It’s going to be a busy year for Toronto, Ontario as the city is about to experience an unprecedented number of of comics related events over the course of the year… let’s look at the first half of 2010 and see what’s happening.
Throughout the year, the Beguiling sponsors and takes part in many events and book launches. But by far their biggest event of the year is the now annual Toronto Comic Arts Festival at the Metro Toronto Reference Library on May 8/9.
As the show is publicly funded and does not rely on table sales to dealers to raise funds, it is primarily a creator driven event (and is curated so the creators must be pre-approved by the Festival’s Committee). The Doug Wright Awards are also handed out on the same weekend as TCAF.
Tons of guests have already been announced, including a rare appearance by American cartoonist Dan Clowes (Ghost World) who will be launching a new book published by Montreal’s Drawn & Quarterly at the event.
Festival director and Beguiling manager Chris Butcher was recently interviewed by Dave Howard at the Torontoist blog and it’s an interesting look into Chris’ thoughts on the Canadian comics scene and publishers.
TCAF is an excellent event and is highly recommended. Admittance is free, so there’s no reason not to check it out.
American promoter Gareb Shamus, owner of Wizard Entertainment has been making deals with defunct and/or small conventions across the continent to turn them into formula multi-media events filled with television actors, lingerie models, wrestlers, dealers and comic guests.
So far the only Canadian convention to hand itself over to become part of the Wizard World Tour experiment is Toronto’s Paradise Comics, who had placed their events on indefinite hiatus in 2008.
The inaugural Wizard World Toronto Comic-Con is scheduled for March 28-30 at the Direct Energy Centre — not to be confused with the Wizard World Toronto Indoor Family Fun Park (a magic themed March break event with rides, performing acts and petting zoos) scheduled at the same facility on March 14-21. WWTCC is the first on the schedule of 11 (as of 2/8/2010 and counting) announced conventions that Wizard plans to hold this year in various cities around North America.
As it stands there are a number of local creators who have committed to the event, including Dale Keown, Ken Lashley, Marcus To, Ty Templeton, Dave Ross, Marcio Takara, Andy B., Ramon Perez, Cameron Stewart, resident Richard Isanove and more… plus UK guest Adi Granov (Iron Man) and a pair of American creators – Phil Jimenez (Astonishing X-Men) and Gail Simone (Wonder Woman).
Admittance is US$29/day and US$49 for a weekend. More expensive VIP packages are available from US$149 to US$999.
Canadian show promoter Hobbystar Marketing (Fan Expo Canada) has 3 events on the schedule in the first half of 2010 – two Toronto ComiCONs and one Toronto AnimeCON. All Hobbystar events take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
The first Toronto ComiCON is on Sunday, February 28 and it features guests Cameron Stewart (Batman & Robin), Eric Vedder and Joe Vriens (Darkstalkers), Francis Manapul and Richard Zajac (Adventure Comics), Marcus To (Red Robin), Agnes Garbowska (You, Me & Zombie), Kelly Tindall (Proof) and Marcio Takara (The Incredibles). Also, Ty Templeton will be appearing at the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop booth and, in conjunction with a Saturday event coordinated by Art Originals series, American artist Guy Davis (B.P.R.D.) will be at the show. These shows feature a large number of comics retailers – selling back issues, toys and related merchandise.
Admittance price for the February Toronto ComiCON is $5.
The two-day Toronto AnimeCON is scheduled for March 20/21. The event will feature voice actors and dealers selling anime, manga, toys and related novelties.
Admission price for the AnimeCON is a flat rate $15 paid once on whatever day attended.
The sixth annual Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation event will take place on Saturday/Sunday June 5/6 and will feature approx. 40 creator guests (6-10 visiting from outside of Ontario) – the Fan Appreciation show is usually about twice as large as the one-day events.
Admittance price for the Fan Appreciation Toronto ComiCON is $10 for Saturday admission, with free admission on Sunday with a pass obtained at a participating comic book shop. If no pass is submitted, admission on Sunday is $10 but the attendee is given a $10 voucher which can be spent with any dealer in the room.