She is a great cartoonist and one to watch for sure, and she's launching the comic with a party on the the Thursday night. Check out her Luz: Girl of the Knowing webcomic here.

Ray Fawkes/Cameron Stewart - Apolcalipstix
Having made their first appearance in the RAID anthology "Rumble Royale", the Apolcalipstix get their own OGN from Oni and it makes its debut at TCAF! This modern Tank Girl like story is written by Ray Fawkes with gorgeous artwork (as usual) by Cameron Stewart.

Matthew Forsythe - Ojingogo
Matthew Forsythe from Montreal does a great mini-comic called Ojingogo. It also exists in a webcomic format that's been nominated for all kinds of awards. See why by checking out some of his stuff at TCAF.

Stuart and Kathryn Immonen - Never as Bad as You Think, Moving Pictures
Stuart and Kathryn Immonen have a couple of new releases for TCAF: a new 24-pg version of "Moving Pictures" in mini-comic format, and the first printing of their webcomic "Never as Bad as You Think" in trade paperback format. I will be looking for both at the show.

Jillian Tamaki - Gilded Lilies
I picked this one up awhile back, it's a great sketchbook from Conumdrum Press. Tom Spurgeon listed it as one of his picks of 2006. Jillian is an ex-pat who now lives in New York City. I really love her stuff. Be sure to check out the Kiss Machine comic that she illustrated as well. If you like James Jean, you will like Jillian Tamaki.

Eleanor Davis & Drew Weing
The only non-Canucks on my list. TCAF is their first Canadian appearance. I first became aware of their stuff at SPX, and I've been ordering their minis from Little House Comics for awhile now - all of them are just terrific! From what's in stock on their website I would recommend "Blar" from Drew and "Mati and Dodi" from Eleanor.

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