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Did you know there’s some 300 cartoonists attending this weekend’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival? That is one certifiable clusterfuck of cartoonists, which means a game plan is in order. You can’t just waltz in on Sunday afternoon and expect your mind to be blown. No, it takes serious planning to navigate the two floors of the Toronto Ref Library, the nearby venues and parties, the dozens of panels and talks. You might even want to take a page out of Kids in the Hall list-obsessed dude (minus the sharp elbows and knocking people out of the way). Make a list and stick to it!

Here’s BP’s gushing fanboy/girl must-do list:

TCAF Things to Do:

Thursday, May 5

Comics, Manga & Co – The New German Comics Culture – 7pm  at the Beeton Auditorium, in the Toronto Reference Library

Not everything is happening during the two-day extravaganza of TCAF. In fact, the week leading up has featured so many debuts and launchs we don’t know where to start. So, we’ll start here at this exhibition and talk on German comic culture presented by the Goethe Institute.

Saturday, May 7

Koyama Press’ Root Rot Release – 10:15 am at the Learning Centre 1, Toronto Ref Library

Toronto’s Koyama Press prints consistently awesome artwork. The Root Rot anthology displaying the works of ten artists promises to be more of what we’ve come to expect of Koyama: awesome.
Quebecois Comics Panel –  12:30 pm at the Learning Centre 1, Toronto Ref Library

With new English translations of francophone cartoonists, such as Pascal Girard and Jimmy Beaulieu, Quebecois cartoonists are reaching a greater audience than ever before. Conundrum publisher Andy Brown moderates this talk with the aforementioned greats, among others.

Machine of Death: Draw & Guess – 4:15 pm at the Beeton Auditorium, Toronto Ref Library

Our upcoming issue features a review of Machine of Death, a compilation of speculative fiction all based on the premise of what the world would look like if a machine could predict how you would die. Spoiler alert: we loved the book. So, you bet we’ll be attending this  Machine of Death-inspired panel where cartoonists will play with clues issued by the machine itself.

Sunday, May 8

Print Culture – 1:15 pm at the Learning Centre 1, Toronto Ref Library

Getting back to our roots, there will be a talk on the future of print culture that covers zines, comics et al.

Carousel for Adults – 4:10 pm at the Pilot, across the street from the Toronto Ref Library

This talk basically can’t go wrong, described as a cartoon slide show for adults that is “reminscent of a radio show with live narration, music and sound effects.” Did we mention that Kate Beaton, of Hark, a vagrant, is one of the panelists? Sold!
Last but not least -BP pal and illustrator Benjamin Rivers is debuting his book Snow at TCAF.