Report on: Canzine 2013

A stroll away from Honest Ed’s at the Bathurst Centre on October 20th was an event organized by the local magazine Broken Pencil. Canzine Toronto was a festival of modern do-it-yourself creators meeting each other, vending, and having a good time. Tables full of crafts, journals, and many many comics of all shapes and sizes on all subject matter, from journal comics, to surrealism, to pop-culture deconstruction. This is a world where more influence is taken from Clowes and Crumb than Jim Lee and MacFarlane.

For Alice Quin’s coverage of last year’s Canzine, click here.

Unlike Fanexpo, Canzine’s exhibiting artists weren’t trying to “break into” the mainstream comic industry, but rather to develop sustainable community presence via self-publishing, with the pure creative freedom for the Kickstarter generation. The majority of vendors at Canzine were selling their own works, so prices (and also quality) varied wildly. Everybody there has a tumblr they would love if you would follow it. This event puts community over industry. And it puts personality over costume – not a single cosplayer there, thank heavens!

Additionally to three dealer’s rooms, there were several performances which were accessible to any audience with time to kill. A demonstration of Toronto’s Fanfiction The Show and samples from the various experiences of the NXNE event persuade me to making it an important part of the 2014 calendar. A gaming room with hacks of classic video-games was also an entertaining diversion and nice reminder that the Vector Festival for Games and Art is coming in 2014.

The major issue Canzine has is that it has clearly hit the limit on how many people can fit inside the venue. Thankfully the organizers made no secret they were looking for larger locations.

Toronto is lucky to have events like TCAF and Canzine, and if December Indie Arts Market event keeps up the spirit, Toronto’s independent culture community is almost spoiled. Canzine (and the culture it represents) has an obvious growth but retains some distinct vibe from the Toronto Comic Art Festival.

-Michael Ryan, October 23rd, 2013

btw ya’ll is hipsters.

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