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About 22,000 people attended this year’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival, according to Chris Butcher, the event’s co-founder and director. That’s up from 18,000 in 2012 and 2013.
In a thorough post-event report, Butcher said Sunday in particular saw more attendees than in 2013 at the Toronto Reference Library, the hub for the event. “In addition to the Toronto Reference Library, our space at The Marriott Bloor Yorkville for panels and programming saw vast increases, and our TCAF Kids Day event at St. Paul’s on Bloor hit capacity at several times. Many programs at The Pilot were standing room only, and our Friday professional programming also had respectable attendance, though we recognize there’s room to grow there too!”
This year’s show featured a stellar guest list that included Lynn Johnston, Kate Beaton, Raina Telgemeier, Jeff Smith, Trina Robbins, Ed Brubaker, Kazu Kibuishi, Michael DeForge, Darwyn Cooke, Luke Pearson and Moyoco Anno.
“…TCAF is important because it’s both the present and the future of comics, a place where established creators talk about their work in depth in spotlight panels and young artists show off their best work at carefully arranged tables, and everyone mills around together afterward,” ROBOT 6 contributor Brigid Alverson wrote in her post-con report. “It celebrates the accomplishments of career artists and the beginnings of the next generation. And most important, as Christopher Butcher said at the kickoff panel, it embraces everyone who is making comics — particularly those who are doing it well.”
Butcher also shared the dates for the next edition of the successful show — TCAF 2015 will occur the weekend of May 8-10, with Friday again being dedicated to professional development for comic creators, and Saturday and Sunday being open to the public.