Just returned from Toronto after spending a long weekend manning the National Cartoonists Society’s first-time booth there with freelance cartoonist Mike Cope and the creator of the syndicated daily comic strip “Between Friends” Sandra Bell-Lundy. Despite living within 400 miles of the border, I’ve never actually been to Canada until now. I learned the following twenty things while there:
- Canadians really do say “eh!” at the end of certain sentences.
- Canadians will deny this, shortly before saying “eh!”
- They have a lot of really good beer
- The dollar coin is called a “loonie”
- The two dollar coin is called a “twoonie”
- Neither of those will buy you much in Canada
- They don’t pronounce the second “T” in “Toronto”. It’s “Torono” there.
- “Poutine” is a thing. It’s french fries and cheese curds drenched in brown gravy.
- I have significantly less arterial function today thanks to poutine.
- Attendees of Toronto ComiCon don’t buy much stuff
- Soft drinks like Coke or Pepsi are called “pop” rather than “soda”
- The sales tax in Canada is about 100%, or at least seems like it
- I think the government might tax the second “T” in “Toronto”, which is why Canadians don’t pronounce it
- “Back Bacon” is a thing. It’s cured bacon sort of like dense ham often rolled in cornmeal
- I don’t know what back bacon tastes like since I never found any… might be a myth
- “Tim Hortons” is the “McDonalds” of Canada
- Do not disparage hockey within earshot of a Canadian
- A “kerfuffle” is a commotion, dust-up or confrontation of some kind
- The “Metric System” is a thing
- Canadians are extremely nice, friendly, and charming people
Sadly the NCS booth had a bad location at the con. Our neighbors included two of the roughly 20 booths selling swords and other stabbing weapons, a fetish wear vendor, the promoters of a low-budget action movie which looped the film’s trainer endlessly driving us crazy, and T-shirts sellers. The good news was that the few who did happen by us were great.
Sandra had many people get excited to meet her, “Between Friends” has a huge following there. It was fun to hang out with her and the talented Mike Cope for a few days, even if we didn’t sell much stuff. If one super-fan of mine hadn’t attanded specifically to buy a couple of original MAD pages, I might have had to hitchhike home.
Me doing a caricature
Ah well. I had a great time and even got to have dinner one night with a bunch of Canadian cartoonists… all of whom were female except for Mike. I had a very tasty shank of lamb and learned as much about menopause as I care to know. Also had a lot of laughs.
Thanks for the fun times, Canada! Who knows, I may be back, eh!
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925 New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550
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