The bad news is, most conventions these days are still virtual. The good news is, this means you can attend them no matter where you live. You can even go to conventions that aren’t happening in this country — like the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), going on this week.
TCAF will be hosting many interesting panels like “This Is Serious,” held on May 7 and embedded below. Canadian comic creators Hartley Lin (Young Frances), Fiona Smyth (Somnambulance), and Eric K. Williams (Our Wretched Town Hall) join co-editor and curator Joe Ollmannto to discuss the history of comics produced in Canada, the impact of Canada’s indie comics scene and how much has changed over the years.
All the panels in this virtual con will be free to watch on YouTube until June 16, no region lock.
There’s more — there’s the Zoom Room. It’s a virtual space for creators, publishers, and TCAF attendees to meet each other. The big drawback to virtual cons has been the lack of personal interaction between creators and their fans. “We know one of the things that makes TCAF a special time is the chance to mix and mingle with other comic arts fans,” says a rep. “To make space for just that kind of encounter, we’ve set up a series of Zoom sessions and breakout rooms to give artists and publishers the opportunity to chat with the public, and each other.” How cool is that?
Want to support these creators? There’s also a marketplace, the Spring Canzine, where you can buy their works. The Toronto Classic Arts Festival has all the amenities of a physical con from the comforts of home, and it runs through May 15.