TCAF 2021 Moves Online: Borrow Comics and Join Online Events!

May 3, 2021 | Wendy B.

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This year, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) has moved online, from May 8 – 15.  There'll be keynote talks, panel discussions, online art shows and more – all available from wherever you are. (See a few event highlights, below.)

And do you know what goes well with a digital TCAF? Digital comics! 

Here's a roundup of titles from some of the creators who'll be discussing their work at TCAF events this year.  All of these comics are available online with your library card: 



Maestros, Vol. 1 by Steve Skroce

A Florida millennial inherits the Wizard King's throne. What could possibly go wrong?


Strong Female Protag

Strong Female Protagonist by Molly Ostertag

When a superhero tries to become a "normal" college student, she discovers that there might be more than one way to change the world.


Maggie the Mechanic

Maggie the Mechanic by Jaime Hernandez

The first volume of the epic classic Love and Rockets comic series introduces central characters Maggie and Hopey along with a rotating background of L.A. punks, Mexican wrestlers and wannabe superheroes.


My Pretty Vampire

My Pretty Vampire by Katie Skelly

Clover has been a vampire for four years. Imprisoned by her brother "for her own good", she dreams of freedom. What could possibly go wrong?


The Comic Book Story of Pro Wrestling

The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling by Aubrey Sitterson

A comprehensive history of pro wrestling by the host of wrestling podcast Straight Shoot.



Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil Vol. 1-4 by Jeff Smith

The author of the acclaimed Bone graphic novel series brings us the adventures of Billy Batson as he fights aliens and mad scientists. 


Reckoner Rises

The Reckoner Rises by David Robertson

Cole and Eva arrive in Winnipeg intent on destroying Mihko Industries - but Cole's terrifying visions send them down another path.


Almost American Girl

Almost American Girl by Robin Ha

Unexpectedly transplanted from Seoul to Alabama, Robin struggles to find a life for herself – until her mom enrolls her in a comics-drawing class.


Our Work is Everywhere

Our Work is Everywhere by Syan Rose

Queer and trans community leaders describe in their own words the power, love, pain, and magic that define their lives. 


Want to browse more digital comics? Check out our Hoopla and OverDrive collections! Or, browse all of our newest graphic novels, print and digital.



Panel Events

We won't be holding any events at Toronto Reference Library, but here are some highlights of the 2021 festival to check out online – with links to more comics available from the library. 

All times are EST. 

See a complete schedule of TCAF events.

Working in Other's Worlds: Creating in the Sandman Universe and Other Pantheons

Monday, May 10 at 7 pm. Watch on YouTube

Creating your own fictional world is an incredible challenge, but what is it like to create in a universe created by another author? And what if that world is one of the most beloved pantheons in all of comics publishing – the Sandman Universe? Join Nalo Hopkinson (Sandman Universe: Book of Whispers) and Jill Thompson (Delirium's Party, Scary Godmother) as they discuss expanding established worlds and stories.

Borrow from TPL:

Protest Comics

Tuesday, May 11 at 7 pm. Watch on YouTube

Protest is an integral part of a democratic society, but it's not without its risks. Whether it’s protesting for the fundamental right to be treated as equal through the right to vote or protesting the injustice around the Vietnam War, or protesting the social injustices of our present moment, these creators examine everything from the central figures of these protest movements, the cultural symbols these movements create, and sadly sometimes the victim. Ho Che Anderson (King), Derf Backderf (Kent State), and Nate Powell (Save it for Later) discuss the risks and responsibilities of representing past and present protest movements and figures. Are comics themselves an emerging site of protest?

Borrow from TPL:

Science and Comics with Cells at Work!

Thursday, May 13 at 3 pm. Watch on Youtube

Join us in this discussion panel as we examine the dynamic, entertaining, and educational world of hit manga series Cells At Work! Wen Zhao, a science teacher, Dr. Yi Ariel Liu, a doctor of medicine, and Deb Aoki, a manga writer, band together to look at the series through their respective lenses, talk about the science behind the stories, and consider the intersection between science literacy and visual storytelling. A sneak peek of the upcoming English release of Cells At Work Volume 6 will also be available! Don’t miss it!

Borrow from TPL:

Richard Sala Memorial Panel

Friday, May 14 at 5 pm. Watch on Youtube

Friends and colleagues of the late, great cartoonist Richard Sala gather to remember him and discuss his singular body of work. This panel brings together Daniel Clowes (Patience), Rina Ayuyang (Blame This on the Boogie), Eric Haven (Cryptoid), Adrian Tomine (The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist) and Eric Reynolds, Associate Publisher at Fantagraphics, to share memories of Richard and to acknowledge his unquestionable impact on the history of alternative comics.

Borrow from TPL:


Find Out More

Be sure to visit TCAF's website or sign up for their enewsletter for updates. They'll also have an online marketplace for creators to sell their work, starting on May 8! You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and use the hashtags #TCAF and #TCAF2021.


More Graphic Book Recommendations

And if you're looking for even more recommendations, check out these past posts!