TCAFness 09style

Just got back from Toronto, and boy are my arms tired. Well, all over is. And, actually, I got back last night, but was VERY tired then, so thought I’d wait until this morn to bang out an accounting. But the tiredness… it’s a GOOD tired. How can you not love a TCAF?

It’s on the same level as a chocolate milkshake! Look at that smile people! (That’s Tom Scioli doing the grinning and Josh Cotter in the back with the hee-haws.) But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s do this chrono-like.

At the last minute, before I left for the show, good ol’ Dustin Harbin and I exchanged emails, since he HAD to shoot off a poke at me for reading TV Guide from my last blog post. (It’s the guide on TV!) Within those emails we decided to ride the airport express bus together when we got to the airport. Well, when I land, and find out that my cell phone doesn’t work (!!!), I found a payphone to give Dustin a call to see where he is. Of course… he’s on the bus heading to town. ;) It’s all good though. I bump into Jimmie, Shane and Paul, and they offer to give me a ride since they were heading to the same hotel. Thanks for the ride Shane! I look forward to checking out the comic!

After dropping off the luggage I headed out for some eats and stuff. Who should I bump into but good ol’ Dustin! We asked a local where a good spot might be, and they suggested Trattoria Nervosa. One of my requests was that it have a patio since the day was beautiful. If any of you know Dustin, you know he’s great for company. So, needless to say, the lunch was fantastic. The best part was the ladies who were in town for some fun that sat down beside us. We tried to educate them to “comics” or “sequential art” depending on who was talking. In the end I gave them some of my minis (forgot to tell them that they were called that) and wish now that I had taken a picture of them. Instead, this is the only pic I remembered to take… ugh!

The rest of the day included taking in the Beguiling, trying to find my hotel buddies (we kept missing each other due to my lack of cell) and going ahead and setting up and having a nice burger and beers to wind down the night. We (Dylan Williams, Tom Neely and a bunch of us) were going to try and go see Star Trek, but both shows were already sold out by the time they checked into it.

The first day of the festival starts and what can I say? It was PACKED. Someone had done a great job of getting the word out. My neighbors for the show were Josh Cotter, who sat at the AdTable… Mike Dawson, debuting his ACE-FACE for the masses (along with Tom K., his table buddy)… Mike Huddleston was behind me, which was a nice surprise… and across the aisle was K&S. I love K&S. Great people. I wish I had been able to sneak a photo of them, which is what S usually does, but the only shot I kind of got was blurry, so I’ll just leave it for the archives.

I guess most of the rest of that day is a blur… talking to people (like Justin Hall, who always has those great travel stories!), getting some really great comics. I got a chance to read Mike Dawson’s current Activate offering, and it reminds me that I should read more of those type of comics online. I also had a chance to talk with Eric Wight, who had created a fantastic display in one of the reading rooms.

After the show ended, I met back up with the hotel buddies (OK.. Hotel Buddy Roll Call: Jim Rugg, Tom Scioli, David White, Josh Cotter and his friend Billie (sp?). Thanks to David for driving my butt to the show both days. The walk wasn’t THAT bad, but when you’re carrying stuff, a ride can help!). Since my stomach was kind of bothering me, I kind of felt like something “fresh” which is what we found. The place was small, busy, and cheap! We were near the door, so any time that opened, you’d get a nice breeze up the back. Fresh!

After dinner, we thought we might walk down Yonge to see what we could get into. After making eye contact with the CCS/Harbin/Campbell posse we stopped in with them for a drink and to watch them eat. The rest of the night turned “normal” as we searched for ice cream for Rugg, and then ended up standing in the foyer of a building since it was cold out. Eventually we headed over to the Pilot Bar to take in Chip’s release of his new comic. What a party! I’m too old for it though. Too loud. You kids can get off my yard, too. But, it was good to see people I hadn’t seen the rest of the day. Knowing my age, I called it a night and headed back to catch a few zzzs.

Day two! Highlights: Seeing Kean Soo walk by with an Enrico Casaros Tshirt on… Talking with Paul about ideas. I REALLY hope some if his thoughts happen. Meeting Craig Yoe. I’ve never had a chance to chat with Craig, and he said he reads this blog, which I was happy to hear. I’d like to take in a Craig Yoe panel one day. I’m curious about HIS history in comics. I had to leave early to catch my flight back to RVA, so on the way out I thanked Chris Butcher, and while there, Tatsumi comes up and thanks Chris too. HIGHLIGHT! I mean… just to be around that type of talent is cool.

And that’s what I take away from this show… the huge amount of talent underneath one roof. It IS amazing.

Well, gotta get going. If I think of anything later, I’ll try and remember to edit it in, or something. Thanks a bunch to all the volunteers of the show, the Beguiling, the library and everyone who stopped by to chat. TCAF RULEZ!

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