Meet over 100 comic creators at this free Vancouver festival this month

May 4 2023, 11:41 pm

Over 100 comic creators are coming to Vancouver on Victoria Day long weekend to take part in a massive free festival.

Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VanCAF) is an annual celebration of comics and their creators at the Roundhouse Community Centre, this year happening on May 20 and 21.

“VanCAF is always such a thrill as we get to share with our communities the breadth and depth of comics to a wider audience,” said festival director Jarrett Evan Samson. “This year marks our return to a full exhibitor slate and I’m so excited to welcome back so many amazing creators from around the world and those close to home.

“(They include) artist Valen Onstine, the creator of our 2023 Land Acknowledgment comic, and the incredible Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas who will launch his new Haida manga, JAJ, at our opening night event.”

This year’s festival will feature a variety of programming, including a special pre-festival event with BC author and illustrator Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas on Friday, May 19 at 7 pm. The free book launch for Yahgulanaas’ new book, JAJ: A Haida Manga, will include a discussion with Dr. Nicola Levell and a book signing managed by Iron Dog Books will take place after the discussion.

A number of special guests will also be in attendance throughout the weekend, including Canadian superstar writer Jeff Lemire.

Jeff Lemire

Jeff Lemire (Jamie Hogge/Simon and Schuster)

Lemire is a New York Times bestselling author of popular titles such as Underwater Welder, Black Hammer, Descender and Gideon Falls. His titles have also been adapted into TV series, including Sweet Tooth for Netflix and Essex County for CBC.

The Joe Shuster Award and Eisner Award winner collaborated with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder on his Matter of Time animated video and Gord Downie from the Tragically Hip on Secret Path, an acclaimed animated film and graphic novel.

Vancouver Comic Arts Festival

@vancouvercomics/Instagram

Other special guests in 2023 include Aisha Franz (Work-Life Balance from Drawn & Quarterly), Ho Che Anderson (Godhead 2 from Fantagraphics), and Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie webcomic).

“After several years of online and hybrid festivals, fans and creators are especially keen to attend VanCAF in person and share their enthusiasm for comics and graphic novels in a venue that supports their community,” said VanCAF executive director Fernanda Viveiros. “It’s inspiring to go from room to room and see the level of talent showcased – you’ll find everything from zines and art prints to self-created and small-press comics to traditionally published graphic novels.”

Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VanCAF)

When: May 20 and 21, 2023
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Roundhouse Community Centre – 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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