Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2009
Photos, avec commentaire, behind the cut.
Photos, avec commentaire, behind the cut.
I'm busy rushing from panel to panel but wanted to start you off with some photos. More info when I break for lunch, and tweets when I can remember to tweet..
It's not a secret that I hate converions. The crowds, the noise, the smell, the hucksterish atmosphere, everything about them. Also, I hate being charged $20 to get inside and spend more money. So it's probably worth emphasizing that the Toronto Comics Arts Festival is an actual arts festival and feels like it. Which is probably why it's my favorite show.
I've sat in two panel discussions today: "Concept Comics" with Scott McCloud, Jason Shiga, Dash Shaw and Tom Kaczynski; and "Manga Around the World" with Deb Aoki, Brian Lee O'Malley, Becky Cloonan, Eric Ko, Jason Thomas, and Antoine Dode. They were both very entertaining and informative, though I'm not sure what the first panel was subbosed ot be about. (Neither were the participants, it seems.) Actually, truth be told, I think the parallel academic track going on sounds fascinating too but getting into those presentations looks like a big pain in the butt.
Oh, and in case you weren't sure how big this show gets, here's a comparison shot...
Last time I was at the show, in 2005, I didn't bring a lot of cash and I sort of regretted that. So this time I bought a lot of cash. Turns out it still wasn't enough. Time to go out and hit the bank...
I left the convention for half an hour and it went from certified to certifiable. This place is packed and hot and full of crazy energy. It's all good. But my shoulder is sore from carrying my laptop around, my wallet is running low, and my clothes are still damp from the last downpour I got caught in. The crowds are getting hard to move through and it's getting hard to remember what I have and haven't seen. On the plus side I got a sketch from Kate Beaton. So day = officially made.
I think I'm going to spend all of tomorrow attending panels. My wallet will thank me.
Photomerge = fail.
This weekend I'm at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (as a fan, not a guest). Today I drove up with Tom Scioli and Jim Rugg, and then we spent a while yesterday just hanging out before the convention. So did we go to the big Drawn and Quarterly Tatsumi/Tomine gallery opening? Nope. Did we party hearty? Nope. Did we sat around our hotel rooms drawing comics?. Nope.
Mostly we spent all afternoon waiting around for Chris Pitzer before giving up and walking down to the Beguiling. Then, after we finally did manage to hook up with Chris we spent about fifteen minutes trying to figure out if we could make a showing of new Star Trek movie or not, and then an hour or so arguing about what we should eat. (Final call: burgers and poutine.) Still, good fun.
Also, we hit Niagara Falls on the way in.
And, because Astralagos demanded it...
Hi. I realize that I've been out of touch for a while. I've been burned out for the last six months or so, and I really needed to take a protracted break from the daily grind and rethink my priorities.
Unfortunately, one of the things I realized during the break was that I just don't have the desire to draw The Japanese Beetle! on a regular basis any more. I just don't have the same passion for these characters now that I did ten years ago, so I'm mothballing the strip for now. This doesn't mean that I won't return to these characters and situations sometime later — I'm sure they'll pop up every now and then. I know some of you are disappointed, but really, it's for the best. I'd rather let the strip slide gracefully into obscurity than get sick of it and churn out substandard crap that makes me mad.
So where does that leave me? Well, today I'm relaunching my blog in this new location, and I'll be providing fresh content every day this month. Throughout the rest of the month I'll be redesigning the other areas of the site to match the blog's new look, and in July I'll be launching an omnibus strip called Different Package. I'll have more news about that as it develops.
And now, on with the show...
Last weekend I went up to the Toronto Comics Arts Festival. It was a nice change from the usual comic book convention atmosphere — an honest to God arts festival with no cover charge, high-profile guests, and fascinating panel discussions. I don't have much else to say, except that I'm eagerly awaiting the 2007 festival.
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||2||5||2|
W: J. Santana (6-2); L: J. Towers (5-3)
HR: MIN — S. Stewart (7), J. Castro (2)
While I was in Toronto, I figured that I might as well take in a baseball game. After all, it's highly unlikely that the Blue Jays and I will ever be in the same place at the same time again. I had a great time, and I thought I'd jot down some quick impressions about the Blue Jays, their stadium, and baseball in general.
The Rogers Centre: The Rogers Centre (formerly the Skydome) is a great place to take in a game. It's clean, spacious, and has lots of concessionaires and bathrooms. It's easy to reach via public transportation, has plenty of nearby parking structures, and there are plenty of bars and restaraunts nearby for after-game entertainment.
The Scoreboards: The scoreboards in the Rogers Centre are fantastic. They've got everything you could possibly want — pitch speed and type, pitch count, on-base percentage, scoring information, meaningless trivia, out-of-town scores — and they're laid out in intelligently and attractively. I never had trouble finding whatever I was looking for.
The Blue Jays: They couldn't do anything right on Friday — they had poor pitching, terrible fielding and weak batting. Fortunately, it was just an off night.
Poor Attendance: The Toronto metropolitan area has a population base ten times larger than Pittsburgh and has a great baseball team that's within striking distance of first place. Yet they only managed to draw 18,000 fans to a Friday night game against a tough opponent. That's just wrong. But I have a feeling that the poor attendance can be blamed on...
High Ticket Prices: I managed to snag a great ticket for the game, just to the right of home plate in section 120, row 24. But that ticket cost me $60 CAN ($50 US). By way of comparison, an equivalent Pirates ticket would cost me about $27 US.
The Beer: Surprisingly, the beer prices in Canada ($8 CAN/$7 US) were about the same as those in the United States ($6.75 US). On the other hand, all they had on tap were Labatt's and Budweiser, which isn't much of a choice.
Between-Inning Entertainment: There wasn't much of it, which was actually kind of refreshing since it forced you to focus on the game itself. On the other hand, the between-inning entertainment they did have was terrible — they'd have been better off with nothing. The crowd really seemed to hate the "Jay Force" dance team. To be fair, they were really good dancers — but they had no business being at a baseball game.
Fonts: Someone in the Jay's production department loves Copperplate Gothic Bold — it was everywhere. I wonder if there's any value to having Copperplate Gothic named "the official font of the Toronto Blue Jays?"