Toronto Comic Jam

Posted: Tuesday, December 5, 2000
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Toronto Comic Jam Creator(s): Various
Publishers: Comic Jam
From: Canada

Every month a bunch of people in Toronto get together in the back room of a bar and work on a whole lot of comics. Over a year ago a friend and I happened to be able to take part, My travel journal records:

The guy behind the bar at El Mocambo in the Cameron building was a bit scathing in reply to our questions regarding the comic Jam, but after a while a couple of the comic artists, including Dave Howard the organizer showed up. We had to wait for ages while the previous tenants of the back room cleared out but once they did some serious drawing was to be seen. There were about 20 to 30 people sitting around drawing one panel of each comic. The pages were on clipboards and once you finished your frame, you passed it to another person, if someone hadn't already torn it from your hands. It was a great entertainment and the mix of people was a good one, from little kids to fan boys to groovy chicks, all having a go at drawing and a beer at the same time thanks to the waiter doing the rounds. Because of the size of the group people weren't self-conscience about what they were doing. The results of everyone's work were, as usual with these kind of things, a bit disjointed but the speed pages were going around meant people were having a go at different styles and following the ideas in interesting ways. The one problem was that everyone was having so much fun drawing stuff that not much chatting was taking place.

Looking at this group of comics that collects the results of five such events a lot of the work stands up quite well, with the unexpected twists and turns of the short stories keeping the readers attention firmly fixed on turning the pages. The range of art styles is diverse; from brilliant to the scribblings of a five year old. If you want variety in your life then this is the comic for you, and if you are ever in Toronto you HAVE to take part.

Cover from a much later edition.

In a Word: Combinations.

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