TCAF 2014

May 12, 2014 by

Another fantastic time at TCAF! I was telling anyone that would listen that the routine of my yearly life has become 6 months of book production, TCAF weekend, then 6 months of book promotion. That’s how important I believe this event is. And as a Canadian who publishes Canadians it does me proud that so many international exhibitors are now attending. And I don’t need to cross the border! Anyway this year we debuted a whole slew of books and they were snatched up by eager Torontonians. Bestselling book was Meags Fitzgerald’s Photobooth: A Biography which debuted to great interest. At one point the table was swarmed with her adoring and proud family. So much love at the Conundrum booth! We were right up front so thanks to the organizers for the location. It made our lives busy. Busy but fun. 


Here is Joe Ollmann helping to set up the first day. Look at those stacks of books! Not for long people since this was the crowd later…


… so the selling was fast and furious. But I had lots of help.


Serena McCarroll, Dakota McFadzean, Joe, Meags Fitzgerald: all helping, signing, and tweeting… Also there was a lot of arm crossing as is our want.


Joe with Jonathan Reid Sevigny and below with Dakota.


Here is Meags proudly holding her book before it is sold out.

meags with book

Saturday was very packed. I couldn’t even get into the upstairs area. Managed to visit a few tables though and buy some great books…

luke pearson

Luke Pearson at the Nobrow table from London signing his new Hilda book for my kids…


I got Pascal Girard’s debut Petty Theft from D&Q and also got to hang out a bit. Good to see old friends.


Mimi Pond being interviewed about her fantastic new book Over Easy (which I read on the plane home).


Michael Deforge at the Koyama table.


Ed Piskor 


I caught Jeet Heer browsing the Nelvana table. 


Frédéric Gauthier at the La Pasteque table. Conundrum buys English rights to a number of Pasteque titles, including Pascal Girard and Michel Rabagliati. I pointed out their table to many people who were looking for the French editions of our English titles. Good for you Toronto, keeping it Canadian! Speaking of Michel, as usual a line formed for his signing.


Here is Doubleday novelist and CBC personality Christy Ann Conlin comparing her height with my diver logo…

christy ann

The majority of my time was with Conundrum artists signing. Here is Jimmy Beaulieu signing his debut My Neighbour’s Bikini mobbed by the paparazzi.


Halifax artist Sarah Burwash and ‘ol Joe.


Réal Godbout signs his well received debut Amerika.


Here’s one for the archives. Three master cartoonists signing. Jimmy, Réal, Joe.


Dave Collier brings by copies of the comic he did for the AGO about Alex Colville.


Meags was signing all day both days. And her family came out in full force. From Edmonton! Here is her proud mother. Happy Mother’s Day!

meags mother

Saturday night was the Doug Wright Awards celebrating the best in Canadian cartooning and Conundrum had three artists in the running. Here are all the nominees in three categories. Notice how happy they are! In the crowd are Dakota, Joe and Michel.


Scott Thompson and Don McKellar were hilarious hosts as usual. The ceremonies were a classy and dignified affair. A very touching moment was the induction of the Canadian Whites artists into the Giants of the North. Their speeches brought tears to more than one eye. Here are two of them.


Then it was time to announce the winner of the best book and lo and behold…


Michel Rabagliati won for the second year in a row! This time for Paul Joins the Scouts. Here he is with the Seth-designed trophy.


The Sunday was more subdued but still busy all day.I managed to get upstairs and found the Adhouse table where Jon Chad was debuting his Bobo Backslack book. Hilarious!


The Collier family dropped by and Joe catches up on the Hamilton goings on.


The redheads of Conundrum. Meags, Shannon Gerard, Serena McCarroll.


Sherwin Tjia (not a redhead) and Toronto writer Jim Munroe.

stephen gilbert dwa

The winner of the Doug Wright Award for most promising talent was the deservedly proud Steven Gilbert.


Creator of this year’s Doug Wright Awards poster was Alex Fellows. He was signing his debut title Spain & Morocco all weekend. Here he is showing us an original page from the book. Gorgeous watercolours.

alex with art

Marc Ngui and Magda Wojtyra stop by to check out the new books. Did I mention how nice it always is to see old friends?


Speaking of old friends. Featured guest Jillian Tamaki catches up with Joe and admires the mini he and I did about our kids, Milo & Sam.


That’s it for now. Thanks again to Chris and Peter at the Beguiling, where you can now find the debut books while in Toronto, and Brad and Seth at the Doug Wrights, and all the amazing TCAF volunteers. Normally I would have a picture of my haul but I still need to unpack. I picked up some fantastic stuff though. So humble to be a part of this alt-comics movement where, as someone over the weekend pointed out, “Everyone is just so darn nice!” Thanks TCAF.

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