Toronto Comics: Yonge at Heart ( Toronto Comics #4) by Steven Andrews

Ever since I’ve started Game Warp, I’ve been on the prowl on avenues to check out new games and Kickstarter is a great place to find all kinds of cool projects. It was through this channel that I landed on this project to fund a comic anthology based in Toronto. Although I don’t live in Toronto, I do go frequently and lately, its been at least once a year for the last two years for Toronto Comicon and such. Its great to see Canadian artists working hard to show off Canada and that is why I backed this project. Also, because I thought the art style and concept behind setting it in a city was really great. The comic book arrived sometime in July if I remember correctly and finally, I’ve sat down to read it and take a break from that huge novel that IT by Stephen King is.

Let’s check it out!

Toronto Comics: Yonge at Heart (Volume 4)
by: Steven Andrews (editor)

Yonge at Heart

From world-saving TTC controllers to secrets hiding between the shelves at Honest Ed’s, from giant robot battles over overpriced condos to the true heritage moment of the Clown Brothel Riot, this anthology celebrates everything we love about Toronto (and some of the things we don’t). – Goodreads

I have read any of the previous volumes of Toronto Comics however these are anthologies so are separate from each other. Yonge at Heart is a fun little compilation. It tackles many issues which is endearing to those familiar to the landmarks and setting but does embrace a general spectrum of issues that people tackle whether its sexuality or immigration and some light-hearted ones as well. Yonge at Heart has 21 stories in it all from different artists and writers and each hold their own unique style. I would like to say there’s a little bit for everyone.

The top 5 favorites of the book go to the following:

Signal Problems: A fantastic way to kick off Yonge at Heart as it takes us into a world filled with monsters and the headaches of public transporation may amount to something more fantastical like the workers being city protectors of monsters.

My First Slice: Being born in Canada, we never had to wonder what pizza tastes like but what about those that immigrate here? I’m guessing the story here is before the world was so multinational but it shows an immigrant family finally decide to go get a pizza and we may relate when we go to a restaurant that is ouside of our culture. Its a fun one to read. Especially since I can relate from the final reactions from the kid and his parents.

Dundas & Dragons: Get it? Instead of Dungeons and Dragons? This one is really fun. Plus, I love the art style for it where it gives a fun twist of aliens playing as earthlings through a game and its about friends going away. That true bond of friendship that can be developed through gaming.

Con-Text: Con-Text is a cool selection. There isn’t really any dialogue but the artwork here shows a cosplayer immersed in their world as there is also a contrast of reality outside of her vicinity. Its not so apparent until she reaches the event.

Home and Country: Yet another immigrant story. However, this one is very nice. The drawings are more sketch-like and I also enjoy that style quite a but. Its about two sisters that separated in two countries because one immigrates to Canada to get married and then the sister falls suit but in the end, its about a home is where you feel like you belong. What defines a home versus a country, right?

There are 21 stories here so I can’t review them all but as an overall experience, there were some stories I was not too intrigued by however, that definitely was a minority. I enjoyed this comic anthology a lot and it has me curious to look for the previous volumes.

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Toronto Comicon Weekend Haul!

This past weekend was a fantasticLly awesome one as I headed out to Toronto for Comicon (just like last year). Its been a crazy process getting back and having everything cleaned and put away and getting back on routine so today, I am doing a simple one to talk about my haul.

I will take a few days this week (probably two) to share the Toronto experience because just like last year, as something of a reward or whatnot, I met up with Drew to hangout and visit Toronto and Comicon together. And just like true movie bloggers, we got in a movie as well amd even made it to a party (comicon related) as well as a sightseeing location. Lots of fun and a packed schedule but I think it turned out pretty great. Look for those posts while I get those new segments finalized (something I ran out of time last week for).

Lets check out what I picked up both before and at the Toronto Comicon.

Before the Comicon, I had a little bit of time before Drew arrived so I went out for a little shopping. I had a few stores on my list to hit and they were:

HMV
(because they are closing out of Canada so lots of discounts)

HMV

Disney Store
(never been to the one at Eaton Centre)

Disney Store Eaton Centre

David’s Tea
(spontaneously remembered  was running out at home)

David's Tea

Toronto Comicon was a weekend thing and we bought the weekend pass so we went on Friday to scout out the show and then did most of our shopping on Saturday after all the Q&A panels. Here’s what I picked up:

Movies & Video Games

I got a super sweet deal for Uncharted 4 at Iceman Video Games which was also there last year. I’m pretty happy about it. They had some awesome choices and selection.

However, I really want to talk about Raven Banner where we stopped by to look at horror movies. They were fantastic and we had a great talk about horror indie films in general. Not sure they’ll read this post but that chat was a highlight of the ComiCon for myself. It really defines why we do this movie blogging thing and meeting people who are equally passionate about this. It was a fun and enlightening chat.

Novel and Comics

Toronto Comicon

Let’s look at this from left to right.

  • Toronto Comics‘ Yonge at Heart is a Canadian comic author that sets in Toronto. This is a free preview to get a snippet of their comic for their Kickstarter campaign running right now till beginning of April, I believe. I saw them on Twitter before the trip and really liked the art style and the idea of using a Canadian setting. You can check out the Kickstarter here.
  • Remy’s Dilemma by Andrew Snook is a novel with this plot below from their website. A part of selling your work is being passionate about it. And Andrew does a great job at it. To be honest, his enthusiasm as he told his story and the joy he had recounting the story was so genuine that I could feel the awesomeness in the story. I haven’t started reading it yet but this looks like a fun journey with Remy especially when its set in two provinces in Canada that I’ve visited numerously  and live in.

The world is coming to an end. That’s what Remy believes, anyways. While double-checking his lifelong to-do list to ensure he has led a rich life, he realizes he hasn’t come close to completing his goals. Panicked and short on time, Remy embarks on a chaotic road trip to complete the most important item on his bucket list… – Snook Books

  • Moonshot & Titan from AH Comics: Moonshot is an Indigenous Comics Collection (Volume 1) with various stories from different artists. With the purchase of this one (inspired by my peaked curiosity after my playthrough of Never Alone a few weeks ago), they also gave the gift of their graphic novel Titan: An Alternate History, which is great because then they saved me having to decide on which one to get with my purchase.

Artwork

Foiled Art

Foiled Art makes this beautiful little pop culture pieces. They do a lot with gold or silver (or both for limited edition) but I honestly thought that this galaxy one looks superb. It really brings out the art and pops. This is going right over my work station at home because its so fantastically awesome!

Chasing Artwork

Howl’s Moving Castle by Chasing Artwork

I love love love Miyazaki art and Chasing Artwork is a great artist. There are two comics out currently which I passed up on but these pieces are so atmospheric and creative. I actually stood there pondering which to get. He also has one for Nausicaa which just took my breath away. I’m personally a huge fan of Howl’s Moving Castle so this one is great.

Archie Dan Parent

Betty and Veronica by Dan Parent (with autograph)

For those of you who don’t know (which you might not because I don’t review comics), I love Archie comics and really I haven’t looked much at the newer ones although they do look cool but these traditional ones. I know I have a few volumes sitting in a box after we moved. I just can’t remember where so I couldn’t take it with me but Dan Parent was there who does a ton of these illustrations. I particularly loved this print and look he signed it also. Consider me a little star strucked when I saw him because I wanted to say a ton and just couldn’t.

The haul could have been so much more. There was so many great writers and artists that the choice was hard to make. However, I retain the idea of picking up stuff from the ones that I skipped but has an Etsy shop or other form of online retail. I have to say this was a pretty successful weekend!

What do you think about the haul? Anything that catches your eye?