This past Friday July 17th was the wrap-up party for the 7th annual Joe Shuster awards, which took place at the new location of the Toronto Cartoonist’s Workshop in downtown Toronto on 578 College Street. It was an intimate affair with some members of Toronto’s fantastic comic community, having a good time. You can never go wrong with comic fans and loads of free beer I must say. Being the wallflower that I am, having a beer came in handy with striking up a conversation with Andrew Walsh, the webcomic specialist for the Shusters.
Doing a quick scan of the room, there were a few faces that I recognized including Ramon Perez, Scott Chantler and Francis Manapul. Cornering Francis and hoping that the beer would loosen his tongue a little, I asked him a couple questions about his upcoming work as the writer and the artist on the Flash reboot which will occur after the events of Flashpoint take place. He’s currently working on the second issue right now but when he did the pitch for the series; he had about two years worth of story plotted out. Whether or not he will get all the way to the end we’ll have to see. As for the massive DC universe reboot, Francis compared it to the recent Star Trek reboot with all of the previous stories and continuity still having occurred but new creative teams are able to cherry pick elements to bring into the new universe. Like how Batman Incorporated concept makes its way through the transition.
The awards ceremony was relatively quick, with Francis Manapul winning Best Artist, Scott Chantler for Comics for Kids, Tin Can Forest for Outstanding Cartoonist, John Martz for the Gene Day award, Fiona Stapes for Outstand Comic Cover artist, Julie Roucheleau for Outstanding Colourist, as well as Planete BD winning the Harry Kremer Award for Outstanding Retailer award and Koyama Press being honoured with Outstanding Publisher. After the ceremony, I had a chance to flip through some of the books put out by Koyama Press and Baba Yaga and the Wolf by Tin Can Forest looks amazing. I’ll have to check around for a copy or find someone willing to part with theirs. Other interesting news tidbits I heard while at the party was that all proceeds of issue 2 of the TCW’s Holmes Inc. series will be donated to the Shuster Awards, so make sure you support both of these Canadian comic institutions and pick up a copy. The JSA and the TCW will be hosting another industry night on August 12th that will serve as launch parties for Kill Shakespeare #12 as well as J Bone’s DC Retroactive Wonder Woman the 70’s issue.
The Shuster and TCW events are great fun and an easy way to interact with some of the local artists and writers. The next time they hold an event, do yourself a favour and stop on by.