Five big draws at this weekends Toronto Comic Arts Festival

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: 2. Celebrate Toronto artists!The big kickoff panel on Friday night celebrates this city’s comics scene. Butcher extols the “generations of Toronto cartoonists who have either come back to graphic novels and done a new work this year or are releasing their first books after being a real integral part of the Toronto comics scene.” This includes Ho Che Anderson, known for his groundbreaking comics biography King of Martin Luther King Jr. He’s been working in film but wanted to tell a story in comics — it’s called Godhead. Fiona Smyth has a career-retrospective graphic novel debuting at the festival called Somnambulance. Smyth was an integral part of the local artistic scene in the ’90s, having done the exterior mural on Sneaky Dees and the art for the inside of its Dance Cave, and her massive new collection spans her entire career. (Toronto Comics: Past, Present, and Future, Friday, 6:30 p.m., Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library.) You won’t see crazy costumes, but you will see comics fans buzzing around the centre of the city this weekend soaking up the reflected light of the brightest stars in comics and graphic arts from Canada and around the world. On the occasion of the festival’s 15th anniversary, we spoke to co-founder and artistic director, Christopher Butcher, who told us why you need to see this year’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF).1. Once-in-a-lifetime opportunitiesIf you’re a fan of Japanese manga this is one you won’t want to miss. Japanese creator Inio Asano has had more than a dozen books published in English and is here to promote his newest speculative fiction series Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction. Christopher Butcher tells us that Asano doesn’t do public appearances or events in Japan, and this is only his second time outside of Japan ever. As with other TCAF guests from Japan, “travel is exceptionally difficult and limited — so we haven’t been lucky enough to have any of our Japanese guests in the history of the festival back for a second time.” So if you’re a fan of Asano’s work this is maybe your only chance to meet him in your whole life. (Spotlight: Inio Asano, Saturday, 1:30 p.m., Toronto Reference Library and Live Draw Sunday, 10:30 a.m., Beeton Auditorium, Toronto Reference Library.) Advertisement Posters for the 2018 Toronto Comic Arts Festival feature work by Ho Che Anderson, left, and Fiona Smyth, right. (TORONTO COMIC ARTS FESTIVAL) Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment 3. You don’t need a costume …In North America comics festivals tends to be more convention-oriented, with lots of people dressing up — with the art and the people who make it being secondary concerns, notes Butcher. But in Europe, a huge component of events is gallery shows and displays of original art. Inspired by Europe, see career retrospectives from Fiona Smyth and Michael Comeau; a Danish comics pavilion; and a German comics exhibit featuring the work Spring: an anthology of stories by eight German and eight Indian women cartoonists about the concerns of women and how they transcend borders. (Exhibits in various venues in the downtown core, including The Beguiling at 319 College St. and the Toronto Reference Library.)4. There’s a hockey opera!A comic-book, bilingual chamber opera to be exact. It’s called Hockey Noir: An Opera In 3 Periods and is being co-produced with Ensemble contemporain de Montreal and Continuum Contemporary Music. It’s set in the ’50s and is about the rivalry between the Toronto and Montreal hockey teams, organized crime, love, lust, blood and betrayal. Comics author Cecil Castellucci (The P.L.A.I.N. Janes) wrote the libretto — and comics images will be projected throughout. Says Butcher: “It’s the kind of thing that you can’t believe we’re doing, but we’re doing it.” (May 10 at 8 p.m., May 11 at 2 and 8 p.m., Jane Mallett Theatre; tickets — $40 for adults, $30 seniors/art workers, $20 students — available through Ticketmaster.)5. There’s fun for all the family — and did we say free?By the numbers: there are 23 countries represented at what Butcher calls the most international festival yet. There are two full days of kids programming. Most of the events will take place at three venues: the Toronto Reference Library; the Marriott Bloor hotel; and the Cumberland Terrace. That’s where hundreds of ‘zine makers and “ziy” folks will take over the second floor for a two-day zine fair.Best of all? Aside from the hockey opera, it’s free to see.The Toronto Comic Arts Festival runs Saturday May 12, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday May 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on the festival and all of the events go to http://www2.torontocomics.com/By DEBORAH DUNDAS – Books Editor Twitter Facebooklast_img read more

Sober Remembrance Day ceremony impresses young Inuk

first_imgBeverly Andrews APTN News This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the First World War battle of Passchendaele in Belgium and an Inuk from Nunavut had a front-row seat for the Remembrance Day ceremony.“Only a few people ever get to do this,” said Teghan Angulalik.“This is a great opportunity to help me understand more about our history and what happened in the past.”The 16-year-old from Cambridge Bay was there as part of the Canadian delegation, which gifted a monument to recognize the soldiers who fought in one of the bloodiest battles of the war.The young cadet travelled with the Canadian military to various sites and allied battlegrounds in the Flanders area.(The Brooding Soldier’s monument in Belgium. Photo: Beverly Andrews/APTN)She says she is looking forward to sharing what she has learned with her community.“A lot of soldiers didn’t return home,” Angulalik said. “A lot of soldiers took their last steps here.”The monument is known as Canada Gate. An impressive steel structure designed by Nova Scotia artist Nancy Keating.Canadians are still remembered fondly here for their role in the battle of Passchendaele in November 1917. The troops relieved Australian and New Zealand forces and cleared the Germans out.It took the lives of more than 4,000 Canadian soldiers and wounded 12,000.“Canada Gate is meant to mark the sacred grounds here at Passhendaele,” said veteran Ken Hynes, curator of the Halifax Army Museum.Indigenous soldiers were among the casualties.“We did lose many, many young warriors here,” said Steven Ross, a retired private representing the Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans Association.“The people that never returned never went back home to their families – children, grandchildren – that are lying here in these lands, they are the true warriors,” he said.(The grave marker of Cree soldier Alex Decoteau who was killed in the battle of Passchendaele in October 1917. Photo: Beverly Andrews/APTN)It may be a hundred years later, but it’s not unusual to still find shrapnel in the fields. A stark reminder of the lives lost in the now-calm countryside.“It’s important to learn this type of stuff so we can teach the next generation,” said Angulalik. “So the memory stays.”last_img read more