I had an excellent weekend at my first Toronto Comics and Arts Festival. I didn’t table, but was instead a tourist, handing out my comics to give people a taste. Even though I only went to the festival for a few hours, I got some sweet comics, which I’ll chat about here!
Kawaii by the Slow Youth crew: This a beautifully-printed art book with sweet 2-color Riso art, like a lost ‘zine created by a nihilist-80s high school otaku club. Anime eyes, monsters, robots, a trip to Japan… totally fun.
Il Cammino delle Capre by Zachary Zezima and Kris Mukai: Part of the Slow Youth crew, these two tell a creepy and true(?!) horror story set in a forest, and it is one of my favorite comics from the show. Lovely cartooning and eerie artwork.
Jen Tong is my friend who takes me to great restaurants and introduces me to great people everywhere I go. I love her screen printed book and art-objects. She’s part of the Odd Lot studio in Brooklyn, which includes Aya Kakeda. We had an epic meal at Guu Izakaya, the best Japanese restaurant I’ve been to outside of Japan!
Frontier #1 by Uno Moralez, published by Youth in Decline: Ryan Sands and Jane Cho had good cosmic rays emanating from them as we chatted. Frontier #1, a new series by Youth in Decline that’s featuring Hellen Jo in the next issue, is a collection of silent comics and nightmare-scenes by Uno Moralez, a Russian, Kazuo-Umezu-inflected pixel-horror genius. Youth in Decline’s lenticular prints of Uno’s art is the ideal way of showcasing his animated-gif goodness in real-life.
Timber Run #1 by Alex Kim: A horror story set in a haunted cabin surrounded by jagged trees (cabins keep popping up in my favorite TCAF comics) that’s the start of a longer story. I could read thousands of Alex’s pages.
House of Women by Sophie Goldstein: The first issue of a new series about alien nuns civilizing an exiled planet is so good! I could also read thousands of Sophie Goldstein’s comic pages; the character designs are so cute and the pages are so bold. This is Sophie’s stylish and well-made CCS thesis project.
Broken Face by Dakota McFadzean: As a graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies, I know CCSers have a super-well read and amazing understanding of cartooning history, and it’s reflected in their work. Dakota slices and dices cartooning devices, building a self-reflective silent-story that plays with word balloons and “the face.” Disturbing horror-twee, and expertly-drawn.
XOXO, the Gossip Girl fan ‘zine published by InkStuds: i’ve never seen Gossip Girl, but it must be good if this great line-up is into it. From what I’ve gathered, Charlie Bass is a rich, thoughtful socialite who is the center of everyone’s world? I think he’s a good guy? Cartoonists secretly wants to be/date him? I really liked Ben Marra’s sexy version of the show where everyone has silicone-smoker bodies and wears swimsuits. It’s cool this TV program has inspired funny, absurd, and poetic art.
Fruit Basket by Jonathan Petersen and published by Domino Books: A shape-shifting tale set in a forest, with harsh patterns, a bizarre story-line and a great flow. That banana you just ate might’ve been a homeless man/alien.
Domino Books newspaper: Smooth, minimalist, expressionist comics by Warren Craghead and EA Bethea, with one of my favorite TCAF comics, Neighbors, by Joanna Hellgren. It’s about an old lady who becomes a bit too obsessed with the family who moves into her apartment complex. I was absorbed!
Lil’ Buddies Magazine by Edie Fake: OMG, one of my favorite sights to see — anthropomorphized objects painted and printed on funky stores and signs around town — is now the subject of this ‘zine series. Photos and locations of cute, grotesque paintings by super-creative unknowns. Why not create your own Pokemon universe in your neighborhood? I also love this bathroom sign-for-all!
Hungry Bottom Comics by Eric Kostiuk Williams: Gasp! Wow, it’s amazing to find such an honest, spectacularly-illustrated auto-biographical cartoonist. This series needs be collected by a big publisher. Eric effortlessly covers so many aspects of gay and contemporary culture via personal stories and dreamy concepts. Plus, any comic that analyzes a Christeene concert is gold in my book. Printed beautifully by Colour Code printing in Montreal.
The Passion of Tagame, published by PictureBox: Finally! Genorah Tagame treated the way he ought to be treated here in America— as a legendary erotic artist. This book is beautiful and brutal. Please upload YouTube videos of people’s faces while reading.
I wish I had actually taken photos at the festival, or cartoonist cuties, but the show is so bonkers I forget to take photos. It’s kind of fun to blog about comics festivals, though. I did take some photos of living things when I remembered…