As promised, here are some notes and pictures RE: TCAF 2017. I’ll return to my usual posting structure next week, highlighting the ins-and-outs and comings-and-goings within and without the comics community, as well as some more expansive thoughts about TCAF.


Some Books of Note
I purchased/traded for a bunch of work, some notables are shown above. Tommi Parrish did the ONESTEPINSIDEDOESNTMEANYOUUNDERSTAND book. Not pictured is the 5th issue of the always-excellent Pope Hats, by Ethan Rilly, which was the first and only book I needed to read as soon as I got the chance. Still working through the stack, there was so much great and beautiful work on display at the show.


Tom Spurgeon’s Recapitulation
Over at the Comics Reporter, Spurgeon looks at the show, including some notes on the Sammy Harkham/Kevin Huizenga talk about the past and current state of comics distro-ing:

Kevin Huizenga and Sammy Harkham presented on the distributions system as it has an effect on their recent attempts to self-publish. Kevin Huizenga provided a history of distributors — including his own USS Catastrophe effort — that may not have been aces in terms of getting books out there but were deeply personally meaningful for him at the time. Harkham went on an interesting mini-rant about how crowd-funders interfere with his conception of how the artist/audience relationship best works. I like both of those guys a lot and appreciate their seriousness about the comics they made, and thus enjoyed every second of that panel. In an after-panel conversation, Huizenga noted to me how one problem with doing things to help the small-press end things is that there are SO MANY cartoonists that they often bury any such attempts without meaning to. That helped me clarify some thinking I had on industry reform. Huizenga is a smart man and scrambles to points of perspective as well as anyone I’ve ever known, so it’s always great to talk to him.


Random Cellphone Pics

View from the 3rd floor of the Toronto Reference Library, Sunday, 14 May 2017


Guy Delisle display at the Toronto Reference Library


Anna Haifisch artwork exhibited as part of the German Comics Pavilion installation at the Toronto Reference Library


Economies of Scale Something Something
There is a part of this work (cartooning, comics, these shows that we attend) that is in a way absurdly, almost aggressively anti-capitalist, while at the same time fitting safely and snuggly within a traditional capitalist framework. I was thinking about this a lot over the weekend, based on what came up in that Harkham/Huizenga talk, as well as some conversations I had with other people/cartoonists, and time spent sitting at my table ruminating. I need to better formulate all of this, obviously, and do some math before going into it more extensively, but these are the thoughts that plague me during these 2-day shows.


AM EDITION: Aaron here today with sincere apologies. Please bear with me, I was at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this past weekend, and my flight was delayed Monday evening coming back to NYC, where upon arrival I found that there were extensive (and fairly impressive, actually) traffic delays going out of the airport due to construction. I’ll have some quick notes about TCAF later today, so please check back, and I’ll take a closer look at the show in my post next week.

Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read this newsblog and supporting the work we’re doing here at Comics Workbook.


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A Cosmic Journey – 5-16-2017 – by Cameron Arthur


Suzy and Cecil – 5-16-2017 – by Sally Ingraham

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