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DCAF is brewing

The homegrown comic festival gears up for its fourth year


  • Nathan Boone/Krista Leger
  • Miriam Gibson at DCAF.

Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival
Sunday, August 16, 11am-5pm
Alderney Landing, 2 Ochterloney Street

Lacking the ticket price and Hollywood trappings of bigger conventions, this weekend's Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival has both free admission and an emphasis on the east coast.

"I wanted a show that focused on comics and the people who made them," says DCAF creator and Strange Adventures owner Calum Johnston, "to spotlight the number of talented people we have here in the Halifax area and the Maritimes. It's a great place to live and I think it fosters creativity."

The DCAF will take place at Alderney Landing and include participants like Kate or Die! writer Kate Leth and Thieves and Kings creator Mark Oakley. "Fittingly, we use a venue that is also used as a farmer's market," Johnston says, "since most of the folks who will be exhibiting also produced their works."

Now in its fourth year, the DCAF has had exhibitors from PEI, New Brunswick "and all over Nova Scotia," as well as guests from across Canada and the US. "The turnout has grown each year," Johnston says.

Though he's interested in expanding the scope of the DCAF to eventually include readings, Q&A sessions and presentations, the funding for expansion will have to come from an outside sponsor, since Johnston would like to keep the admission cost at zero.

"The festival operates at a loss, but I see it as a great promotion for comics in the area, and if more people get exposed to good comics, they'll hopefully read more and that will result in more sales at the local comic book shops."

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