Comics in Canada’s busiest 5 weeks ever continues this weekend with FCBD and TCAF……

Canadian comics fans have been called to represent!

The call has gone out across Canada!

Three weekends ago it was the FBDFQ (Festival de la bande dessinée francophone de Québec) in Quebec City and the Kazoo Festival in Guelph, then there was the exceeding all expectations inaugural Fan Expo Vancouver two weekends past, and then the record-breaking and locked down Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo last weekend —– and this weekend it’s Free Comic Book Day at shops all across the country (on Saturday) and Star Wars Day (today, Friday May 4th) and Toronto welcomes the arrival of another TCAF (The Toronto Comic Arts Festival – with events starting tonight but mainly Saturday and Sunday). Next weekend it’s the debut of the Ottawa Comic Con.

This has to be the busiest time comics and comics promotion in Canada has had in, well… ever.

If there’s anything that we can take away from all of this: Canadians love their comics.

And whether you are going to Star Wars Day events, to your local shop for Free Comic Book Day tomorrow, or going to TCAF and related events, this is a great weekend to look around and try something new. Spring is in the air – the sun is shining (hopefully it is where you are too), the flowers are growing, people are restless but happy…. get out and enjoy yourself!

Oh yeah, there’s also that little indie movie that opened today… The Avengers.


Reminder! Doug Wright Awards presentation tomorrow night in Toronto.

What: The 2012 Doug Wright Awards

Where: Art Gallery of Ontario’s Jackman Hall, 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario

When: Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)

Admission: FREE!

The Poster: Poster Design for the Awards was done by previous Doug Wright Award winner Michael DeForge. Copies of the poster will be available for sale at the ceremony for the low, low price of $20.00 each.

The Details

Hosted by writer, journalist and broadcaster Geoff Pevere, the ceremony will  feature an on-stage discussion between writer and Toronto Star columnist Rick Salutin and political cartoonist Terry “Aislin” Mosher on the occasion of his induction into the Giants of the North: The Canadian Cartoonists Hall of Fame.

Come on out and help celebrate this once-a-year extravaganza of the best in Canadian comics and graphic novels.

And as a reminder of who is up for Wright Awards this year: The nominees for the 2012 Doug Wright Award for Best Book are:

Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton (Drawn and Quarterly)
Lose #3 by Michael Deforge (Koyama Press)
Mid-Life by Joe Ollmann (Drawn and Quarterly)
Paying for It by Chester Brown (Drawn and Quarterly)
Reunion by Pascal Girard (Drawn and Quarterly)
The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists by Seth (Drawn and Quarterly)

The nominees for the 2012 Doug Wright Spotlight Award (a.k.a. “The Nipper”) which recognizes talent deserving of wider recognition, are:

Emily Carroll for “The Seven Windows” (from The Anthology Project vol. 2), “Margot’s Room” and “The Prince & the Sea” (and other comics at
Patrick Kyle for Black Mass # 5 – 6
Betty Liang for Wet T-Shirt #1, “It’s Only a Secret if You Don’t Tell Anyone” (in š! #9), “Anna Freud’s Recurring Dream” (and other comics at
Ethan Rilly for Pope Hats #2 (AdHouse Books)Zach Worton for The Klondike (Drawn and Quarterly)

And the nominees for the 2012 Pigskin Peters Award, which recognizes the best in avant-garde or experimental comics, are:

Hermoddities by Temple Bates (Conundrum Press)
Pure Pajamas Marc Bell (Drawn and Quarterly)
Hellberta by Michael Comeau (Koyama Press)
‘Untitled’ by Mum Pittsburg, Jupiter Leucetius! Send Us a King. We Are So Bored (and other comics at by Connor WillumsenFounded in 2004, The Doug Wright Awards recognize the best in English-language comics (or translations of French comics) by Canadians living in the country and abroad. Now in their eighth year, the awards will take place on May 5, 2012 in Toronto at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Jackman Hall as a feature event of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF.)

The Doug Wright Awards and TCAF are also pleased to announce that legendary political cartoonist Terry Mosher (who works under the pen name “Aislin”) will be on hand at this year’s ceremony to be inducted into The Giants of the North: The Canadian Cartoonists Hall of Fame.

This year marks Mosher’s 40th anniversary of publishing his acerbic and often hilarious cartoons in The Montreal Gazette. The Doug Wright Awards, along with its partner TCAF, are proud to have him in-the-flesh for an on-stage discussion about his colourful career and life with writer and Toronto Star columnist Rick Salutin.

The nominees for the 2012 Doug Wright Awards were chosen by a committee from a long list of nearly 100 works and submissions published during the 2011 calendar year. This year’s nominating committee included Jerry Ciccoritti, Jeet Heer, Bryan Munn, Chris Randle and Sean Rogers.

The 2012 winners will be decided by a jury that will include: visual artist Shary Boyle, cartoonist John Martz (A Doug Wright Award Best Emerging Talent nominee in 2010 and Pigskin Peters Award nominee in 2008), book artist and professor George Walker and Julie Traves, deputy arts editor for The Globe and Mail.

Press Release: Three Thieves joins Saturday Morning Webtoons

TORONTO – Saturday Morning Webtoons (SMW), the all-ages webcomics portal, is pleased to add  the critically acclaimed THREE THIEVES by award-winning cartoonist Scott Chantler to its all-star line-up.

THREE THIEVES follows the adventures of Dessa Redd, teenage orphan, circus acrobat, and reluctant thief. Publishers Weekly calls the series “an entertaining and action packed new fantasy adventure that will appeal to fans of the genre.”

The first THREE THIEVES volume, TOWER OF TREASURE, the 2011 Shuster Award winner for Best Comic for Kids, will begin weekly serialization on Saturday, May 3rd.

“I got my start in webcomics back in 2000 when the idea was completely new,” says Chantler. “Since then I’ve wanted to return to the idea of having something online for free,” adds the celebrated cartoonist of TWO GENERALS. “It sure helped launch my career, and hopefully it will also bring a wider readership to Three Thieves.”

“Scott was one of the first people I approached about Saturday Morning Webtoons,” says writer J. Torres, founder of SMW, who collaborated with Chantler on the graphic novels DAYS LIKE THIS and SCANDALOUS for Oni Press. “I’m glad he’s finally joining us, and that he’s got the blessing and support of his publisher.”

Kids Can Press (KCP), publisher of the THREE THIEVES graphic novel series, is very enthusiastic about making this online offering. “We’re excited that THREE THIEVES is making its online debut with Saturday Morning Webtoons,” says Michaela Cornell, Communications Strategist for KCP. “It will bring even more young readers to this already well-loved and award-winning series.”

The official announcement of THREE THIEVES joining the SMW line-up will be made at the SMW panel this weekend at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

SMW updates its links every Saturday and points comic readers to some of the best kid-friendly webcomics around, brought to you by popular artists like J. Bone (GOBUKAN), Eric Orchard (ORCHARD OF LAUGHS), Stephanie Buscema (LITTLE TALES OF OTTO AND OLIVE), and Andi Watson (PRINCESS AT MIDNIGHT). The portal first opened in January of this year with weekly and bi-weekly webcomics for fans to follow, as well as a free comic “Download of the Month” feature.

The Curse of Overcrowded Cons in Canada Strikes

Success can be a good thing, too much success can be a nightmare in the convention circuit if the convention cannot handle the demand and the Fire Marshall has to step in and shut the event down. While we are seeing an explosion of interest in comic book conventions here in Canada lately,  that growing interest is leading to some pretty severe growing pains. Pains we’ve seen at events such as Fan Expo Canada, Montreal Comic Con and even at Fan Expo Vancouver a couple of weeks ago.

The latest casualty of too much success is last weekend’s Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo who had an incredible turnout of what is reportedly a crowd of 50,000 people on Saturday alone. With such a powerful line-up of celebrity guests such as the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast reunion, it’s no wonder that they had such a huge draw, but they will have to completely rethink their space and entry procedures for 2013.