The great news about this week’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival is that its organizers think about comics as a literary and artistic medium; not as an excuse to wear homemade costumes. The result is a weeklong festival that attracts everyone from hipsters to artists to — get this — women. The free-admission convention is at the Toronto Reference Library this weekend, but a week of adjunct events is already underway. Some highlights:
Emmanuel Guibert presents his graphic novel, The Photographer, which interlaces war zone photography with fluid line work to tell the story of a Doctors Without Borders mission in 1980s Afghanistan. Wednesday, 7 p.m., Toronto Public Library, Northern District Branch, 40 Orchard View Blvd., free.
Turntablist/graphic novelist Kid Koala kicks things off with a sure-to-sell-out launch party at Lee’s Palace tomorrow night. Pillow fights — and dancing — guaranteed. Then, on Monday, he’ll spin a quiet DJ set, “Music to Draw to.” Thursday, 529 Bloor St. W., $15; Monday, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m., 603 Markham St., $5, includes hot chocolate and pencil.
Harbourfront Centre co-hosts an evening with three acclaimed cartoonists: Adrian Tomine, Guelph’s own Seth, and the groundbreaking manga creator Yoshihiro Tatsumi. Tomine and Tatsumi will discuss the latter’s new book, a memoir about life in post-war Japan. Friday, 7:30 p.m., Brigantine Room, 235 Queens Quay W. $8.
The Doug Wright Awards will honour the best Canadian comics from the past year. This year’s jury includes cartoonist Diana Tamblyn and closet Love & Rockets fan Bob Rae. Don McKellar hosts. Saturday, 7 p.m., Jackman Hall, free.
Photo courtesy of Brymo