As previously mentioned, I went to TCAF on Saturday at the Toronto Reference Library (a really nice place, by the way. I used to go there all the time when I had more occasion to be downtown). A very good show, I highly recommend heading down if you can whenever the next show is.
Met the main five guests who I wanted to see, and enjoyed taking to them all.
It was great to meet Larry Marder, some twenty years after I first discovered his work and became obsessed with the world he created. I participated in the various convention activities he has, including exchanging a fan sketch of one of his characters for one of his, and as the official supplier of Canadian grown lima beans as raw material for the Beanworld Action Figures I was able to get a full set of them. Some photos over here. I also said the magic words "secret sketch" to get a secret sketch in my copy of REMEMBER HERE WHEN YOU ARE THERE, though of course i can't show you that. It's a secret. But trust me, worth it. Also got a chance to see his history of the Beanworld slide show, which was entertaining and taught me a few things, mostly that I'm really anxious for his book SOMETHING MORE to come out.
Jim Ottaviani was a pleasure to spend a few minutes with. He seemed especially tickled that I had the old first printing of his TWO-FISTED SCIENCE, with his late-1990s graphic sensibilities on display, for him to sign. Even better, when I mentioned my favourite bit of one of his old books, and the reading it led me to, he showed me a preview of an upcoming book which greatly expands on that very topic. I can't tell if he's actually announced it yet, but trust me, it looks good and I'll definitely mention it when it's out.
Also got to meet Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer, another pair whose work I've been reading for ages, from MILK&CHEESE to PIRATE CORPS to ACTION GIRL to SUPERMAN ADVENTURES to BIFF BAM POW and beyond). Both were a lot of fun, as was their adorable young daughter, who gave me her business card, with some coaxing. Was able to get one of the few Dorkin books from Slave Labor I was missing, found out about a story he did that I missed and might want to find out (the return of Fight-Man in Agent-X, I'll just note here in case I forget) and it was great to look through some of the original artwork, including a new full colour in-progress Milk&Cheese piece with some topical humour.
There was quite a line-up to see Charles Vess, but it was well worth it. He's another artist I've been a fan of for ages, since I first saw his Warriors Three work for Marvel (which is apparently being reprinted, which I didn't know). I got my copy of the gorgeous BOOK OF BALLADS signed, and talked to him briefly about topics like why the STARDUST movie didn't really use his designs, and how inferior I thought it was because of it, and the life-size statue of his work that he's posted about on his blog. Plus he had a few originals to look at, including some large in-progress pieces, and he's definitely one of those for whom shrinking and printing don't do justice.
And stopped by a lot of other places besides. Got Tara Tallan's GALAXION book collecting the first part of her revised version of the story appearing on the web, which looks good. Talked to Salgood Sam for a few minutes, I somehow forgot to bring my copy of SEA OF RED for him to sign, but he had a more recent book called THEREFORE REPENT which looks interesting and is nicely priced. Got to talk to Roger Langridge for a few minutes to compliment him on how well he did the Muppet Show justice on the page. Met James Turner and found out WARLORD OF IO is coming out as a graphic novel, so there's that to look forward to. Talked to Dan Nadel, who just came in from the incredible Jack Kirby exhibit he co-curated in Switzerland, about various old comics, from Kirby to Ditko to Boyette to Glanzman. Lots of other stuff, too, but it all begins to blur after a while. Definitely a fun show, a very different experience from the usual convention, which locally rarely have more than one or two artists I want to meet, and I usually just spend the day hunting for cheap back issues. As I said, if you get a chance next time, check it out.