Caravan of Comics 2

28 May

The second caravan has returned to earth after two and a half weeks of hectic but wonderful madness. I’m still a bit crazy with jetlag and feeling sore and confused after seeing behind the curtain of the Real World. I have photos and stories… I’ll post some of them here, why not?

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We landed in Toronto and headed promptly to The Beguiling, where our tiny brains were exploded with a million comics, minis, zines, and graphic novels. This gave me some idea that things were different in the northern hemisphere, but I soon learnt it was just the tip of the iceberg…

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…I spotted this dodgy character…
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Ok, so TCAF was incredible. It was exhausting and busy, but in the best possible way. Here’s some stuff I learnt:

– Loads of people are making independent comics. LOADS. And they’re all amazingly well-drawn, well-written, and well-presented. I was constantly swinging between feeling inspired to up my game and put more effort in, and feeling like I should really give up because how can I ever compete?! I tried my best to keep in touch with the former feeling, and ignore the latter…

– I have not ever spent any time thinking about what demographics my comics are aimed at/suitable for, and maybe I should consider that for a moment or two in future if I want to be a business person instead of a poor person (still not sure which I’d prefer).

– The presentation of the book matters. The cover REALLY matters. So many of the books had gorgeously printed covers with nice, thick/textured stock, and I reckon it would be fun and worthwhile to experiment with this in future. I know, duh, I should have thought of this a million years ago.

– Every convention I go to without business cards, posters, or free stuff to give out makes me a slightly bigger idiot.

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I got some really great, kind feedback on my work, and discovered a few gems that I am eagerly awaiting sequels of.
Last Train to Old Town by Kenan Rubenstein was my personal favourite find – I loved the whispery art, I loved the ‘Stand by Me’ childhood adventure dynamics, and I’m looking forward to reading the next instalment!

We gave a panel, which I really enjoyed… I felt like we got a chance to reach people and explain ourselves, and a few of the panel attendees found us later at the library, which was fun.

Once we’d partially recovered from TCAF, we did a radio interview. True to form I was nervous, but it wasn’t so scary in the end…
(I could make a whole massive post featuring all the amazing graffiti I found on this trip – maybe later.)
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Next up, Montreal! We visited a book launch at Drawn and Quarterly where I discovered Chihoi, and oh my goodness his work is amazing. We gave a presentation the next night, which I sadly have no photos of! But here is a peek inside the store…
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…I’ll leave it there for now. Might post about the other half of the trip later!

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