I just got back from VANCAF, the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival. It’s rather like TCAF (see my earlier posts for descriptions of that), but on a more intimate scale. The location was the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre in Yaletown, a trendy part of Vancouver which used to be an industrial area, until Expo 86. The Roundhouse itself is a very nice venue, just the right size for the number of people attending.
There was only one stream of programming, which I enjoyed because I didn’t have to choose between several things at once that I wanted to go to, as I did at TCAF! The panels, generally with 4 creators each, were excellent, and I learned a great deal about both the business and the creative side of comics this weekend. There were discussions on webcomics, self-publishing, character design, world building, humour, and more. It was almost like a free weekend seminar!
The tables in the main hall were packed with artists/writers/publishers, and I managed to get around to most of them over the course of the weekend. So many conversations about comics! So many people I’d like to get to know better! As I did at TCAF, I asked a few people if they would like to be featured here on the blog, and they all graciously assented, so in the coming weeks I’ll be doing some stories on them. I still have a couple of artists from TCAF to feature, so will be doing them first. I’m going to select one day a week to run the featured artist articles, and will announce which day of the week will be the lucky winner soon (visions of days of the week with their hands up, saying, me, me me!).
The biggest highlight of the weekend for me, though, was getting to spend it with some of my comic class friends. Several of the women with whom I went through the comics program at Camosun have moved to Vancouver, and two others who live in Victoria took the ferry over with me and our teacher, Ken Steacy, as well as another artist whom we promptly inducted into the tribe after she passed our initiation — a comic jam! We had lots of deep (and not so deep) discussions about comics and life, and we laughed a lot.
It was altogether an inspiring two days — now to jump back into finishing that book!