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Oh, Canada Redux


As of this writing, STRIPPED is sitting at #2 on the iTunes Canada Documentary charts¹ which is good and all, but not good enough. Back and the end of the 18th century, political scientists figured the next nation to escalate to world domination would not be the United States; the 20th century, they declared, would be The Canadian Century. Alas, Canada did not come to dominate the world in that century, but there is still time in the 21st. Drive STRIPPED to #1 Canada! Then surpass your large, heavily-armed, somewhat rude southern neighbors and find a way to take STRIPPED to #0. That’ll show us!

And when you’ve done so, perhaps you’ll find some time to attend VanCAF, one of the newer crop of TCAF-emulating, modest-scale, community-involving, public-space-inhabiting, no-entry-fee comics festivals. As a bonus, VanCAF is the brainchild of onetime Tower of Babel² writer Shannon Campbell.

Only in its third year, VanCAF has attracted a wide swath of (mostly west of the Continental Divide) comics talent, including a decent chunk of Pacific Daylight webcomickers. One may, for example, find Special Guests like Natasha Allegri, Becky Dreistadt & Frank Gibson, Tony Cliff, Ed Brisson, Aaron Diaz³, Madeleine Flores, Tyson Hesse, Jeph Jacques, and Kris Straub4.

Exhibitors (who are not necessarily special guests, but are still special in our hearts) include the likes of Kory Bing, Lars Brown, Erin Burt, Blue Delliquanti, Amy T Falcone6, Hazel & Bell, Kathleen Jacques7, Steve LeCouillard, Kel McDonald, David McGuire, Angela Melick, Alina Pete, Doug Savage, Katie & Steve Shanahan, and Anise Shaw.

Also some guy named Sam that just gets in because he’s sleeping with the showrunner. Scandal!

But apart from that lack of judgment, Campbell has done great things in only a few years, and from my mind two things stand out as the greatest:

  1. VanCAF is in a reasonably-sized space, so floor maps and booth numbers aren’t needed to make sure you find your favorite creators (but there’s still one provided).
  2. Every single one of those creators up there? Campbell clearly included a link to their website so I didn’t have to hunt them down. She’s gettin’ a high-five from me next time I see her.

We didn’t even mention the programming, or the fact that Campbell’s got a food cart coming to set up immediately off the showfloor. If you’re anywhere within reach of the northern Pacific ocean this weekend, VanCAF is the place to be.

¹ DÉPOUILLÉ est assis à #2 sur les graphiques documentaires du iTunes Canada.

² That link will still be good for a while, then it will pass the way of all things.

³ Professional dapper gentleman, Tolkien scholar par excellence, and Latin Art-Throb.

4 Professional handsome man, I don’t know about his knowledge of Tolkien, and he ain’t Latin, but he’s dreamy. Like, Brad Guigar5 dreamy.

5 Ladies.

6 Twitter has it that Ms T Falcone’s fellow Strip Searchmonaut and roomie Abby Howard will be wandering the halls as an attendee.

7 No relation.

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