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TCAF Presents: Word Balloon Academy

Toronto Comic Arts Festival

Friday, May 9, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

TCAF Presents: Word Balloon Academy

Ticket Information

Type Remaining End Quantity
10AM: Layout Workshop with Frank Santoro
This workshop with Comics Workbook editor and correspondence course teacher Frank Santoro examines the most common layouts, then some very uncommon ones, and talk about the moments when each may be especially effective.
11 Tickets Ended Free  
10AM: Collaboration with Annie Mok and Sophia Foster-Dimino
How is collaboration like dating (and how is it not)? In this presentation, Annie Mok and Sophia Foster-Dimino talk about how the collaboration process have been like for them, possible pitfalls to look out for, and how to foster healthy collaborative relationships, from initial contact to a finished comic.
70 Tickets Ended Free  
11AM: TCAF in Japan with Chris Butcher
Chat with festival-runner Chris Butcher and fellow Canadian artists about their experiences travelling with TCAF to Tokyo. Learn how you might participate with us in 2015!
34 Tickets Ended Free  
11AM: Research with Scott Chantler
This workshop will focus on presenting good examples of well-researched work, the value that good research adds, some basic research practices, and resources for participants to follow up with.
60 Tickets Ended Free  
12PM: Digital Comics with Mackenzie Schubert
This workshop with artist Mackenzie Schubert will look at storytelling forms for digitally published comics. Explore the concept of comics without pages, with demonstrations in Unity.
28 Tickets Ended Free  
12PM: Agents: an Interview with Canadian Literary Agent Samantha Haywood
An interview with illustrious comics agent Samantha Haywood on the purposes and benefits of working with an agent in Canada.
64 Tickets Ended Free  
2PM: Injury Prevention for Cartoonists with Kriota Willberg
This workshop describes common injuries from long hours of drawing, presents guidelines that can help prevent injuries of the hand/wrist, neck, and back, and teaches simple exercises that can help reduce the risk of getting injured.
67 Tickets Ended Free  
2PM: Artists and Money with Amanda Mills of Artbooks
Amanda Mills of Artbooks, an income tax service specifically for artists, talks about the basics of navigating the tax system as an artist.
24 Tickets Ended Free  
3PM: Crowdfunding with George Rohac
George Rohac talks about the different crowdfunding platforms, how to run a successful campaign, and whether or not crowdfunding is right for your project.
65 Tickets Ended Free  
3PM: Legalities of an Artistic Career with Warren Sheffer of ALAS
ALAS Ontario exists to support artists in legal matters, regardless of financial standing. Current chair Warren Sheffer will present this workshop on common legal issues for artists in Canada, including contracts, rights disputes, and more.
29 Tickets Ended Free  
4:15PM: Inking with Jeff Smith
Join Jeff Smith in a live inking workshop as he demonstrates a few different tools: brush, nib, marker, pen. Discuss their effectiveness with different papers, and for different purposes.
7 Tickets Ended Free  

Who's Going

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Event Details

TCAF is pleased to present the inaugural Word Balloon Academy, a full day of creator-focused programming on Friday, May 9th at the Marriott Bloor Yorkville, located at 90 Bloor Street East (Bloor/Yonge Subway).

Please note: At present, registration for Word Balloon Academy presentations is limited to TCAF Exhibitors, Publishers, Panelists, and Moderators. If you don't fall into one of these categories and register for programming, we may need to cancel your reservation. Sorry!

Registration is now available to the public!

Word Balloon Academy is a full day of presentations and workshops especially for comic creators and industry members, and will include two streams of programming: one for creative workshops, and one for business topics and professional concerns. These programs require registration, but will be completely free to attend.


Feature Presentation: Personal Health and Management, with Kriota Willberg

TCAF and the Word Balloon Academy are proud to welcome Kriota Willberg, a teacher of anatomy and injury-prevention at various institutions including The Centre for Cartoon Studies and The Society for Illustrators. Willberg will be giving a workshop workshop describing common injuries from long hours of drawing, presenting guidelines that can help prevent injuries of the hand/wrist, neck, and back, and teach simple exercises that can help reduce the risk of getting injured. More about Kriota Willberg at

Full Presentation Schedule:

High Park Ballroom I:

  • Layout with Frank Santoro, 10 - 11am
  • TCAF in Japan with Chris Butcher, 11am - 12pm
  • Digital Comics with Mackenzie Schubert, 12 - 1pm
  • LUNCH BREAK, 1 - 2pm
  • Artists and Money with Amanda Mills of Artbooks, 2 - 3pm
  • Legalities of an Artistic Career with Warren Sheffer of ALAS, 3 - 4pm

High Park Ballroom II: 
  • Collaboration with Annie Mok and Sophia Foster-Dimino, 10 - 11am
  • Research Practices with Scott Chantler, 11am - 12pm
  • Agents: an Interview with Samantha Haywood, 12 - 1pm
  • LUNCH BREAK, 1 - 2pm
  • Injury Prevention for Cartoonists with Kriota Willberg, 2 - 3pm
  • Crowdfunding with George Rohac, 3 - 4pm

Special Presentation: 
  • Inking with Jeff Smith, 4:15pm - 5:15pm

HOW TO REGISTER & PARTICIPATE: Just select the 'ticket' above for each program you'd like to attend. You'll be emailed a digital copy of the tickets, and you can print them if you like. On the day of the event, guests are required to show their tickets at the door, either printed or digital is accepted.

WHAT IF I'M NOT SURE OF MY SCHEDULE?: We will be running 'rush lines' on the day of the event to ensure the greatest number of people get to participate, and that all seats are filled. Even without registering, there is a chance to see presentations.

BUT HURRY BEFORE REGISTRATION FILLS UP! Pre-registration closes on Wednesday, May 7th, or when all tickets are claimed. Afterwards, admission will be via rush-line only.

REMINDER: Registration is required for each workshop.

There is no limit to the number of events a guest can register for (but try not to register for programs you're not gonna see, or programs running at the same time.)

Questions? E-mail

Please note:

Following the close of Word Balloon Academy at 4pm, participants are invited to attend the closing presentation of the Canadian Society for the Study of Comics, being held in the same space.

Trina Robbins: The Great Women Cartoonists
4:15pm-5:30pm, High Park Ballroom
Have questions about TCAF Presents: Word Balloon Academy? Contact Toronto Comic Arts Festival

When & Where

The Marriott Bloor Yorkville
90 Bloor Street East
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A7

Friday, May 9, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

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Toronto Comic Arts Festival

TCAF is a celebration of comics and graphic novels—and their creators—that takes place annually in Toronto, Canada. 

For more information please visit

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