There are dozen of compelling events on the itinerary for the two-day Toronto Comic Arts Festival (May 11–12). But for those of us without the superpower of speed, that variety means making some hard choices. These are seven highlights that you don’t want to miss.
Comics in Concert
This year’s marquis programming will be held at the nearby the Concert Hall (formerly known as the Masonic Temple), including talks with featured artists including Raina Telgemeier (Smile), Kazu Kibuishi (Flight), and Junji Ito (Tomie).
May 11–12, The Concert Hall, 888 Yonge St., reserve free tickets at www2.TorontoComics.com
It’s a date
Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell launch their graphic novel Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, a queer teen love story. The panel discussion, moderated by children’s writer Glen Downey, will consider ways to create new narratives and healthy examples of relationships in comics.
11 a.m. on May 11, Toronto Reference Library, Hinton Learning Theatre, 3rd floor, 789 Yonge St.
Writers Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm and Jen Storm talk with writer and illustrator David Alexander Robertson about the graphic-novel anthology This Place: 150 Years Retold, a compilation of stories from Canadian history told, at last, through an Indigenous perspective.
11 a.m. on May 11, Marriott Bloor Yorkville, 90 Bloor St. E., Summerhill Room
For the Fans
Comic artist Seth reflects on his 22-year journey to complete Clyde Fans in a conversation with Taddle Creek editor Conan Tobias.
12:15 p.m. on May 11, Marriott Bloor Yorkville, 90 Bloor St. E., High Park Ballroom 2 & 3
Life and Death
Vivek Shraya and artist Ness Lee discuss their collaboration on Death Threat, a graphic novel inspired by the correspondence Shraya had with a stranger who was bombarding her with transphobic hate mail.
1:30 p.m. on May 11, Marriott Bloor Yorkville, 90 Bloor St. E., Forest Hill Ballroom
Free the zine
Get a head start on the collapse of capitalism at the Zero Dollar Store, where zines, buttons, and stickers can be purchased with anything but money. Suggested barters include “playing rock-paper-scissors, learning a short ukulele song, gaming with us on NDSs, or drawing us a mythical animal.”
3 p.m. on May 11, Cumberland Terrace, 2 Bloor St. W.
Bat ’er up
Emily Carroll launches her eerily erotic gothic graphic novel When I Arrived at the Castle, about a vampire hunter on a crawl through the Countess’s palatial lair, in this conversation with publisher and self-proclaimed “lesbian icon” Erica Friedman that will drive a stake through the heart of the story’s subtext.
12 p.m. on May 12, Marriott Bloor Yorkville, 90 Bloor St. E., High Park Ballroom 2 & 3