TCAF has started in earnest! I packed my little wheelie bag lightly this morning, and pulled it along my morning kilometre walk like a pulltoy — a hungry pulltoy! It knew it was going to be fed comics today! I was also hungry, as I didn’t stop for breakfast, a highly unusual occurrence, on my way to make the first panel that I wanted to see today, which was about crowdfunding for comics.
Crowdfunding is much on my mind these days, as I am planning to run a Kickstarter campaign for my first big run of Spam and the Sasquatch, and I asked the panel for advice on the timing of it. I’m barely going to have time to have a small run done for A-Kon, the convention I’m going to in Dallas next month (oh my, next month!), let alone run a Kickstarter campaign. Their suggestion was that I just print a small advance run for the convention in order to gauge how well they sell, then do the real, deluxe run after I get back, funded by a kickstarter. What a perfect solution, and apparently not an uncommon one. So hold on to your hats, Spam fans, we will get our boy printed!
Then I went over to the Library, where there are tables and tables and tables of people selling comics, graphic novels, zines, and other merchandise. It was a bit overwhelming at first, even though it was pretty much what I expected. Negotiating the crowded aisles with my little wheelie suitcase was a challenge — both to not get stepped on and to not bruise anyone else’s feet with my hungry (by now growling) little rolling friend. I found some comics that I was looking for immediately and fed it to hush it up — a series of graphic novels for kids, the Three Thieves Series by Scott Chantler, that I wanted to buy when he was out for our convention at Camosun in April, but didn’t have time! If you click on his name, he’s also posting some news about TCAF, with pictures. I’ve read both of his adult books, Two Generals and Northwest Passage, and highly recommend them. I can’t wait to read the ones I got today!
I wandered around a bit, but the crowds were too thick, so I went back over to the Marriott, where the programming is happening, for another panel, this time by cousins Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki. They were discussing their latest book, This One Summer, as well as their previous collaboration, Skim. I bought both books on the basis of that discussion and slide show! They both have interesting web presences, too; Mariko’s blog and Jillian’s website are worth exploring. Check them out for information about the books, far better written than I could (especially since I haven’t had a chance to read them yet!) and about the two women’s separate projects.
Since Trina Robbins was giving another talk on women comic artists in the next room over, and her talks are always interesting, I nabbed a seat with a good view of the video — she has such an interesting collection of images, and was showing some of the ones from her book about women cartoonists, Pretty in Ink. Still haven’t got my hands on a copy — it keeps selling out at her table — but she promises there will be more tomorrow, hooray! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her a bit — turns out she knows all the words to the Great Silkie of Sule Skerrie, and I had the privilege of singing along with her on it over dinner (Trina, if you are reading this, thank you for that!). Take a look at her website for a look at some of her work — there’s even a free, 200+ page book called Women at War that you can download!
Then back to the Library, where the crowds had thinned out a bit. I talked again to Steven McCabe, at The Porcupine Quill‘s table, and picked up a copy of his “wordless poem” book, Never More Together, telling a story in a series of beautiful linocuts. He told me that his previous books have all been poetry (of the kind with words), so this is something new for him. It’s a beautiful book, and I’m looking forward to savouring it when I get some quiet time. I wandered around after that, picked up a few cards and catalogues from likely looking publishers (one of my big missions on this trip), and finally fetched up at a table where I met Rachel Richey, who, with Hope Nicholson has just released a reprint of Nelvana of the Northern Lights. I’ve wanted to get my hands on more of this comic since I found a few pages in a tattered compilation of Canadian wartime comic artists in the school library — what a great character! And Hope and Rachel have done it. I’ll be picking up a copy tomorrow. My wheelie-bag was feeling pretty sated by that time.
Off to dinner with a small gang of folks then, at a Mexican place across from the Library where I had some splendid tamales — which were not on the menu, but people said to ask anyway. I didn’t believe it, but I asked, and they had them, and I got my tamales! Much good conversation later, we departed for the Marriott, where I discovered I had left my hat behind! Oh no! I am really attached to that hat, so I speed-walked back to the restaurant, where the waiter saw me coming and came out holding it out before him like a crown. Hat in place, I returned to pick up my luggage (where I got to meet Hope, mentioned above!), declined to stay for the Doug Wright awards, and had a nice leisurely walk back here to write this post.
More tomorrow — and hopefully I’ll not get so excited that I forget to take pics of the event!