Comic Arts Festival in Tokyo

The Canadian comics and art scene is expanding all the way to Japan and you can catch a glimpse at the work of some up-and-coming artists from overseas this week in Tokyo.

At first sight, most of us don’t necessarily associate the city of Toronto, Canada, with comics. However, in the recent years, Canada’s largest city (and not capital, as it is often mistaken!) has been getting lots of attention as the home to a handful of extremely talented and original artists.

In fact, an annual festival is even dedicated to this art: the Toronto Comics Art Festival (TCAF). If what comes to mind is a comic or anime convention, think again. This is a week of comics-related events, including readings, presentations, panel discussions, gallery shows and a large exhibition area featuring publishers and comic authors and artists. In other words, “unconventional” and perhaps a lot more artsy than conventions, so put your cosplay getup on hold for that one.

The TCAF is presently curating a special event next door to us, in the heart of Shibuya, Canadian Comic Arts. The festival has selected some of its best artists and bringing them over to Japan to introduce them to an already loyal fan base.

Noteworthy names include author/illustrator Maurice Vellekoop, whose editorial clients encompass a whopping lineup of names such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Glamour and Wallpaper – to name a few. Another name to watch is Love Love Hill, a Canadian collective of comic artists who independently self-published anthologies of short comics, art-zines, and minis, all lovingly bound into handmade volumes.

The common theme is a commitment to personal expression, and a uniquely Canadian merging of influences and styles from classic and contemporary illustration, western comics, manga and anime, and fan-produced Japanese doujinshi. In addition, Canadian graphic novelist Geneviève Castrée will exhibit a selection of sculptures. 

Browse through the artists’ linked websites to catch a taste of this exclusive art event, and go learn a little more about comic book art and, perhaps, Canada?!

See the Canada Comics Arts event page or click here for more information.

When: Nov. 15-Dec.2

Where: Shibuya Parco Part One B1F (see map)

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Text by Vivian Morelli