Comics Festivals in Québec

Comics Festivals and Comics Conventions in Québec: Dialogue or Two Solitudes?

Project Coordinator: Sylvain Lemay

Comics festivals and conventions are an opportunity for comics fans to meet authors, complete their collection, obtain dedications or commissions, visit exhibitions and practice cosplay.

In Québec, comics festivals have existed since 1975 (Université de Montréal) as well as conventions since 2006 (Place Bonaventure). Events on manga have also been organized in la belle province, notably the Otakuthon in Montréal since 2006 and G-Anime in Gatineau since 2009.

Would Québec, a site of encounter for different cultures, especially French and America, allow these fans and professionals to dialogue and exchange, or do they on the contrary, illustrate the two Canadian solitudes?

We propose to study, after a brief historical overview, the ways in which comics festivals, conventions, and anime function, by taking specific interest in the bridges that some of these events have built or, on the contrary, by highlighting the absence of dialogues between these different worlds of comics fans who, although all interested in comics, concentrate on a well-defined corpus.

Particular attention will be given to editors, bookstores and distributors present in all recent events. The invited authors will allow us to identify intersections or the absence of intersections between these two universes.

These observations will be paralleled with two events of English Canada that have opened their doors to the Francophone reality: the presence of Francophone editors at the Toronto Comics Art Festival (TCAF) and the distribution of the Shuster Awards,often given the during the Conventions in Ontario and in Alberta.

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