Canada’s crazy. Last year at TCAF we had to slow people down from trying to throw cash as us so quickly. That’s not a bad thing, we’re not complaining. I’ve just never been surrounded by so many intense happy comic fans, eager to get the latest titles from us. Since we’re bringing so many killer debut books with us this year, I hope the reaction will be just as excited as last year. Check out our lineup of artist signings and fresh new books to get you pumped for Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2017!
Texas-born illustrator, painter, designer and part-time musician, Gary Panter is a child of the ’50s who blossomed in the full glare of the psychedelic ’60s and, after surviving underground during the ’70s, finally made his mark in the ’80s as head set designer for the successful kid/adult TV show Pee Wee’s Playhouse, a job which brought his jagged art and surreal cartoon ideas into the homes of America and bagged him two Emmy Awards. His notable underground comics works include Jimbo, Adventures in Paradise, Jimbo’s Inferno and Facetasm. His newest book, Songy of Paradise, published by Fantagraphics, is an inspired interpretation of John Milton’s retelling of the story of Jesus being tempted by Satan.
Dave Cooper began his career in the 90s, making underground comics for Seattle’s Fantagraphics Books. his graphic novel Ripple sported an introduction by David Cronenberg. At the turn of the century, dave morphed into an oil painter, showing alternately at galleries in Los Angeles and New York City. Monographs of his paintings had introductions by David Cross, and Guillermo del Toro (Dave’s biggest patron). Around 2008 Dave turned his attention to the field of animation, ultimately getting two of his kids television shows greenlit- PIG GOAT BANANA CRICKET (co-created by Johnny Ryan) for Nickelodeon, and THE BAGEL AND BECKY SHOW (based on his kids book, BAGEL’S LUCKY HAT for Teletoon.
Eleanor Davis is a cartoonist and illustrator. She lives in Athens, GA. She was born in Tucson, Arizona. In 2009, Davis won the Eisner’s Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award and was named one of Print magazine’s New Visual Artists. In 2013, her short story In Our Eden received a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators. In 2015, her book How To Be Happy won the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Anthology or Collection.
Jason is a Norwegian cartoonist known for combing a poker-faced minimalist anthropomorphic style with more than a passing nod to the “clear-line” ethos of Hergé. As he has shown in a series of acclaimed graphic novels, this seemingly limited approach has proven amazingly versatile, allowing Jason to create gag comedy, romantic melodramas, dramas, and genuine thrillers. He is the winner of many U.S. and international comics awards including two Eisners, and has had his work translated into Swedish, Finnish, German, Italian and French in addition to English. He is currently living in Montpellier, France.
Simon Hanselmann is a New York Times best-selling author who was born in Tasmania in 1981. He has contributed comics and illustrations to the Believer and Pitchfork, among other publications. He lives in Seattle, WA and on girlmountain.tumblr.com.
Noah Van Sciver
Noah Van Sciver first came to comic readers’ attention with his critically acclaimed comic book series Blammo, which has earned him 3 Ignatz award nominations. His work has appeared in Mad magazine, Best American Comics 2011, and The Stranger, as well as countless graphic anthologies. One of the most prolific cartoonists of his generation, Van Sciver’s graphic novels include: The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln, Youth Is Wasted, Saint Cole, Disquiet and Fante Bukowski Vol. 1 and 2. Noah currently lives in Columbus, OH.
Ron Regé Jr.
Ron Regé, Jr began self publishing & distributing his own comics in Cambridge, MA during the early 1990’s. His first Graphic Novel Skibber Bee~Bye was published by Highwater Books in 2000. Since then he has published books with Drawn & Quarterly, McSweeney’s, Buenaventura Press, and Fantagraphics Books. The Cartoon Utopia, originally released in 2012 is out now in paperback along with his newest collection What Parsifal Saw. He lives in Los Angeles.
Chaffee is a professional tattooist and comics artist. His previous books are “The Big Wheels” (1993), “The Most Important Thing & Other Stories” (1995), and “Good Dog” (2013). He lives and works in Los Angeles.
Benjamin Marra is the notorious, controversial and influential comic creator of the comic books Terror Assaulter, American Blood, and the upcoming Night Business. His art beyond the cutting edge. His work is in the cut itself. Some of the publications and companies he has done illustration for include Playboy, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Marvel Comics, Vice, Radar, Paper, Nylon, and others. He currently lives in Toronto where he makes comics and designs for the MLB.
Songy of Paradise by Gary Panter
Fantagraphics is proud to present a major all-new book by Gary Panter. Songy of Paradise is an inspired interpretation of John Milton’s retelling of the story of Jesus being tempted by Satan after being baptized by John the Baptist and fasting for forty days and nights in the Judaean Desert. Panter’s version doesn’t rely on Milton’s words, but faithfully follows the structure of Milton’s Paradise Regained, with one notable exception: Jesus has been replaced by a hillbilly, Songy, who is on a vision quest before being tempted by a chimeric Satan figure.
On the Camino by Jason
The Camino de Santiago is a 500 mile, historic pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. It is walked by thousands every year, both Christians and non-believers. To mark his 50th birthday, the brilliant Norwegian cartoonist Jason decided that walking the length of the Camino was what he needed to do. On the Camino is Jason’s memoir of that trek — 32 days and 500 miles from St. Jean Pied de Port to Finisterre, observing with the eye of an artist, chronicling both the good (people, conversations) and the bad (blisters, bedbugs).
One More Year by Simon Hanselmann
Simon Hanselmann’s previous two Megg & Mogg books — 2014’s Megahexand 2016’s Megg and Mogg in Amsterdam — have both been New York Timesbestsellers, and One More Year continues to cement Hanselmann as one of his generation’s defining cartoonists. Megg the witch, Mogg the cat, and their friends Owl and Werewolf Jones are imbued with far more pathos and depth than seems plausible given the stock comic premise — drugged-out, slacker roommates. Depressing, hilarious, and exceedingly human — despite being about a witch, a cat, and an anthropomorphic owl — One More Year continues to give more substance to the characters and personalities of its protagonists in ways that never fail to surprise, delight, and horrify.
Vague Tales by Eric Haven
While experiencing a succession of bewildering parallel universes, a solitary figure has telepathic encounters with a demonic aviatrix, a wandering crystalline being, a flaming sword-wielding warrior, and a mysterious sorceress, all within the confines of his own apartment. Vague Tales is the debut graphic novel from Eisner Award-nominated cartoonist Eric Haven (UR), who moonlighted as a three-time Emmy-nominated producer on the TV show MythBusters and has contributed short comic stories for years to esteemed publications such as The Believer and Kramers Ergot. Haven’s work is dark, absurdist, and deadpan, reflecting the apocalyptic undercurrent of modern times.
Ripple by Dave Cooper
In Ripple, Martin is a floundering painter desperately attempting to pursue his fine-art inclinations rather than toil in the world of commercial art. He hires a model, Tina, to pose for a series of paintings he dubs “The Eroticism of Homeliness.” Over time, their relationship evolves from a tenuous working relationship to a confused sexual entanglement. Martin’s initial repulsion for Tina slowly turns to attraction, causing him to re-evaluate his own notions of beauty and sexuality. Tina’s motives in working for Martin are slowly turned upside-down as well, leading towards the book’s inevitable, explosive ending. Throughout it all, Ripple is a complex love story poked and prodded from all angles, from Martin and Tina’s physical and emotional feelings toward each other, Martin’s dishonesty to himself, Tina’s self-loathing, and everything in between. Sad, funny, and often uncomfortably titillating, Ripple is a remarkably introspective graphic novel, rendered with kinetic realism.
To Have & To Hold by Graham Chaffee
Couched in the traditional trappings of a noir heist thriller, Graham Chaffee’s To Have and To Hold is a hard-boiled disquisition on the darker regions of married life and the American Dream. Set in October 1962, while the world holds its collective breath awaiting the possibly apocalyptic climax of the unfolding Cuban Missile Crisis, the banality of everyday life goes on, as Lonnie and Kate Ross confront their own domestic cold war. As Kate, frustrated and disillusioned, looks outside her marriage for satisfaction, Lonnie’s justifiable suspicions of his wife’s infidelity lead him down a deadly road of increasing paranoia and violence as he seeks to reclaim what he’s lost. Possession, jealousy, lust, and betrayal — the classic ingredients for a rocky marriage in an America on the verge of nuclear apocalypse. Masterfully paced and drawn in Chaffee’s fluid, inky brushstrokes, To Have and To Hold captures the pulpy, nocturnal atmosphere of classic noir.
Saturday, May 13th
The Pilot, 22 Cumberland St.
01:30 PM – Spotlight: Gary Panter x R. Sikoryak – R. Sikoryak and Gary Panter have been important figures in the New York cartooning world since the 1980s, when they were both contributors to the tremendously influential RAW Magazine. Both have recently published graphic novel adaptations of prose texts and will speak on the process of adaptation as well as their distinctive style decisions. Sikoryak will present his verbatim adaptation of the iTunes agreement, TERMS AND CONDITIONS while Panter will present SONGY OF PARADISE, an interpretation of Milton’s Paradise Regained.
02:45 PM – Comedy and Comics Saturday – Sure, cartoonists can draw…but are they funny? Yes! This panel features some of the side-splittingest creators in comics talking about how they found their voices, what makes them laugh today, and whether or not their friends are sick of them trying out jokes all the time.Panelists: Simon Hanselmann, Jane Mai, Danielle Corsetto, Gemma Correll, Jonathan Sun. Moderator: Daniel Marrone
04:00 PM – Comics Carousel – Back for another round! R. Sikoryak’s long running comics performance/reading series, returns to TCAF with shows and readings from a slew of the top talent at the festival this year! Featuring Eleanor Davis, Glynnis Fawkes, Keren Katz, and more!
Summerhill Ballroom, Marriott Bloor-Yorkville
01:30 PM – Expressive Lines And The Power of Restraint – There are many ways of showcasing expressive art in comics. Join Hellen Jo, Ron Rege Jr., Keren Katz, Maggie Umber, and Xia Gordon as they talk about what goes into composing a page, what influences their art, and how they use expressiveness to tell a story.
Sunday, May 14th
High Park Ballroom, Marriott Bloor-Yorkville
01:30 PM – New Book Spotlight: The Monsters of Autobio – Each debuting a major new work this TCAF, Gabreille Bell, David Collier, and Jason are three huge names in alternative comics. Join them as they discuss what it is that attracts them to autobio, how they feel about sharing personal information with their audiences, and what keeps pushing them to make such impressive books.