Toronto Comics and Arts Festival 2017 – Travel Report


In Toronto we were able to observe the effects of an unrestricted free real estate market on urban development. The real estate prices in toronto rose by 20% last year. Until now, surprisingly low two-storey brick buildings with green front gardens characterize the cityscape around Downtown. They are replaced by skyscrapers with up to 40 floors. In front of the grey colossi sometimes stands a blue shimmering sculpture or a sculpturally trimmed, pitiful bush.

But the journey began at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. I waited 5 hours for the connecting flight to Toronto, and it was an easy stay, because the Airport provides several relaxing zones with more or less artificial nature.

Ulli Lust
Birds singing from a tape. Drawing by Ulli Lust


At the Pearson Airport in Toronto greets a white tree.
Ulli Lust, Diana Ribera, Leah Hoss, Ive Senkowski; Foto: Benjamin Behrend
Ulli Lust, Diana Pereira Ribeiro, Leah Hoss, Ive Senkowski; Foto: Benjamin Behrend

Two of us missed their luggage after the arrival, and also the one important suitcase with the books, posters and cards for our stand. We learned: Put all important things (like toothbrush) into the hand luggage. Fortunately we traveled early, the luggage was found and delivered in time. The Norwegian artist Martin Ernstsen was less favored by fortune. He came from Berlin to introduce his new graphic novel – an adaption of Knut Hamsun’s Novel „Hunger“ to  american publishers. All his works were in his suitcase which was god knows were. Saturday evening I met him at the festival and his luggage had not appeared yet. He looked very pale.

Rachel Kahn
Tuesday we visited Rachel Kahn and her colleages in their studio Comic Book Embassy. Rachel does a charming strip By Chrom about Conan the Barbarian being her spritual guide in modern every day life.
We’ll take this advice .
Megan Kearney, Meaghan Carter, Xavière Daumarie, Rachel Kahn
Not even did they show us their work and answered all our questions, they also prepared muffins and presents for us! From the left: Diana Pereira Ribeiro, Ive Senkowski, Leah Hoss, Benjamin Behrend
We used the time in the subway to do  field drawings. We were not the only ones. Drawings of people in public transport in Toronto can be submitted to the website Some allready became big printouts and are exhibited in the waggons.


Wednesday we meet Ramon Perez at the Raid Studios
Wednesday we meet Ramon Perez at the Raid Studio.
Foto: Benjamin Behrend
Drawing by Ramon Perez
Drawing by Ramon Perez
Scott Hepburn, Foto: Benjamin Behrend
Scott does very rough sketches, which show vague positions and sizes, and is then immediatly inking the comicpage. It’s miraculous.
We did some magic, too.


We built a castle in one day.
The best selling object on our stand (at the German Pavillon thanks to Lars von Törne!) was a set of fortune teller cards with free motives. We invented them last year for the Comicsalon in Erlangen and reprinted a small english edition for the TCAF. It was sold out saturday evening.
Motives by: left Lisa Spannring , up Nathalie Meyer, down Benjamin Behrend, right Hubertus Krohne;



Robert Sikoryaks Graphic Novel „Terms and Conditions“ (The text is the iTunes Terms and Conditions, the contract everyone agrees to but no one reads) the book is for sure one of the most exciting findings at this festival. Besides Gary Panthers „Songy of Paradise“, Anya Davidsons „Lovers in the Garden“ and …
Comic by Robert Sikoryak
Comic by Robert Sikoryak


Michael Deforge and Patrick Kyle
Dawing by Michael Deforge
Dawing by Michael Deforge
Gabrielle Bell
Gabrielle Bell
Fan of the japanese manga artist Jiraya
Keiler Roberts, Summer Pierre, Glynnis Fawkes
Comic by Keiler Roberts
Comic by Keiler Roberts, „Powdered Milk“
When I arrived at the fantagraphics Dinner, the table was crowded allready. I sat down, chattet with Ron Regé, than suddenly noticed something familiar  in the corner of my eyes.
This was an intoxicating moment. One of my drawings was on the cover of the program of my other american publisher New York Review Comics NYRC. The Comic based on the novel by Marcel Beyer „Voices in the Dark“ will come out in October 2017.
Anna Haifisch, Simon Hanselmann, Jacq Cohen
Anna Haifisch, Gary Panther, Tommi PG, Ed Luce, Simon Hanselmann, Ron Rege, Anna Pederson, Susan Jonaitis, Jacq Cohen, Graham Chaffee, me = Ulli Lust, Jason, Noah Van Scriver
Anna Haifisch, Gary Panther, Tommi PG, Ed Luce, Simon Hanselmann, Ron Regé, Anna Pederson, Susan Jonaitis, Jacq Cohen, Graham Chaffee, me = Ulli Lust, Jason, Noah Van Scriver;
One of my students back home is a big fan of Simon Hanselmann, here you see Simon signing a special T-Shirt for him, with handmade sparkling applications by Jacq Cohen! Simon, Jacq, Scott Roberts, Gary Panther
Sunday evening, final party: Ngozi Ukazu is still drawing.
What's left.
Monday morning we leave our accomodation wistfully.
Monday morning we left our accomodation with heavy suitcases – all the beautiful ne books we will bring home.

Text & most of the fotos by Ulli Lust





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