Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2014


See mag ad. Check website. Find book of interest. Travel to event, sadly, on mother’s day. Get what I planned. Leave for home. Flowers for mom. The end.

It was really that simple. I don’t know why I decide to muddy it up in explanation. Compulsion.

Detailed Account:

So, it was Mother’s day yesterday, and I guess you could say, I bailed on her. Not entirely, although for most of the day. That was not my intention, I wanted to go there and come back. I didn’t realize that when I planned to attend this event that it coincided with Mother’s day weekend. I worked Saturday so I had to go Sunday. I mean, I wrote her something quick, but genuine, and I did make clear that I was planning to go to this event in advance. She didn’t contest, but I take it she was none to happy nor surprised. In the end I do try to make it up, but for now, let me focus on preliminary details.

I had no idea about the existence of this event. I chanced upon it when I received a magazine in the mail. My friend, another subscriber, received the same magazine at which point told me to check out the ad for a comic arts festival. Cool. I like comics. I searched the website. It looked interesting and it was FREE. Then I searched further and found that certain comics were debuting and being sold there. So it’s mainly a sales event, but that’s what these artists need. It’s a good thing.

Now as I’m looking at all the books debuting, I’m attracted by one cover in particular. When I saw it, I knew immediately, that this book spoke my language and I must make the trip to buy it. It’s titled Detrimental Information, written and illustrated by John Holden & Luke Holden. Not even knowing what it was about, I made my mind up. I was going to get that book.

Moving along, about a month, it’s Mother’s day. I make my way down to Toronto. Hit traffic, and accidentally, someone else’s bumper. A minor scuff that had me worried. This has never happened to me before. Luckily everyone in both cars were fine. Not the sort of present she needed for Mother’s day. The misadventure continues when I’ve taken the wrong exit, which left me driving all the way down Bloor until I hit Younge.

Well wouldn’t you know it, I didn’t even think about parking. What was I thinking? That it’s like home and you can park at the venue you’re going to. Nope, of course not. Welp, I spent another 30min driving around and deciding where to park and if we’re even near the venue. Finally parked, settled and ready to amble, we needed to withdraw some cash. Crap, don’t see anything. Well let’s just go to “the spot” and we can ask someone in there.

Where is it exactly? Right in front of us… Where inside do you think they are holding it? I don’t know, but let’s follow the people carrying the comic books. I quickly grabbed myself a festival guide and tried looking up who I wanted to see. Even though there were a multitude of extremely talented people, I didn’t have the time, nor the patience to acquaint myself with their perspective and style.

I find what I’m looking for, but we still didn’t have cash. Shit. Okay, so we ask a library staff member where the nearest ATM is. She says it’s down the street on the corner. Sweet. Made a quick bolt to the machine, got my meager monies, and headed back to the show.

I cautiously approached the table and asked to whom may I make this purchase  from. The one guy said he’ll handle the money, but there’s the author. Really? Cool, do you mind if you sign my book? I don’t think he knew what to write. I told him put “have a nice fucking day,” if he felt so inclined. I didn’t care. During his attempt at signing the book, I told him about the distance I traveled, solely for his book. Why? Because of that absurd front cover. I was honest with him,  I had no idea who he was nor what he was about. I just felt an instant and overwhelming connection by most superficial part of a book, the cover. Which, by the way, was conceived during a dream his brother had.

After our mildly awkward and short exchanging of words, I left feeling gratified and happy I was able to help him and his brother out. Their form of expression seems to resonates similarly to my ideals.

Feeling that the trip was a bit short, I did however peruse the other artist tables. Sadly, the other tables I gave only fleeting glaces at their work. There were just so many great people and perspectives, I was overwhelmed. And I didn’t really plan out questions for anyone. Not that questions are necessary, but it helps, a lot. I would have loved to stay longer, but time was bearing down on me, the thought that it’s Mother’s day and I’m  being a bad son weighed heavily on my mind, and the shear amount of talent in one place threw my head for a spin.

I just needed out. Grab some food, have a smoke, recompose and make my way home. Stopped off at this little place across the street called Crepes A Go-Go. Nifty little joint.  They were polite, knowledgeable, pleasant and were reasonably fast. Space was tight, but that was okay.We were just going to eat it while we walked in the sun, back to where I’d parked. And it was priced fairly. Overall a neat little place to venture to.

As the day progressed, I finally made my way home. But before I went home, I made a quick stop off a Zehr’s and picked up budding/blooming lilies. I was going to get her a money tree, but I don’t think she’d have seen the humor in it. And no need to be wise cracking now. In the end, the lilies were the better choice. I buckled up my flower in the passenger seat. Made sure it wasn’t to restricting on the flower. Left it some room to breathe. Drove the speed limit, cautiously, because I didn’t want to spill and ruin my mom’s gift.

I got home and gave her the flower. I think she liked it, but I think she felt like there was something still missing. It was probably me.