Interview: Christopher Butcher
On Sunday, May 8th, while attending the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, I had the opportunity to speak with some of the people who made the festival possible. Keep in mind, conventions are crazy loud and crazy busy, so there is a lot of background noise. Let me know in the comments if you have trouble hearing anything and I’ll translate for you.
Christopher Butcher is a well-known presence on the web. He comments regularly (occasionally NSFW) on the state of the comics industry, sometimes as a comics fan and sometimes as a comics professional in his role as the manager of The Beguiling*. But over the past few months, what Chris focused on was primarily The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, an annual event organized by staff members of The Beguiling and a group of dedicated volunteers and sponsored by the Toronto Public Library. I asked Chris if he could spare a few minutes to answer some questions about how the store got involved with the Toronto Public Library (not to mention how he convinced them to host a festival of this size) and he graciously agreed.
Books mentioned in this video:
- The Unsinkable Walker Bean, by Aaron Renier
- The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook, by Eleanor Davis
- Bone series, by Jeff Smith
- Tiny Tyrant, by Lewis Trondheim and Fabrice Parme
- Little Vampire, by Joann Sfar
- Invisibles series, by Grant Morrison and various artists
*Check out what The Beguiling does for libraries. If you’re unfamiliar with comics, it might be worth seeing if your local comics shop can help you the way The Beguiling helps the libraries in Ontario and beyond.
About Eva Volin
Eva Volin is the Supervising Children's Librarian for the Alameda Free Library in California. She has written about graphic novels for such publications as Booklist, Library Journal, ICv2, Graphic Novel Reporter, and Children & Libraries. She has served on several awards committees including the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics. She served on YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens committee for three years and is currently serving on ALSC's Notable Books for Children committee.
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