MoCCA! Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award! TCAF!

Been a busy few weeks here at the Comics Bakery headquarters! April 28-29 we had MoCCA, right here in NYC, and I spent some time signing and wandering around at the show. A few days later I boarded a plane for Vermont, where I was giving an endnote speech at the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Conference. The DCF Award is given out every year to a book voted on by 4th-8th graders in Vermont. I was invited to speak because Smile was one of 30 nominees...and shortly before the conference, I found out that it WON!

So, I was speaking as the winner of the DCF Award, which was especially exciting! The morning keynote speech was by amazing writer and Ambassador For Children's Literature, Jon Scieszka, who is basically a legend in hilarious speech-giving. Following that up was a challenge, but I had a great time talking to the 150 teachers and librarians there about comics, and why I love them. I'll be going back to Vermont in less than a month, to accept the award itself and meet the kids who voted for me. So thanks, Vermont!

From there, I flew straight to Toronto (and by 'straight,' I mean by way of a triangular flight pattern that had me laying over in Philadelphia). That's where TCAF is!

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is easily one of my favorite comics-related events anywhere. This year was no exception. I had a fantastic weekend! Highlights include speaking on a panel with Alison Bechdel (!), Michel Rabagliati (!) and both Holm siblings (!!) about depicting childhood in comics...hanging out with some of my very favorite comics-making friends...the Comics Quickfire! Challenges...and of course, meeting a huge number of my wonderful readers and fans!

I was delighted to see so many new faces at TCAF. OwlKids Magazine took out some advertisements, and the local Toronto papers ran ads too, and this year's programming was extremely kid, I got to meet a lot of parents and kids who were checking out the show for the first time! I'd like to think it's a great introduction to the wonderful world of indie and self-published comics, as well as the books especially for kids that me and many of my friends create!

You can read more about TCAF and see tons more photos in Dave's write-up of the Comics Quickfire! Challenge, over on his website.

Next up: the Maine Comics Arts Festival, May 20 in Portland, ME! I'll write up a separate post about that, soon...

Raina Telgemeier