VanCAF Presents: Comics Classroom

The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival is very excited to announce our inaugural educational day. Happening on May 17th 2019 at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, Comics Classroom is a free opportunity to learn vital comics skills and practices directly from comics professionals.

This day would not be possible without generous financial support from the Capilano University Animation Department. From department head, Don Perro: “The Comics Classroom Project is a fantastic addition to VanCAF that brings real learning to the Festival. The skilled artists instructing these workshops bring with them decades of experience and will serve to inspire and direct a new generation of talent. I am so grateful that Capilano University Animation Department can help make this project possible!”

We are also thankful to the Vancouver Library for providing space for this in their expanded 8th and 9th floor learning labs in the Main Branch on Robson. These new facilities are an amazing addition to the centre of literature for the City. VanCAF would also like to recognize the City of Vancouver for their financial support in helping to make this event happen.

The workshops are designed so that those new to the medium and those who are more experienced can learn and practice the foundational skills of making comics. Instructors come from a variety of backgrounds, from Russian by way of San Francisco, to Tasmanian, to important Canadian creators. VanCAF provides these workshops free to the open community in an informal setting. Priority will be on an equitable exchange of ideas and uplifting and bringing forward unique voices.

Participants will be able to learn colouring techniques from Tony Cliff and Simon Hanselmann, gag strips with Doug Savage, Inking by Simon Roy and Roman Muradov, non-fiction storytelling with Gord Hill, and a guide to publishing graphic novels with Faith Erin Hicks.

Festival Director, Isabella Laird had this to say about this series, “ I wanted to bring an education element to VanCAF because there are so many talented cartoonists that attend the festival that could share their knowledge. The artistic skills presented in these workshops can be used in comics, but also in any industry where there’s a focus on visual communication. Participants will be able to network with fellow creators, and share their ideas and comics. I’m very excited to start this education series and hope to grow it in the future.”

For more information and and how to register for the workshops, please click here.

And if you have any questions, you can contact VanCAF at

VanCAF Board of Directors welcomes Isabella Laird as Festival Director

The Vancouver Comic Arts Association’s Board of Directors are pleased to welcome the next Festival Director, Isabella Laird.

Isabella is a writer and creator who lives and works on the un-ceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Her love of comics began as a child when she read every Calvin & Hobbes and The Far Side book. She took all the graphic storytelling courses she could at UBC to learn more about the art form. Isabella has tabled at Canzine, selling her zines and art prints, and is always striving to improve her skills. Her favourite event of the whole year is VanCAF, which is why she is so excited to be the new festival director for 2019. As a VanCAF patron, she has always loved visiting artists at their tables, and then laying out all the pieces she bought during VanCAF on her bed, admiring her haul like it’s Christmas morning.

For Isabella, the power of comics has always been how its various design elements work together, communicating with readers in a way that no other art form can. She believes comics are a powerful way to for anyone to transmit their ideas and connect with each other. Isabella is especially looking forward to expanding the festival into year-round programming, as well as making the main festival even more fun, productive, and inclusive.

The board is looking forward to working closely with Isabella on more events outside of VanCAF, most notably the upcoming author reading at the Vancouver Public Library on November 5th.

More information on that event can be found here.

Well wishes and new opportunities

The board of the Vancouver Comic Arts Association wishes to express their thanks and appreciation to Andrea Demonakos for all of her invaluable work as Festival Director of the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival through a period of growth and development. This show would not be where it is today without her stewardship.  This past year, we saw over 11,000 visitors come through the festival, a record high number, which reflects the growth of the show, and the desire of local comics readers to engage in a great community event.

Andrea is leaving an impressive legacy on VanCAF, and a solid, sustainable foundation in place for the show to grow into the future.

We are currently accepting applications for a new Festival Director, with festival work starting in the fall. There are already exciting things in progress for the 2019 show, with announcements to come.

Please see posting below. Applications are due July 29th by 11:59 pm

If you have any questions, please contact

And check out Andrea’s exciting new venture and visit her business, White Squirrel  –


The Vancouver Comic Arts Association (VanCAA) is currently searching for a Festival Director. VanCAA is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes the growth of the comics community in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, primarily through organizing the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VanCAF), which takes place every spring at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre in downtown Vancouver. Our organization is passionate about comics and its role in contributing to a vibrant artistic community. We are looking for the right individual that shares our vision!

The Festival Director role is a nine-month (September 4, 2018 to June 15, 2019) contract position with an expected workload of approximately 300 hours over the course of the contract. The successful candidate would work from home, and would need to be available for some evening commitments. The Festival Director will work closely with the Board of Directors to manage the association projects, represent VanCAF in the community, and carry out associated administrative duties.

The ideal candidate for this role will:

  • have excellent written and oral communication skills
  • be organized and able to manage multiple deadlines
  • have experience in planning and co-ordinating special events
  • have experience building, developing and sustaining budgets
  • be proficient in managing an administrative computer environment, in particular Google Docs and Microsoft Office Suite (experience with Adobe Creative Suite and and web development and accounting software is an asset)
  • be knowledgeable of basic accounting principles and procedures
  • be an excellent collaborator who is able to motivate and engage with a diverse group of volunteers
  • be a resident of Vancouver with some comics background, but most importantly a passion for engaging with the comics community in Vancouver and beyond



  1. The management of all aspects of the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival operations, including, but not limited to:
  • curating VanCAF exhibitor applications & creating floor plan for successful applicants
  • overseeing event programming submission, participants, and scheduling
  • liaising with vendors, suppliers and venue management
  • recruiting, creating and leading volunteer component
  • selecting and securing the attendance of Special Guests
  • arranging Special Guests’ flights, accommodations and signings
  • facilitating shipping & handling of product from featured guests and vendors
  1. Coordinating with the Board to develop, explore and implement sponsorship and advertising opportunities.
  2. Leading the application and reporting on grant applications with public funders, government agencies, and foundations.
  3. Promoting VanCAF through our website and social and print media
  4. Making ongoing financial decisions regarding budget development, amendments and extraordinary expenses, and delivering a monthly invoice for all incidental costs

Job Type: Contract

Remuneration: $7000

How to Apply:

Please email a cover letter and resumé to with the subject header: Festival Director Application

Applicants from diverse backgrounds and with differing abilities are encouraged to apply. Please contact if you have any questions regarding the position.

We thank all applicants for their submissions. Please note that only those selected for interviews will be contacted.

Closing Date: Sunday, July 29 at 11:59 pm



Vancouver Legends Join the VanCAF Guest List!

We continue to be excited by our range of great featured guests. This latest round brings a couple of Vancouver legends, a featured Fantagraphics creator and our provincial capitals Artist in Residence. A great range of creators from different areas of alternative and underground comics.

Katherine Collins was recently nominated for the 2018 Eisner award for Archival Collection/Project for The Complete Neil the Horse collection published in Spring of 2017. Katherine is a long-time resident of Vancouver and we are very pleased to have her signing at the Festival Table with Pulp Fiction books.

In 1967, George Metzger began serializing his work, Beyond Time and Again in underground newspapers in California. This work went on to be collected in one of the early graphic novels in 1976. In the early 70’s, George moved to British Columbia from the bustling San Francisco Underground comics scene. George has contributed to numerous Vancouver works like the Georgia Straight and Fog City Comix.

Josh Simmons is appearing with collaborator, Shanna Matuszak in promotion for his new book from Fantagraphics, Flayed Corpse. Josh’s collection of horror work features a wide range of amazing creators from the Pacific Northwest.

Lastly, Luke Ramsey, the current Artist in Residence in Victoria, has been creating a beautiful range of work both solo through his self-published works and installations, or through collaborations from his Islands Fold project. In 2015, his first graphic novel, Intelligent Sentient? was released by Drawn and Quarterly.

New Featured Guests for VanCAF 2018: Craig Thompson, Ronald Wimberly, and Steve Skroce

The VanCAF team is proud to announce the addition of three new featured guests!

Craig Thompson is a cartoonist and the author of the award-winning books Blankets, Good-bye, Chunky Rice and Habibi. He was born in Michigan in 1975, and grew up in a rural farming community in central Wisconsin. His graphic novel Blankets won numerous industry awards and has been published in nearly twenty languages. Thompson lives in Portland, Oregon.

Ronald Wimberly is an artist who works primarily in design and narrative. He’s designed several graphic novels as well as shorter works for The New Yorker, DC/Vertigo, Nike, Marvel, Hill and Wang, and Dark Horse. Ronald was the 2016 Columbus Comics resident and two time resident cartoonist at Angoulême Maison des Auteurs. He’s worked with The New Yorker, Dargaud, DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse and many others. He’s exhibited in New York, Tokyo, and Paris.

Steve Skroce is a Canadian comic book artist and writer, he began his career at Marvel comics working on characters like The X-Men, Cable, Wolverine, and Spider-Man. After transitioning into storyboarding for films like The Matrix and V for Vendetta he returned to comics with We Stand On Guard written by Brian K Vaughan in 2016, and is currently writing and drawing Maestros for Image comics. He speaks fluent Esperantu and is a 4th level Reiki master.

Johnnie Christmas Returns to VanCAF

Cartoonists Johnnie Christmas returns to VanCAF this year as a guest, with limited appearances.


Johnnie Christmas is the creator of of the graphic novel, FIREBUG. He co-created the #1 New York Times Bestselling graphic novel series ANGEL CATBIRD with acclaimed writer Margaret Atwood. He’s also co-created the critically acclaimed series SHELTERED. He is a graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, earning a BFA in Communication Design/Illustration.

Johnnie will be at VanCAF on Saturday only.

Julia Kaye is a VanCAF Featured Guest

Comic creator Julia Kaye will make her first appearance at VanCAF this year, as a featured guest!

Instead of a traditional written diary, Julia Kaye has always turned to art as a means of self-reflection. So when she began her gender transition, in 2016, she decided to use her popular webcomic, Up and Out, to process her journey and help others with similar struggles realize they weren’t alone. Julia’s poignant, relatable comics honestly depict her personal ups and downs while dealing with the various issues involved in transitioning—from struggling with self-acceptance and challenging societal expectations, to moments of self-love and joy. Her new book Super Late Bloomer both educates and inspires, as Julia faces her difficulties head-on and commits to being wholly, authentically who she was always meant to be.

Call for Programming

Do you have an idea for a panel at VanCAF? An interesting discussion on a current issue in the comics industry? A new approach that’s stirring up the industry? Or a debate between creators from different schools? Tell us about it!

The VanCAF team is looking for suggestions on panels, workshops, and other events during the festival this year. If you have something that you’d like to be part of our festival’s programming, please fill out the programming application on our website.