The Toronto Comics Anthology: Can we please have some money?
[This March sees the launch of the Kickstarter campaign for the third volume of The Toronto Comics Anthology, which is being edited by not one but two of our Geekpr0n contributors. In what is sure to be an enlightening and in-no-way-biased article, the two have agreed to interview each other in order to shed some more light on this project. Enjoy!]
Aaron Feldman: Hey Allison, thanks for joining me today.
Allison O’Toole: Thanks Aaron! Happy to be here. What are we talking about?
AF: I’m glad you asked. I wanted to talk a bit about this new book that you’re involved in, the Toronto Comics Anthology. Could you tell us a bit about it?
AO: I’d love to! the Toronto Comics Anthology is a showcase for local creators, both newcomers and indie vets, to tell stories set in and about Toronto. You were involved in Volume 2, what can you tell us about that experience, and what will be different about Volume 3?
AF: Good question. We’ve been gaining momentum with each volume, allowing us to tell a wider range of stories and reach a wider audience. Volume 1 was a modest little book that ended up getting a Gene Day nomination earlier this year (we lost). Volume 2 was even better. And this one? Not only does volume three features over 30 different stories of Toronto in many different genres, but it’s also our first volume where our creators are getting paid for their contributions. Last volume I only got paid in “free copies”, which was kind of bullshit, so I’m very proud that we’re able to recognize and reward creators for their contributions this time around! Now, as editor of this volume, what can you tell me about the kinds of stories I can expect to find?
AO: Well Aaron, we’ve got something for everyone’s taste: sci-fI (like a few post-apocalyptic visions of the city), horror (a story about a man who murders his brother and finds the body harder to hide than he realized), slice of life (a few date stories), a sword-and-sorcery story, and despite a “no capes” policy, a superhero story or two found their way into the collection too. Can you tell me a bit about some of the creators who are bringing us these stories, since I didn’t go into enough detail about that when I mentioned them earlier?
AF: I’m very glad you asked. This book’s got a wide range of talent. Some of our creators – like Jason Loo (“Date with the Majestic Rat”) and Ricky Lima (“Architecture”) – are indie veterans with successful titles under their belt, while others like M. Blankier (“Etienne and the Far West”) have even been published by Marvel. We have plenty of newcomers as well who have been creating amazing work, and it’s been an honour to showcase their works. Steven Andrews also wrote a story. Now tell me, how have you been finding the editing process? How does editing an anthology differ from editing your ongoing series, The Pitiful Human-Lizard?
AO: Thank you for the opening for a bit of shameless self-promotion there Aaron, and let me pause by reminding everyone that the first volume TPB of The Pitiful Human-Lizard comes out March 9, and there will be a signing and launch party at Page & Panel that day! Anyway, juggling so many creators will come with its challenges – we have 47 contributors in this book – and some will always need more support from us than others. And with so many great submission ideas, it was tough to pick a crop of stories based only on pitches! But we also had some more fun challenges, like trying to decide how the finished stories would best flow together. Now that I’ve mentioned release dates for another project – aren’t we running a Kickstarter? Should we have mentioned that earlier in the article?
AF: Oh shit you’re right!
I’m glad you asked.
We’re currently running a Kickstarter to help supplement many of the production costs that making such an incredible book incurs. If you follow the link at torontocomicsanthology.com/ks you’ll be able to support us in our noble endeavour. We’re offering plenty of great incentives, such as exclusive prints, copies of the book (both physical and digital), t-shirts designed by Megan Kearney, original art, and I dunno probably other good stuff! Making an anthology is no easy feat so every dollar counts and your support is greatly appreciated! As co-editor, is there anything you think we should add about the campaign that I forgot?
AO: That it will be running throughout the month of March? Also that Ryan North (yes THE Ryan North! Of Dinosaur Comics and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl!) wrote the book intro for us? Otherwise, we hope that readers will consider dropping us a few bucks to pre-order a copy of this anthology and help support indie creators! This collection is a love letter to Toronto in many ways, but even if you’ve never seen the city before, there’s a lot here to love. Before we go, what’s your favourite story in this collection?
AF: Hmm, tough to choose, but pound for pound my unbiased pick would have to be “Ghosts over Garlic Mashed Potatoes” by Allison O’Toole and illustrated by Meaghan Carter. It’s a story about a local ghost hunter show, “Haunt Hunt,” and their efforts to communicate with the spirits that haunt the Keg Mansion. What they find will shock you. How about you? Do you have a favourite story?
AO: Well mine, if I have to choose, would have to be Aaron Feldman’s “The Dark.” Illustrated by Joshua Rosen, it takes place at O Noir, a restaurant where patrons eat in total darkness. Two friends may not be able to see each other, but they can’t hide from their FEELINGS.
Well I think that wraps us up – any closing comments, Aaron? Or can we go back to Star Wars now?
For more info on the Toronto Comics Anthology, check out our Kickstarter page.