It’s been a busy last few days since my roommate and I arrived in Toronto early Thursday morning. We’ve spent every waking moment since walking up and down the grid-street systems of Toronto exploring any comic store we could find, peeking into many a store that just looked interesting and nursing sore feet while trying to find the next delicious place to try something new to eat. Of course there was the comic artist extravaganza known as Toronto Comics Art Fest going on as well today!
I’ll say this as a tourist – Toronto is an amazing city. It has its share of big-city problems that I could certainly do without (nasty amounts of people smoking in doorways, huge crowds of people who always seem to be in a hurry for something, and a tricky transit system in particular) but get past all that and you’ve got a neverending supply of little shops, weird discoveries and a million things to spend your money on and not regret a penny of it.
A good bulk of the trip involved visiting local comic stores. I took a few notes after each one based on my experiences there to add to my Canadian manga-resources page. If curious about the good, the bad, the ugly and the awesome, you can pop over there to the Ontario section.
Of course a combination of my local comic store on Wednesday before the trip, a variety of comic stores visited and a full day of spelunking TCAF meant I’ve already gotten a bunch of great things to read. At the end of this weekend there will be an especially lengthy Swag Bag post about the purchases made so far (and my glowing recommendations of many), including a guest appearance from my roommate and fellow traveler, MTCopyright.
As for TCAF itself, the amount of artists present is amazing and there’s so much talent stuffed into that library it’s amazing there’s even room in there for the hundreds (if not thousands?) of people who browsed them today. Manga artists Usamaru Furuya and Natume Ono were also present at the event and I enjoyed being able to hear them both speak. I learned a lot of interesting and amusing facts about Natsume Ono and really admired the subtle but strong confident air Usamaru Furuya had to him as he spoke about inspirations for his work. If curious to know more about Natsume Ono’s RSVP-only panel, I’ll be doing up a little post about it after TCAF. (Edit: Now posted!)