The 11th annual Montreal Comic Arts Festival, presented in collaboration with the Journal de Montréal, took place from May 27 to 29 on Saint-Denis Street. The SDC Rue Saint-Denis and its merchants warmly welcomed the Festival and the public to Saint-Denis Street for the first time ever. This change of location was received with enthusiasm by the more than 80,000 people who came out for the occasion! It was a real celebration of comics and the MCAF team can’t wait for next year.

Kids had many opportunities to see their favourite creators at work. More than 180 youngsters and their parents were in the audience for the live drawing session with Mr. Tan and Diane Le Feyer, the cartoonists behind the hit series Mortelle Adèle, and the French duo also participated in a funny conversation with Alex A., the creator of the equally beloved series Agent Jean. Julien Paré-Sorel, the creator of Aventurosaure, and Sacha Lefebvre, the illustrator of U-Merlin, performed a live character battle in front of the astonished eyes of over 120 young people. The Festival’s many live drawing events were presented by the Caisse Desjardins du Plateau-Mont-Royal.

The Festival hosted a wide range of programming in both French and English which tied in directly with this year’s theme: Making Connections. For the first time, the Festival hosted a series of one-on-one conversations between star creators, including meet-ups between Julie Doucet (recent winner of the Grand Prix d’Angoulême) and Jessica Campbell, Michel Rabagliati and Cab, Marcelo Lelis and Thom, and more. Other round-table discussions explored diverse ideas such as Living Cities which included Swiss creator Jared Murault and American illustrator R. Kikuo Johnson, and Working in the Comic Book Universe, with comic book stars Marguerite Sauvage, Yanick Paquette, and Juni Ba.

The FBDM also offered several workshops such as fanzine making, manga drawing, character creation and several reading workshops in collaboration with Communication Jeunesse. The Festival even launched a brand-new manga creation contest in collaboration with O-Taku!

Along the full 1.5 km stretch of Saint-Denis Street between Roy and Gilford, visitors could visit five exhibitions dedicated to the comic arts: Montréal in Comics and Québec in Comics showed off the many representations of the city and province in comics from near and far, while the expos Itaï Doshin et Chilean Women in Comics showcased work from abroad. The educational expo How to Make a Comic gave visitors a closer look at the range of creative work that goes into the making of a comic book, from writing to dressing to colour and beyond.

 New Podcast: Ligne de fond 

The Festival also launched its newest venture at the event: Ligne de fond, a new six-episode podcast hosted by Catherine Emmanuel Brunet featuring stimulating conversations between comic book creators from Quebec and international guests. The first two episodes are now available on the website of the Fabrique Culturelle.

 New Book: Rencontres 
Les Presses du FBDM | MCAF Press released its newest annual anthology at the Festival, Rencontres, which brings together new stories by creators including Alex A., Jean-Sébastien Bérubé, Sylvie Rancourt, Tania Mignacca, Olivier Carpentier, Jean-François Laliberté and international artists such as Héloïse Chochois and Elisa Echeverría Parra. This is the third annual album in the series, celebrating the work of creators who have participated in the Festival over the years.