Monday, May 21, 2012

TCAF is the best CAF*

For as long as I’ve known Joe, he’s been talking about going to TCAF. And, for whatever reason, for as long as I’ve known Joe, we’ve never been able to go. I think the reasons, actually, were: unemployment, wedding, unemployment, house but, you know, I could have the order wrong.

This year, though, the stars aligned. Joe was excited because he could have nerdgasms all over the Toronto Library (messy) and I was excited because I’d never been to Toronto and did you hear that TCAF IS HELD IN A LIBRARY? BECAUSE TCAF IS HELD IN A LIBRARY. A giant, beautiful library.

Here’s the thing, though, we could really only in Toronto for a few days (because our employers won't give us unlimited vacation days UNFAIR) which turned out to be fine, but I definitely want to stay longer next time. ALSO since Joe and I survived two 8 hour drives in four days, without one of us even once threatening to push the other out of the car, I think our marriage is totally strong.

Anyway! We got to Toronto early Friday evening and, after checking into our hotel and discussing how disgusting we both felt after 8 hours in the car but not being able to work up the motivation to shower, we met some friends, who were also there for TCAF, for dinner. We tried to stay out late and act like young people but I think we were back in our hotel room by 11, which was actually good because Joe made me get up at 8 the next morning so we could get to TCAF when it opened. I was pretty cranky on the walk there (sorry, Joe!) and really only cheered up after we had breakfast. At Tim Horton’s. Which totally tastes better in Canada (not really).

I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had at the show, not that I thought it would be terrible, but my attention span for that kind of thing is pretty short PLUS there were tons of people there and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s tons of people. But we stayed most of Saturday and part of Sunday and so here are the people I met and (some, not all, YOU'RE WELCOME) my thoughts:

Andy Runton (!): You guys! I was most excited to meet Andy Runton, not only because Owly is super awesome, but remember that one time I interviewed him for The Collective? He did! Only I was too shy to say anything while he was signing our books, so I might never have known that he remembered had Joe not told him. That’s why it’s good to have Joe around, he’s never too shy for that kind of thing. Anyway, he was super, super nice and his mom was with him! She was also super, super nice.

Lucy Knisley: Was also super, super nice! (We actually didn’t meet anyone who wasn’t nice.) We bought one of her Harry Potter prints (Prisoner of Azkaban) and when I say bought, I mean she gave it to us and we offered her money completely independent of that. She had a sketch of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and another of David Tennant as The Doctor on her table, so I pretty much fell in love with her, sorry, Joe.

Ryan North: He was so tall! Also, shy? IDK. He was not very talkative (but not in a rude way or anything). We bought a terribly fucked up mini comic from him that you should all read and I would tell you more about it but I've completely forgotten the name of it and I don't know where Joe put it. SORRY.

Joey Comeau/Emily Horne: Joey Comeau was wearing a Ghostbusters shirt (obviously and important detail) and called me a retarded little shit in the book he signed. We almost bought an A Softer World print but I was worried I’d crush the shit out of it while walking through the crowd. WOW GOOD STORY.

Ryan Dunlavey: I didn’t know who he was beforehand, so I mostly just stood next to Joe as he talked to him. He was hilarious, though, and I flipped through his book as we stood there, which was also hilarious. Win win win!

Jason: I also didn’t know who he was, but kept Joe company in line. Joe gets sketches of The Flash from different artists at shows like this, so Jason did one and it was awesome. There was something very calming about watching him draw but I figured he would think I was weird if I just stood there for hours and hours watching him, so I left when Joe did.

Emily Carroll: Joe wanted to meet her because of His Face All Red. She was the first person we talked to. She was very nice! And also drew The Flash for Joe.

Vera Brosgol: Was also very nice! I bought her book, Anya’s Ghost, and read it last Friday while sitting on our back porch and drinking a beer. It was the perfect storm of...perfection.

Faith Erin Hicks: We went to her table on Raina Telgemeier’s suggestion (see below) and also bought her book, Friends with Boys, which I read while sitting at one of the Toronto Library tables when I got overwhelmed with people (and tired-of-foot). It was not entirely perfect (no beer) but pretty great, nonetheless.

Nate Powell/Cecil Castellucci: I don't remember much (it's been two weeks since I started this post WHAT) but I do remember that these two were funny and are collaborating on a book together. I think we also talked about Ann M. Martin, because OK?

Christopher Hastings: We asked him to sign a book for Joe’s friend and I will now be reading Dr. McNinja based solely on the posters he had on his table.

Kate Beaton: Instead of leaving on Sunday at a normal hour so we would get home that night instead of Monday morning, we decided to head back to TCAF to go to Kate Beaton’s book signing. We’d tried at both of her signings on Saturday but, each time, the line was capped by the time we got there. We were in luck on Sunday, or so we thought, so we hopped in line behind 20 or so people, thinking we’d be in line for about 30 minutes. Maybe 45? But surely not more than an hour.

Two hours later, feet hurting and tempers short (so many people for two introverts to be exposed to), we finally got to the front of the line. We spoke to her briefly and she was very nice, but dear lord, TWO HOURS. For our troubles, I got this awesome drawing of Mr. Darcy so, you know, WORTH IT: 


Raina Telgemeier: Raina Telgemeier’s Smile was the first comic-y thing Joe gave me (along with Owly), so I was especially excited to meet her. I found her to be one of the most engaging and genuinely appreciative people we spoke to that day and I thought it was great that she recommended other books to us as we were standing there, specifically Vera Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost (which we’d already picked up) and Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks (which we then got in line for).

The end. If you made it all the way through, congratulations. I feel like I should give you a cookie or something but I can’t send baked goods through the intertubes so instead here is a picture of a baby otter:


*full disclosure: TCAF is the only CAF of any kind I've ever been to


  1. YOU MET KATE BEATON. Gah, I'm so jealous.

  2. TCAF is way better than Comic-Con. True fact.

    Also, you are the best wife ever for going to that with me.

  3. Gretchen, she was very nice! I recommend meeting her if you get the chance, just carve out a couple of hours if it's at a book signing.

    Joe, I am the best wife ever FULL STOP. (Also modest.)

  4. Awesome!! And it's at a library, no way! :)

  5. That drawing is the best.

  6. This sounds awesome. Especially the library part.

  7. This sounds so fun. I love fandom. Plus vacation is vacation.

  8. I really really need to know: IS RYAN NORTH HOT? Because I've been kind of in love with him for almost 3 years because of Dinosaur Comics.

  9. Erin, I know! I thought about signing up for a library card there, just cause. Hee.

    mg, I kind of want to rip it out of the book and frame it so I can hang it on the wall.

    Ashley, it totally was. Internet meet up next year?

    Abs, that was my thought...I just wanted to go to Toronto. All the other stuff was a bonus.

    Kiti, he is attractive! And quite tall. I think he might have been taller than Joe and Joe is a giant.

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