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.

Friday, May 18, 2012

2012 Around the world - part 1

The convention season has started for us, and it keeps reminding us how many people love to read and to do comics in all its forms and shapes. And the more different these conventions are, they show us how much the comics world can grow in all these different directions.

One page short of finishing the artwork on Casanova: Avaritia #4, our first convention was Quantacon, a small convention here in São Paulo which, in its fist installment, burst out with creative energy and all around happiness. Fun and interesting panels, great range of authors and their individual little booths, and a great amount of fresh new material. It's a great time to be a comic book author in São Paulo and the convention did show how much the city needs an event to put everybody together more often.

After that, Bá finished the last page of Casanova and we left for two international conventions.

First stop was Toronto, only for two VERY cold days. We were guests of honor for TCAF, so it was great to come to the city one week before the festival to get an idea of the city and where everything would take place. Since we were there, we went to visit the CN tower and we made a video calling people for the festival, which you can check out clicking here.

Then we left for Italy.
We went to Naples for Napoli ComiCon and had an incredible time. Everybody we met there were awesome people, from the cute frenetic loud-talker-guest-relations-organizer Viola, to mexican Artist Tony Sandoval, Swiss artist Frederik Peeters, canadian artist David Finch, almost all our italian editors, german artist Line Hoven and so many more. Claudio Curcio created a great festival that puts together everybody who loves comics, games, cosplay and pop culture and, on top of that, made it in Naples, which is an incredibly beautiful city in a very chaotic way. For me, big cities are fascinating, I love when a city has this kind of energy that oozes from the people, the rhythm and the chaos of any place where you can find any type of person, and you look around and you see history in every wall, every building, every hill with a dormant volcano. And all those scooters! The stuff we saw during our short stay in Naples will surely influence future stories, future characters and future situations.
Thanks to all the girls responsible for the the guests who took care of us and make sure we survived the incredible experience: Viola, Chiara, Alexandra e Giovanna.
Thank to our french editor, François Hercouet, who travelled to Naples just for one day to meet us and gives us copies of the just released beatiful french edition of Daytripper. Merci, François.
Thanks to Claudio for inviting us.
And thanks to Italy, for preserving its history in ways many (if not all) cities in Brazil don't even bother to try. We had an incredible time in Naples, and then visitng Pompei, and finally visiting Caserta and the royal Palace, the old medieval town and the incredible Caserta comicbook store, Comix Factory. Thanks to Steffano Perullo for the Caserta portion of the trip.
You can see some pictures of our trip clicking here.
Bá put together a video with images we made during our incredible italian trip. That's just the first offspring of our short italian love affair.

After Italy, we left back to Toronto and for TCAF, thinking there wasn't much Toronto could do to impress us more than Naples.

We should have known better.
(to be continued...)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

TCAF 2012 May 4th kick-off event

For all of you who couldn't be there, here are four videos that cover almost all of the TCAF 2012 kick-off panel with Jeff Smith, Fábio and me, mediated by Mark Askwith. It was a great weekend and we'll write all about it soon.