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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Toronto Comic Arts Festival

Spent a good chunk of the weekend at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, which was a huge success. Kudos to Chris from the Beguiling and all others involved!

The main focus of the event was providing a venue for comics creators to set up and sell their wares, there must have been about 100 tables set up in about 10 rooms and halls in Victoria College (at U of T). It must have been a nightmare doing the lay-out in that place, but it's such an interesting building with a good atmosphere that it really contributed to the event. Although on two occasions I discovered a room I had previously missed on earlier explorations (but this encourages you to keep moving around the building, in search of hidden treasure). There was one panel track in the Chapel (a nice room but with bad acoustics), a workshop track I completely missed, and kids programming I likewise can't report on. Oh, and it was FREE!

I ended up spending a lot more than I originally intended, but everything I've read so far has been worth it. Picked up a lot of stuff from GT Labs, which does comics about science and scientists. They are now working on a graphic novel biography of physicist Richard Feynman, which with luck will be out in another 18 months, and which I will buy in a microsecond. I also picked up what little Galaxion stuff I didn't already have from ttallan (got to encourage her to keep Galaxion going as an on-line comic, I want to see the end of the story before I'm 85).

Didn't run into dwinghy or davemerrill, but saw flyesr for their respective projects ( Behind the Blue Door and Stupid Comics. Must have just kept missing you guys!

Highlights of the panel discussions:

- Evan Dorkin on an encounter with an upset retailer at San Diego Comic Con. Dorkin had made some critical comments about retailers and the comic industry at the Eisner's and this guy came up to his table and started kicking it while using profanity with kids around. Dorkin had tried to point out that he obviously wasn't doing his cause any good but "Logic doesn't work against idiots. Dr. Strange can't stop the Mindless Ones and neither can I".

- an American dealer on how much she loves coming to Canada because we have $1 and $2 coins, and the need for the States to get their currency act together.

- the women who doing the graphic novel adaption of The Baby-Sitter's Club novels on how her first fan letter was from two 13-year-old girls and consisted of an itemized list on why she was the devil.

Both days were great fun and I look forward to next year!

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I want to see the end of the story before I'm 85

You and me both!

Jim Ottaviani also told me about a project he's doing with Zander Cannon (I think?) about going to the moon. Can't wait to see that one, too! Though the Feynman is bound to be extremely cool.

- It's shameful that US bills don't have any visual or tactile aids for the blind, but hauling around more change is a pain

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