The city may be buzzing about this weekend’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), but games have also become an increasingly bigger part of the event — Comics vs. Games and Bit Bazaar are once again taking place alongside TCAF, with the help of Bento Miso, the Hand Eye Society, and Attract Mode.
The arcade-meets-zine-fair dubbed Bit Bazaar is now in its sophomore year after successfully making a splash on the Toronto scene last spring, and it returns to Bento Miso on Saturday. There will, of course, be plenty to see and buy — and drink and eat! — so Dork Shelf tracked down the Bazaar’s coordinator Jennie Faber to find out what ranks as an absolute do-not-miss at the weekend’s market.
1. Metanet Software: N++
“Pioneering Toronto game development studio Metanet Software is showing their much anticipated and soon-to-be-released, N++ — with a special level in Bit Bazaar colours! They’re selling some really beautiful hand/machine-crafted items like digitally cut stationery and art pieces. “
2. Snakes and Lattes/IDW Publishing/Kill Shakespeare
We’re teaming up with Toronto board game cafe Snakes and Lattes for the debut of two board games with big comics-fan appeal: Dinosaur Comics creator Ryan North’s Machine of Death: The Game of Creative Assassination (co-created with the amazing David Malki!), and the Kill Shakespeare Board Game by creators Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col.
3. Comics vs Games 3D Gallery
“Don your 3D glasses and revel in a retro-future aesthetic in the Comics vs Games 3D Gallery, where comic artists’ and animators’ unique anaglyphic interpretations of games — Year Walk, Zelda, Dark Souls, Shadow of the Colossus, Final Fantasy, and more — jump off the wall. All the prints are for sale and include 3D glasses. Plus, check out Ventla’s “X-tendo X-tra Heroes,” a new series of 12 tiny Famicom-related figurines, making their long-awaited debut!
4. Urban Acorn Catering
“From Scratch Pie Company was the buzz of Bit Bazaar Winter Market with their handheld savoury lobster, chicken, steak, and veggie pot pies. I’m really looking forward to trying fritay (Haitian street food) by Urban Acorn Catering. Chef Dan Holloway will be serving up a menu of goat griot or vegan accra (malanga fritters) served with plantain chips and pikliz inspired by partner Marie Fitrion’s favorite childhood bites.”
5. Elizabeth Simins
“Dames Making Games has teamed up with artist Elizabeth Simins for a Bit Bazaar-exclusive version of her wildly popular Gaming’s Feminist Illuminati t-shirt — in DMG blue with sparkly ink! Pick it up from Elizabeth’s table. She’s also selling her Bad at Games comic, It’s Just Game zines and GFI stickers, and more.”
6. Venus Patrol / Wild Rumpus / Uvula
“Uvula’s collaboration with Venus Patrol and Wild Rumpus, Tenya Wanya Teens — a riotous multiplayer party game — will be playable in the gallery. Plus, pick up Rumpus in a Bag: all the videogame funtimes of a Wild Rumpus, but in a bag! Featuring Samurai Gunn, TowerFall, Proteus, a haul of physical goodies — and maybe more.”
Bit Bazaar’s spring fair will be open for business this Saturday, May 10 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Bento Miso in Toronto. For more information, check out the website.