Fantagraphics at TCAF 2021

While we’re sad not to be able to gather in person for TCAF this year, we’re excited to jump into some great online programming during their virtual show, May 8th–15th! We’ve highlighted all the Fantagraphics-centric programing in this one handy blog post, but you can also find the full schedule of events on the TCAF website. All events are online and free to attend! We also have a virtual booth with new and featured books for you to browse in the Online Marketplace!

Panel Schedule:


Be the Change – 10AM PT/1PM ET (Pre-recorded)

You’re never too young to stand up for what you believe. Ben Sears (Young Shadow), Fiona Dunnett (Travesía), and Kate Reed Petty (The Leak) discuss stories and characters that make a difference! What would you do if you found out about a conspiracy between some trust-fund punks and the CEO of a chemical plant? Imagine being 15 years old and making the journey to cross the Mexico-US border to start a new life. How can you take action against the people responsible for corrupting your neighbourhood? These creators come together to talk about taking action against injustice, no matter how old you are. Airing at

Excerpt from Young Shadow by Ben Sears, showing Young Shadow and Greta tending to a rescued dog
Parenting and Comics Panel – 4PM PT/7PM ET (Live)

Being a parent is rarely simple or straightforward but being an artist and a parent is a special challenge. Catherine Ocelot (Art Life) explores the challenges of these competing identities and their special struggles by exploring these struggles with seven artists. Keiler Roberts (My Begging Chart) finds inspiration in the small moments of family life exploring the complex roles we perform as parent, child, partner, and artist. Shira Spector negotiates the struggles of getting pregnant alongside the slow decline of a parent. Dakota McFadzean (To Know You’re Alive) takes a glimpse at the parent-child relationship through the lens of fantasy and the absurd. Together these creators discuss how life influences are and art influences life. Register here:

Excerpt from Red Rock Baby Candy by Shira Spector, showing Shira picking up dog poo while talking to her friend Sophie on the phone, with flowers blooming in the background


Protest Comics – 4PM PT/7PM ET (Pre-recorded)

Protest is an integral part of a democratic society, but it’s not without its risks. Whether it’s protesting for the fundamental right to be treated as equal through the right to vote or protesting the injustice around the Vietnam War, or protesting the social injustices of our present moment, these creators examine everything from the central figures of these protest movements, the cultural symbols these movements create, and sadly sometimes the victim. Ho Che Anderson (King), Derf Backderf (Kent State), and Nate Powell (Save it for Later) discuss the risks and responsibilities of representing past and present protest movements and figures. Are comics themselves an emerging site of protest? Airing at

An excerpt from King by Ho Che Anderson, showing a crowd marching during a civil rights march in Birmingham, Alabama


LGBT+ Micro and Macro Perspectives – 5PM PT/8PM ET (Pre-recorded)

The lines between the personal and political can blur and blend within the queer community. These artists explore how comics can explore extremely personal desires and how the collective desires of a community can be met through social activism. Lee Lai (Stone Fruit) explores the tensions that keep us apart and the commonalities that bring us together. Syan Rose (Our Work is Everywhere) collects voices from all corners of the queer community examining the nuances that affect diverse range of community issues such as Black femme mental health, Pacific Islander authorship, fat queer performance art, disability and health care practice, sex worker activism and more. Sami Alwani (The Pleasure of the Text) integrates both comedy and tragedy into a collection of riotously colourful slice of life comics that question the very ideologies underpinning our society. These panelists discuss how the personal becomes political in the queer community and vice versa. Airing at

An excerpt from Stone Fruit by Lee Lai, showing Nessie and Bron in their monster forms, with Nessie falling into a mud puddle


Fantagraphics Virtual TCAF Booth – 5–7PM PT/8–10PM ET

Stop by our virtual booth to hear about new books and chat with cartoonists, almost like you would at a real-life festival! Except via Zoom 🙂 We’ll give you a sneak peek into their new work, and have a running Q&A.

8:15 – 9:00pm EDT: Glenn Head (Chartwell Manor)

9:00 – 9:30pm EDT: Lee Lai (Stone Fruit)

9:30 – 10:00pm EDT: Shira Spector (Red Rock Baby Candy)


Richard Sala Memorial – 2PM PT/5PM ET (Pre-recorded)

Friends and colleagues of the late, great cartoonist Richard Sala gather to remember him and discuss his singular body of work. This panel brings together Daniel Clowes (Patience), Rina Ayuyang (Blame This on the Boogie), Eric Haven (Cryptoid), Adrian Tomine (The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist) and Eric Reynolds, Associate Publisher at Fantagraphics, to share memories of Richard and to acknowledge his unquestionable impact on the history of alternative comics. Airing at

An excerpt from Poison Flowers and Pandemonium by Richard Sala, showing Phillipa Nicely attempting to remove a mask-shaped ring from the finger of a mummy


No Holds Barred: Wrestling and Comics – TCAF 2021 Closing Panel – 2PM PT/5PM ET (Live)

“No Holds Barred,” featuring Jaime Hernandez (Love & Rockets, Queen of the Ring: Wrestling Drawings), Katie Skelly (Queen of the Ring: Wrestling Drawings, editor), Jarrett Williams (Super Pro K.O.!), Aubrey Sitterson (The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling), Chris Moreno, and moderator S-QUIRE, is a discussion about the impact of pro wrestling in our lives as artists who are inspired by history and culture. We’ll talk about the history of women in pro-wrestling, what makes us fans of pro wrestling, how pro Wrestling informed our artistic practices, and much more! Register here:

An excerpt from Queen of the Ring by Jaime Hernandez showing two women wrestlers in the ring