Toronto Comicon 2022 Comic Creators Spotlight
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Toronto Comicon 2022 – Independent Comic Book Creators Spotlight

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BY April 25, 2022

As spring arrives in North America, so does the return of in-person events. Namely, in-person conventions such as Toronto Comicon at Fan Expo. It’s the start of convention season, starting with the Toronto Comicon which acts as a precursor to one of the bigger events in Canada, Fan Expo. Such events are not only fun for movie studios and celebrities coming to promote their content, but also important for independent comic book creators. It’s events such as these where self-published or indie creators get exposure and build up a fan base. I had the opportunity to speak to some of the Toronto Comicon 2022 comic creators to discuss why these events are so important. Check out what these independent comic book creators had to say and be sure to support their work.

Toronto Comicon 2022 Comic Creators Came Out In Droves

Toronto Comicon 2022 comic creators Strange Case. Image via Grachow Illustrations.

As the first in-person convention for the season in Canada, Toronto Comicon at Fan Expo was surprisingly busy. The usual hordes of cosplayers and celebrity guests made the event special and fun for the whole family. But for independent comic book creators, events such as these are a way to network and promote their work to the masses. It’s a business event, in many ways for a lot of the creators I spoke with. To find out what this event was like from a fan perspective, check out the return to in-person conventions piece that my colleague and comic con partner in crime, Meghan Hale wrote. To find out what the convention is like for indie creators, read on.

A lot of the Toronto Comicon 2022 comic creators agreed that in-person conventions are a great way to raise awareness of their projects. But it’s also their bread and butter. Keith Grachow has been a writer and comic creator in the industry for the past 10 years. Grachow focuses on kids stories, but also many other types of illustrations and books. He comments on just how the Pandemic affected him as a creator and someone who does this for a living. Keith also looks at the bright side that being locked down offered him.

“Thankfully, the last 2 years I had work prior to the pandemic, so I could keep working throughout, which was a Godsend. For sure, not having shows or book signings affected our lives a bit. … It’s really great to actually be back at shows. And to see people in person and to show them all the new work I’ve created in those 2 years.” — Kieth Grachow. Toronto Comicon 2022; Comic Years

Independent Comic Book Creators Rely on In-Person Events

Independent comic book creators Calico. Image via Sigma Comics.

One of the more interesting comic books at Toronto Comicon at Fan Expo this year was Calico. The book is all about a violent vigilante to brings animal abusers to justice. The comic book itself has amazing artwork by Javier Orabich and the story from creator H. H. German has a bit of a social justice warrior angle to it as well. While the comic book is pretty graphic, the point seems to be to convey the true horrors of animal abuse. The publisher, Sigma Comics, founded by German, uses the comic book to raise awareness of animal abuse, and get readers to support foundations against it. It’s a very worthy cause. When I spoke to German, his comments about how important in-person conventions like Toronto Comicon at Fan Expo are to him, were very passionate.

“Getting the book out to the people in person is very important especially if you an indie . … We don’t have the multi-billion dollar budgets that the big 3 have. Marvel, DC and Image. You may think people know about your comic, but they don’t. Come to the comic cons. Shake some hands. Tell the stories. And little by little you’r’e gonna have more and more people learning about your comic. It’s the best way, in my opinion. — H. H. German, Toronto Comicon 2022; Comic Years

Toronto Comicon At Fan Expo Is Just One of Many Events

Toronto Comicon 2022 comic creators Todorovski. Image via Elsewhere Media

While the casual con-goer may think of larger comic book conventions such as San Diego Comic-Con as the place for the big comic book movie trailer reveals. Or the big Hall H panels with the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe cast being cute with one another. But the original spirit of conventions like Toronto Comicon 2022, are as an exhibition for up and coming artists, creators, writers and other creatives to showcase their work. To raise awareness of their small creative business to get more support and reach audiences and demographic that they may not be able to form their drafting room or art desk.

For myself, it was a treat talking to independent comic book creators who are passionate about their work and in many ways are telling new and original stories. And in truly surprising ways. For example, George Todorovski from Elsewhere Media is a self-published writer and artist. Todorovski’s works include a new graphic novel, Zero Point and The Book. What’s unique about Todorovski, is that in The Book, which is an anthology of stories, he uses different art styles for each story. So while one could be a Frank Miller-esque gritty realism style, another is a polished digital painting art-scape. I was truly impressed, with his latest, Zero Point giving me George Perez vibes.

Check out all these amazing Toronto Comicon 2022 comic creators at the links throughout this article.

Are you an aspiring comic book creator, writer, artist? Do you find in-person conventions to be a viable source of promoting your work? Let us know your experience with comic book conventions in the comments below.

Featured image via Sigma Comics.

COMICS

Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.

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