Canzine 2014

November 17, 2014 | Brent

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Zine culture is in the middle of a surprising boom in the city. Canzine was just over two weeks ago and in addition to Zine Dream in August and the Toronto Queer Zine Fair in October, there are scores of zine events and small press fairs all over the city. The Beguiling has a collection of locally published indie comics on their front counter and even my local gluten free bakers, Through Being Cool, have a wall of zines just to the right of the pastry.

It's a good time for independent and underground print media.

But first, some long overdue thanks. Chelsea Watt and Youth&Rust had an awesome show this summer at the Black Cat gallery. The Toronto Reference Library now has a great collection of their work documenting the punk scene in Hamilton. My own favorite is “heavy” a wordless fold out that’s not only a great document of the mosh pit but also ironically a beautiful (even fragile) paper object .

Chelsea Watt

The second round of thanks goes to Aaron Manczyk who supplied us with a replacement copy of his comic “No Nookie in the North.” As you might guess from that title, Aaron’s comics are the definition of "Not Safe for Work" and (as you can see by the reception for his latest comic) awesomeness.

And now to some of the new additions from Canzine:

Sam Noir has made a name for himself doing pitch perfect mashups of cartoon greats. His Sergio Aragonés tribute, Holmes vs Moriarty, will be joining our Arthur Conan Doyle Collection. JS Longstreet is responsible for the flawless visuals which join Mad magazine and steampunk.

Sam Noir

Julie Agro was a new name to me but her Hockneyesque drawings of a sleeping poodle are *really* impressive.

Julie Agro

Shuster award winners Matthew Daley & Cory McCallum bring a 50s retro vibe to their indie comic Errol Dynamic: all right angles, arcs and rounded corners. And not only is it stylish, it also has its own promotional Youtube video:


Superheroes in St. James Town? Originally published as a "subscription comic" Kat Verhoeven's Towerkind joins humble materials with mad drawing skills to produce a 13 part superhero serial complete with a mysterious object hurtling towards earth.


Last year the library was able to pick a slew of zines produced by Oasis Skateboard Factory. This year we were able to score two volumes of the West Enders from West End Alternative Secondary School.

West Enders

That's just a fraction of the new material on the 5th floor of Toronto Reference Library. Look for our expanded zine collection just beside our Graphic Novels in the Arts Department.