TCAF 2017 Roundup, Part 3: Books and Food

May 18th, 2017

Today I’m just gonna list everything I bought at TCAF, because it was all so awesome. ^_^ In no particular order, just as I pull them off the pile. On Sunday, I finally had a chance to walk around the Toronto Public Library and see the exhibitors and their wares. The bottom floor includes the larger publishers, like Fantagraphics, Koyama Press and First Second. The second floor is where you’ll find smaller publishers like Northwest Press and Chromatic Press and scattered around both floors are sections given over to self-publishers and makers of mini-comics and doujinshi.

We’re starting with RAMCOM, a Ramen Yuri minicomic by Emily Forster.

As I was passing the table, they called my name and said, “Its Ramen Yuri!” and I handed them money and just kept right on going, because who doesn’t want ramen-themed Yuri? ^_^ And you know how I’m always looking for fun, original work, so this was all the wins. 

When I came home and read it, I handed it over to the wife and she loved it too. It’s a smile-maker.


Stéphanie Leduc‘s book Godless World caught my eye because of the art, but when she told me there was a Soundcloud soundtrack available that can be listened to as one reads, I threw money at her immediately.

Think about it – a multimedia, fantasy with a female lead. Yes, please.



I picked up Hannah Fisher’s Cosmo Knights because the postcards featured butchy women boxers that said “Fight Like A Girl” and I am a sucker for women who kick ass. 

And because the summary reads like this: The popular sport of cosmic jousting is alive and well, with tournaments in which Cosmoknights armed with spacesuits, medieval weaponry and jetpacks compete for the hands of princesses across the galaxy. Unfortunately for potential suitors, the princesses are over it.

Oh, okay. ^_^ I mean, it’s not like it’s hard to convince me to get cool-looking self-published comics, but this looks great!



I’ve reviewed two books by Barry Deutsch here, from his Hereville series. But even more in our wheelhouse he and Becky Dawkins are currently drawing a series called Superbutch that you should all be reading. “Someone is protecting the lesbian bar scene of 1940s Turtle City” reads the page metadata.

Lillian is a woman who has an amazing story about a woman of color passing as white during the day, lesbian superhero. It’s a great webcomic and I am now pleased to have a print volume of the first couple of issues. The book itself has a back cover that lists  More Comics With Queer Women of Color – several of which I have reviewed here on Okazu!

This list is not just an “oh good” it’s a “Yeah Baby!” so I’m sharing it with you all in hopes that you will run out and throw money at these. They deserve support and as much promotion as they can get!

Also from Barry and Becky, I picked up First Glance: A Young Girl’s Thrilling Quest for Lesbian Smut. This is not a smutty comic at all, but very much about the quest LGBTQ people have to go on to find themselves. This book is particularly wonderful for having front and back covers reminiscent of a mid-century lesbian pulp novel.


I mentioned yesterday that I had read Svetlana Chmakova’s Awkward in preparation for the panel with her and Cecil Castelluccci so while I had a chance, I picked up her new book, Brave

This book, as I pointed out yesterday, is about the kind of microagressions one gets from people who position themselves as friends. And, to that point, Svetlana noted how mean I am to her. She’s not wrong, it’s a long-established habit of mine to be mean to people I love best. But I did apologize. It’s probably a really destructive habit, but it’s pervasive in my close circle where we’re all pretty brutal (but funny and supportive and loving, so I’m not about cutting a person down.) I’m not sure how this book is going to hit me – I may end up be the bad guy and not in a good way. Hrm. ^_^;

I was able to pick up a copy of Gengoroh Tagame’s My Brother’s Husband, which I am literally holding on to for a day where I can sit and savor it.

Although I mention this book last, it was actually my first purchase. So Pretty, Very Rotten is a book of “Comics and Essays on Lolita Fashion and Cute Culture” by Jane Mai and An Nguyen. They launched their book at the Japan Foundation as part of Koyama Press’s 10th anniversary. The book includes an essay by the creator of Kamikaze Girls/Shimotsuma Monogatari, Novala Takemoto.

The launch was accompanied by a party with very cute food – sushi rolls and Pocky and cute girl cookies and items of Lolita fashion displayed as if they were at a museum. Both An and Jane appeared in Lolita clothing – as did a number of reception attendees! I always assumed Lolita would die out, but to my (pleasant) surprise, it’s growing and changing and continuing as a living thing. Jane and An gave us a quick overview of  Lolita culture and the story behind their book. I’m really looking forward to reading this. Congrats to An and Jane! I stopped by their table in the library and they thanked me for the support with a copy of their mini-comic,  don’t talk to me or I’ll set myself on fire, which, as my wife points out, is a great title.

One last note about Toronto – the food is spectacular. I was able to enjoy Cafe Bouloud Toronto with my roommates, where we had fabulous French food and the best seat in the house. This is one of those meals that you just go all in or you don’t do it. Duck confit, pork belly, quenelles and steak frites, wine and profiteroles kind of all in.

On Saturday, I had the extraordinary experience of sharing an Indonesian Rijstaffel at Noorden, a Dutch Restaurant, with 10 lovely people. (We discuss this on the third Four Ladies in a Hotel Room podcast.)

I enjoyed the wares at the Museum Tavern with Alan and Giselle and with the 4 Ladies and friends we shared cocktails in the rooftop bar at the Park Hyatt and had exceptional duck (again) at Firkin on Bloor

And with that, as I rolled my stuffed body and bags away from Toronto, I am once again reminded of the old TCAF chestnut, “this year’s TCAF was the best year ever.” (At TCAF, everyone is nice and it’s always the best year ever.)

Thank you TCAF and Library staff and volunteers, publishers, comic creators, panelists, moderators, guests, attendees and my fabulous roommates and friends!

2017 was definitely the best TCAF ever. ^_^

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2 Responses

  1. Oooh, I’ve been reading Superbutch as it’s posted so far I’m really liking it!

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