The Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) was held last month, with its usual great success in bringing together a diverse array of comics creators from all over the world. Sequential, a free digital comics app for the iPad, assembled a free digital collection for the festival, including specially commissioned contributions from creators Noah Van Sciver, Hunt Emerson, Barbara Stok, Elaine M. Will, Joe Decie, Simon Moreton, Margreet de Heer and Kristyna Baczynski, with Charles Burns’ poster art as the cover. It’s quite an entertaining and colourful collection of short pieces, mostly about traveling to a convention, seeing a new city and interacting with other comics creators – in short, the experience of attending TCAF.
Barbarak Stok’s contribution, for example, contains no dialogue, just panels of her packing, traveling, returning home and unpacking (he very cute dog features prominently in the home scenes). Elaine Will uses her piece to disseminate some “Toronto Facts”, and includes a hilarious panel describing the three different types of pigeons to be found in the city. Joe Decie, in a very nice black and white pencil and ink technique, takes us on a tour of Toronto, including “Chateau DeFargo”, a faux castle made out of papier mache and fiberglass, something Terry Gilliam would no doubt appreciate. And Kristyna Baczynski creates her story as a sort of medieval fairy tale, of a shoemaker who toils to make a golden shoe for a famous horse.
The diversity and creativity of small-run and web-based comics artists is always great to see. And this charming collection is being given away for free until the end of June on Sequential. Furthermore, for each free download, Sequential will make a contribution to the TCAF, supporting the festival’s mission to promote great indie comics and creators and help advance the medium. That’s very close to the mission of Sequart, so we’re happy to endorse this collection.
Sequential can be downloaded from the iTunes store and from there it’s easy to find this and many other great comics.