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Posts Tagged TCAF 2011

Swag Bag: Muscling In On Toronto’s Manga Supply

Welcome to what is definitely the longest Swag Bag to date! Mostly because I completely failed to compile my Swag Bag from last year’s Anime North… None the less! – my recent trip to Toronto was chock full of fun finds, and painful but no doubt hilarious attempts at cramming it all into my suitcases. This post here consists of the manga I bought while traversing the packed streets of Toronto while my TCAF purchases will come in a later post once I’ve finished oogling them enough to write something coherent.

The books listed here were all purchased from either my local Strange Adventures (pre-con buying is important, like eating before going to the grocery store – it helps… I think). The rest with exception of I think 1 or 2 came from what I’m dubbing the manga treasure trove of Toronto – The Beguiling. My thanks to their very accomodating staff! If curious about my other comic shop adventures in Toronto, you can check out the Ontario section of Kuriousity’s Canadian Comic Shop listings.

Now onto the swag!

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TCAF 2011: Spotlight on Usamaru Furuya

Usamaru Furuya

Sunday at Toronto Comics Art Fest had a spotlight panel for special guest and manga artist, Usamaru Furuya. I was present for the interview which was conducted by TCAF’s director, Christopher Butcher. Like my Natsume Ono post, I wasn’t able to record the interview (though in this instance it was lack of means instead of lack of permission) so the write-up below is done in paragraph format with just a few direct quotes. I hope it still proves even half as interesting to readers here as it was for those of us there!

Warning: Some images in article are intended for older audiences only.
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TCAF 2011: Spotlight on Natsume Ono

TCAF 2011: Natsume Ono

Natsume Ono was a special guest at this year’s Toronto Comic Arts Fest and on Saturday there was a special interview session hosted by’s Manga Specialist Deb Aoki. While no recording was allowed, I did take some notes and I’ve done my best to put the neat facts and information together here for the Natsume Ono curious. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to provide any quotes because of the recording rule so apologies for the choppy paragraphing. Those disclaimers aside – enjoy!
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Comic Capers in Toronto 2011: Part One

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!)

Lastly (for now!) my special thanks go to Chris Butcher (TCAF Organizer), Ed Chavez (Advertising Director for Vertical) and Deb Aoki (Panel Host) for making the event an extra-special one!

Off to TCAF, Site Comment Updates

I’m off to Toronto Comics Art Fest in a few hours! With many an artist to hunt down and all their snazzy art to oogle and buy (including manga artist Natsume Ono and Usamaru Furuya), I’m super excited to hit the library floor running! That and I’ll be spending a week in Toronto seeking out comic stores new and old. Expect some updates to the Oh Canada! section after this.

Going to TCAF? Let me know! I’d love to meet up with people.

On a quick site note, expect some big, big changes coming to Kuriousity in the near-ish future but in the meantime, a little change has been made to the commenting system to allow me some peace. Upon reaching an average of 2000+ spam comments a day, I finally realized it was about time I installed a plug-in to combat it. All those who comment must now enter a simple system of letters/numbers so Kuriousity knows you’re not a spambot. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes but I think it’ll be much more beneficial in the long-run with less lost comments and less time spent deleting spam.

TCAF Offers Up Manga Madness of the Best Kind


With my tickets purchased and my lodging confirmed, this seems like the perfect time to direct everyone’s attention to this year’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival. It’s an annual free-to-attend event featuring hundreds of comic-related creators and exhibitors.

Exciting for manga fans is two big-name guests that’ll be flying into the city for this year’s event – Natsume Ono (manga-ka of Risortante Paradiso and House of Five Leaves) and Usamaru Furuya (manga-ka of Genkaku Picasso and Lychee Light Club). Both artists are a great fit amidst the comic artists who attend TCAF which consists primarily of more indie-style comics and those who self-publish.

I’ve heard great things about the event so I’m really excited to attend. The amount of artists attending is almost staggering including personal favourites such as Kate Beaton, Faith Erin Hicks, Svetlana Chmakova, Raina Telgemeier and Katie Shanahan. You can see the complete list of exhibitors and publishers present on TCAF’s website.

The event will take place at the Toronto Public Library on Saturday May 7th and Sunday May 8th.

Along with TCAF I’ll be perusing the streets of Toronto visiting the local comic stores, eating what will likely be too much food and generally enjoying a nice Spring vacation! If you’re going, let me know – it’s always great to meet up with folks.

PR: Natsume Ono at Toronto Comics Art Festival 2011

Toronto Public Library and The Beguiling Present

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival welcomes the world renowned manga creator to Canada!

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival
At the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St.
Saturday May 7th 2011, 9am-5pm
Sunday May 8th 2011, 11am-5pm


TORONTO, Ontario – The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) is excited to announce that internationally renowned manga creator Natsume Ono will make her first-ever North American public appearance as a Featured Guest at TCAF 2011. Hailing from Japan, Ono is one of the most exciting and unique women working in the medium today, and she will appear on panels and sign books in support of her English language works at Toronto Reference Library, May 7 and 8 2011. Ono appears with the support of her English-language publisher VIZ Media.

“Ono’s fantastic work fits squarely into the ‘art comix’ idiom that’s at the core of the Festival,” enthuses Festival Director Christopher Butcher. “It’s the type of work we try to encourage. She’s a true auteur, working in a variety of styles and on different subjects, and her work is sure to find favour with fans of our other Featured Guests including Chris Ware, Jillian Tamaki, Mawil, and Adrian Tomine.”

With a loose, gestural and even melancholic style that is at odds with most fans’ view of contemporary manga, since VIZ Media began publishing Ono’s work in English two years ago she has quickly become a favourite of North American readers. Touching on themes of family bonds, abuse and neglect, and responsibility, her works have a surprising weight, and the types of characters and settings she employs are rarely seen in comics on either side of the Pacific.

“This is an exceptionally rare event,” said Butcher. “It’s the first time Ms. Ono has made a North American appearance, and for someone of her stature and popularity in Japan to choose to visit TCAF? It’s a real coup for us, we’re absolutely thrilled.

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