Sunday, May 20, 2012

2012 Around the world - part 2

We make comics, and we like to tell stories, because we love the medium and we really believe comics are a wonderful and unique special way to tell all sorts of stories. In recent years, more diverse comics have been made, seen, read and celebrated, and one of the greatest ways to discover what comics have to offer is by getting out of your hole and being open to the different.
The different is awesome, and it's all around.
That's certainly one of the best advantages, for us, to travel to conventions and comics festivals. Around Brazil, in the US, all over the world, nowadays you'll certainly discover one aspect of the comics world you just didn't know before every time you go to a comics festival. There's always that book, that artist, that panel, that event or simply that vibe that will inspire you and make you want to create that same awesome feeling in your work.
That's how we felt after going to TCAF, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

Very different from the Napoli Comicon, which in its own way were more similar to bigger more diverse shows like SDCC in San Diego, TCAF was a festival to celebrate creators and their comics. "Do your own stuff, make your own comics, have an individual voice", these seem like the mantra not only of the festival, but of all the exhibitors who travel from all over to show their new books in Toronto. And what wonderful work is being produced these days.
We were talking to Jeff Smith during the festival (he was another guest of honor, and we shared the opening event on Friday night, as you can see on video on a previous post) and it was just amazing the amount of new cartoonists, some much younger, and the raw energy they paraded around, as if screaming "my work is awesome and I just won't be ignored". If someday we hoped people believed comics were cool, and were the most wonderful job in the world, those cartoonist at TCAF believe it with all their hearts, and they'll fight for their comics, even if it's a Scott Pilgrim's kind of fight. Last year, at San Diego, I had the same great impression and vibe with Tr!ckster and both the creators and the audience who circulated on that wine bar for those days and nights: They were there brought together by their love for good comics, creating a serious place to discuss how to make the work better. But, if Tr!ckster were a store/bar/party place, TCAF was an entire festival with more than 350 exhibitors, half of them women cartoonists, and they were all loving to be there selling their comics. You felt the love, all around, and you were intoxicated with that urge to create something new, something fresh, something your own, and to share it with everybody around you.

And then there were the night parties.

(me, Cecil Castellucci, Jeff Smith, Bá and Kazu Kibuishi at the TCAFÊTE at Pauper's Pub)

Another important part of the whole festival experience, parties, dinners and night time activities are great so you can talk a little more with you friends from distant places, or you can make new friends and get to know new people who, in their own way, love the same things you love. Toronto didn't disappoint in this category, and the festival organizers threw very nice parties all three nights. Popping in and out of various places portrayed in Scott Pilgrim (both in the comic and in the movie) only made it feel like the never ending night life of Toronto (maybe I'm stretching it a bit) was tailored maybe for cartoonists and comics fans.
Just like in Italy, we left filled with joy, eager to tell new stories and completely inspired by the places we visited and the people we talked to, and I'm sure someday people will recognize a little bit of our canadian experiences in one of our stories. And, just like in Italy, we put together a small video to try to explain, or at least show, how TCAF is a festival every independent creator should go. It's that awesome (don't mind the subtitles, they're for our brazilian fans).

Thanks to Peter and Chris, for inviting us, and for Krystle and Miles and the entire Beguiling staff, for being really nice and helpful and awesome, and thanks for all the cartoonists we hung around during TCAF (Becky, Andy, Jeff, Kazu, José, Jason, Mark, Cameron, Bryan, Vera, Matt, Dustin, Emily, Nathalie, Clark and I'm sure many more I'm forgetting right now): if we keep doing the comics we love the best way we can, nobody can stop us.

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