This year's TCAF was insane! I probably spent half of it super jittery and nervous to meet some of my fave artists, and the other half running on a high after meeting them.
But the entire time was 110% fun and inspiring. It amazes me that all these artists took so much time to sit down, write/draw about something they're really passionate about and create zines/prints. It was an amazing atmosphere to experience.
Easily the highlight of my day was meeting an artist I discovered forever ago and has admired ever since, the amazing Elisha Lim.
Raw, relate-able storytelling, creating honest portraits of QPOC through graphic novels and comics, and being an absolutely delightful human being are Elisha's specialties.
Armed with 100 Crushes (their latest book) in my shaking hands, I approached Elisha's booth. Before I could say anything, Elisha first remarked that I looked familiar, but then jump up, excitingly pointing at their book in my hands.
Everything after that was an exciting blur I can relive vividly. They were just so easy to talk to, friendly with a smile that illuminated the library interior. It was such an honor to meet Elisha! The feeling was perhaps mutual as Elisha remarked that I too was the highlight of their day! (I swear I'm not making this up).
Elisha has a shop on etsy that you should most def check out!
Page from 100 Crushes
One of my favorite chapters was a collection from her previous series, the Illustrated Gentlemen. It has a romanticized air of the fantasy of trying on high priced, tailored mens' clothing and imagining being able to afford such luxuries (haven't we all been there?).
Page from 100 Crushes
He even drew a little portrait of me on the inside! I posed still for me. He had a neutral face whenever he looked down to draw, but each time he looked up to me, he smiled.
Mike wearing a cat shirt almost as cute as he is!
If you're looking for a dark and hauntingly beautiful style with an insane amount of detail, enter Jacob Wiebe. Unlovely has really simple, yet meaningful text next to illustrations that are so dizzily detailed, it leaves you to wonder how it's even possible! Flipping through Unlovely makes you nostalgic about a present, passed or future love.
I absolutely had to buy a t-shirt from Fangrrlz. I see Chu, the Toronto-based artist, set-up shop at many cons I've attended, and it's easy to see why there's always hords of people crowding her booth! Chu's style is playful, and explores a distinct perspective of vintage manga, internet culture and whatever else captures her mind. Many of her work, from apparel to zines, are limited, so if you see something you like, be sure to grab it!
You can see more of her work on her tumblr.
I can't wait for next year's TCAF! Whether you're an avid follower of graphic novels or a casual enjoyer of the genre, there are so many indie and professional artists to discover at TCAF. It's free to attend, and you have the opportunity to see how artists from all over come together to share their art and passion through visual story telling.