Here’s what really amazes me about TCAF: the sheer number of really, really good independent comics on display. At any of the other shows I’ve been to in recent years (and I admit, I haven’t had opportunity to get to the likes of MoCCA or SPX), there’s been a mixed bag of indie and self-published comics on offer, and I tended to feel that even if I may not have been the most popular comic present, on a professional scale I could at least stand out as one of the better self-published comics on offer. But not at TCAF– at this show, everything is outstanding. The show is busy enough that I can hardly step away from my table to go to the washroom, much less wander around and shop, but if I were a fan who had come here with a plan to spend some money on comics, I don’t even know how I’d choose. I had only the briefest opportunity to see what was on display, before the show opened on the Sunday. Even factoring out the genres that don’t immediately appeal to my tastes, there were still so many things that looked interesting. TCAF has reaffirmed the thing I’ve been saying to non-comic readers for years– there is a comic out there for everyone, if you just take the time to look.

This year I got a chance to try out the new Webcomics Pavilion, which was a large and lovely space on the second floor. Beautifully lit with natural light, too, once the rain finally went away. Last year I had such a nice location on the first floor, and I worried being on the second floor would mean losing a lot of the foot traffic. I don’t know how crazy the first floor got, but our room was consistently full of people on Saturday. Sunday– Mother’s Day– was a little less crowded, but still had a good flow. It was hard to photograph such a big room, but here’s my attempt:

That was the Sunday. I never got away from my table to get a picture of the Saturday crowd! If you look carefully, you can see the poster along the back wall on the right that marks where my half-table was:

And of course all that light streaming in the windows made it hard to get a good picture of my table from this side. But trust me, it wasn’t anywhere like as dark as the photo makes it appear.

The only real new item I had this year was a little Galaxion minicomic, a fun little story about Zan as a boy. I won’t be publishing this one online, but I hope to be able to offer it as a downloadable pdf soon.

My panel on Sunday, Webcomics and Serial Storytelling, went pretty well, I think. The panel consisted of Ramon PĂ©rez, Cameron Stewart, Spike, Meredith Gran, Ananth Panagariya, and myself. Standing-room-only crowd (though to be fair, it wasn’t an enormous room). Tireless reporter Jamie Coville recorded the whole thing, and you can listen to it here.

Finally… although I didn’t get to do any shopping, my husband went around on my behalf. He bought some things he liked, some things he knew I would like, and some things he knew our kids (6 and 9 yrs old) would like. I always enjoy seeing pictures of the treasures people bring home from shows, so I thought I would share our haul. With four readers in the family the books scattered all over the house almost as soon as we crawled in the door Sunday night, but I think I found them all. They disappeared again shortly after the picture was taken.

Lots of good stuff there! First on my list to read from that pile is the Templar, AZ books. After hearing Spike talk, I am anxious to read them. After that, it’s a toss-up… Smile? The Muppet Show? Beanworld? Decisions, decisions…