I had a decadent two weeks in Ontario before TCAF to visit my family. This gave me lots of time to wander around Guelph and Stratford. I went on some nice walks, and ended up on some streets I had never walked in all my years living in Guelph.
I also had time to relax and do fun things with my family. My brothers and I made up D&D characters and had an absolute hoot. An old pal happened to be in town, and we had a nice visit with him. I had living room dance parties with my younger brother and my Mom, playing old records. I got out and did some landscape painting with my older brother, which is such a satisfying thing to do.
I managed to finish up some autobiographical stuff and put together Vinegar 38: Return of the Fluff Headed Man. Due to a strangely confused copy shop I ended up having to fold and staple them myself. Since my long arm stapler was safely back in Vancouver, I did it up old style, banging the staples through into cardboard and folding them in by hand.
And then it was time for TCAF. On the Friday I ran into Jeff Ellis and took him to one of my favourite dingy old bars, the Duke of Gloucester. It is a block from TCAF and a block from the hotel where I was staying. We had a beer, and watched strange music videos a guy was playing in the corner. Then it was time to set up and head off to the opening party at the Pilot. TCAF is getting so big these days that it is easy to see people only in passing or miss them all together. That first night I said hi to Annie Koyama and Nina Bunjevac, but then didn’t see them again for the rest of the show. I managed to miss Box Brown all together. At the Pilot I saw lots of friends from Vancouver and Jim Munroe and Joe Decie and met many other interesting folks.
The first day of the show was crazy busy. I barely left the table. I had truly delightful neighbours, Tess Eneli Reid and Estrella Vega. Both of them had these amazing fold out comic/print projects that just blew people away all weekend.
After the show I was heading out to dinner with my old Toronto Comic Jam comrades Dave Howard and Dalton Sharp, and another jammer Zann. We went to the Artful Dodger, where Dalton and I used to meet every week to do jam comics with Dave Lapp. Just by chance, I ran into Dave Lapp outside the bar! It was obviously fated to be, so he joined us too. We drank and chatted and jams were jammed. It was so great to hang out with them all (even if the pictures here came out less than great).
Sunday was a cold and miserable day, it even snowed a bit. The show was a little quieter, and I managed to do a few quick runs to buy some comics. I didn’t even make it off the second floor though, never mind checking out the new venue up the road at the Masonic Temple. I did get nostalgic for all the great bands I saw there back in the day when it was the Concert Hall. I saw someone with a Pixies t-shirt who also saw them there in the early 90s. Later in the evening Matthew Daley and I got downright misty eyed thinking of how much we love seeing live music, what an incredible experience it can be.
Another dinner with different old Toronto pals. Another TCAF sendoff party. It was an awesome time.
And now it is on to…