Lesley Aeschliman

Aya Kanno to Appear at the 2015 Toronto Comic Arts Festival

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Otomen Volume 1 by Aya KannoThe Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) has announced that manga artist Aya Kanno will attend the 2015 festival as a featured guest. Kanno’s best-known work in North America is the romantic comedy series Otomen, which ran for 18 volumes and frequently appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. The series explores a wide variety of characters that rebel against traditional gender roles in Japanese society, starting with the titular character who is an Otomen (“otome,” Japanese for young girl, combined with the English word “men”). Kanno’s most recent work is the just released Requiem of the Rose King, a dark fantasy retelling of Shakeapeare’s Richard III and Henry VI, which continues her exploration of gender, sexuality, and identity. She has also written and illustrated the Blank Slate manga series.

Kanno will participate in a variety of programs at the festival including a feature interview, panel discussion, and book signing sessions. Kanno will attend TCAF 2015 with her editor Yuri Yamamoto of Akita Shoten, and with the support of VIZ Media.

“We’re so happy to be able to welcome Aya Kanno to North America for the first time,” enthused Festival Director Christopher Butcher. “To my mind Kanno’s work really reinforces what TCAF is all about: unique, diverse voices and great comics! Shoujo manga, or ‘girls’ manga, doesn’t really get the respect it deserves in general, and Kanno’s work is specifically great, smartly interrogating the medium and its approach to gender, sexuality, and storytelling.”

Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2015 will be taking place Saturday, May 9 from 9am-5pm and Sunday, May 10 from 11am-5pm at the Toronto Reference Library at 789 Yonge Street. Attendance is free to the public.

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is made possible with the assistance of sponsors and partners, including presenting sponsor Toronto Public Library and primary sponsor The Beguiling Books & Art. TCAF is produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council. Funding support is also provided by the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Aya Kanno is appearing at the festival courtesy of VIZ Media.

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