Comics x Games fosters collaboration between the independent game and comic communities through a variety of projects, partnerships and events. Every year with our partners during the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF), we present unique, game-focused content — from original games and gallery shows, to panels and talks.


COMICS x GAMES 2017

The sixth Comics vs Games takes place at Toronto Comics Arts Festival (May 13th and 14th). We’re on the second floor of the Toronto Reference Library, as usual and we have quite the lineup planned. We got tabletop! We got VR! We got noir detectives, blind bears, Russian subway dogs, psychedelic hands, autobiographical elegies, and many more delights both arcade and arcane! We had more submissions to the CxG exhibit than ever before, including tons of diverse student and international work as well as exciting local talent by artists from both the comics and games disciplines. Thanks to our sponsor, the OMDC, we’ve also brought back the Comics x Games Jam for its first run in five years!

Full panelists and exhibitors lineup here!

ARCADE/TCAF HOURS:

Saturday, May 13th, 9am-5pm
Sunday May 14th, 10am-5pm

If you have any questions, please contact cxg@handeyesociety.com (all e-mail will be forwarded to the CxG/HES Logistics team: Alicia Contestabile, Ken Cho, and Sagan Yee).

ARCADE EXHIBIT

HEY GRAB ME SOME- • Dispirited • Battle Zine Turbo V • Rose of Winter • Tiny Swords SMAAASH! • We Used To Be Friends  • Arrow Heads • King of the Hat • Monumental Failure • Riverbond • Runbow  Pirate Pop Plus • Code Romantic • Dead Winter • Detective Madson in Drop Dead Gorgeous Fish Fly Fever • Floor Kids • Forgotten • GEMETON Holoscope • I Get This Call Every Day • Jigsaw Story • Monster Girls Gaynerations: Ghoulfriends For Life • Oniri Islands: Children of the River • Palmystery • PURITY & DECAY • Russian Subway Dogs • The Shrouded Isle • This is My Memory of First Heartbreak, Which I Can’t Quite Piece Back Together • Tram-Panic! • Unspokin

PANEL 1: JAMMING WITH THE COMICS X GAMES JAMMERS

Saturday, May 13
Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St.
1:30 PM, Learning Centre
FREE

The Hand Eye Society is proud to announce the return of the Comics x Games Jam, which pairs comic artists with game designers to create unique works of interactive digital art. First held in 2012 as part of the TIFF.nexus initiative, it resulted in great games by stellar artists like Cumulo Nimblers (John Martz, Farbs) and The Yawhg (Damian Sommer, Emily Carroll). And now, for the first time since that inaugural event, three teams once again collaborate on unique interactive projects to be showcased as part of the arcade exhibit at TCAF!

This panel will feature the three teams from this year’s CxG Jam, who will talk about making a game together in two months, their creative process, and collaborating from different artistic mediums. Audiences will be able to play the commissioned games in the Comics x Games arcade exhibit on the second floor of the Toronto Reference Library during TCAF weekend.

PANEL 2: DETECTIVES, DEVILS AND DATE NIGHTS: A CONVERSATION WITH PILLOW FIGHT

Sunday, May 14
Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St.
4:00 PM, Learning Centre
FREE

How does a video game studio manage to develop narrative-rich, beautifully illustrated visual novels, while managing to be financially sustainable, radically collaborative, inclusive, diverse, AND manage to pay everyone fairly? We welcome Pillow Fight (We Know the Devil, Rose of Winter, Ghosts of Miami) to TCAF to help us answer some of these burning questions! Operating at the intersections of comics and games, business and art, networking and community, Pillow Fight gives artists from marginalized backgrounds the freedom to channel their voices into fully-realized and critically acclaimed projects.

Also: Come check out their booth at the Comics x Games arcade on the second floor, where they’ll be showing Rose of Winter, among other things!

PANELISTS:

  • Jo Fu – Co-founder and Boss at Pillow Fight, also the writer on Ghosts of Miami
  • Magnolia Porter – Creator of webcomic Monster Pulse, Creative Lead on Rose of Winter
  • Kim Nguyen – UI Designer for Ghosts of Miami and Hustle Cat
  • Priya Huq – Creator of the comic Mana, assistant writer on Starfighter: Eclipse

Moderated by Gabriela Aveiro-Ojeda – Freelancer, co-director at Dames Making Games

       

Co-organized with TCAF, sponsored by the OMDC


 Previous Years


 

Comics vs Games (2012)

Co-organized with TCAF,  TIFF Nexus, Magic Pony & Attract Mode
Sponsored by TIFF Nexus
Presenting Sponsor: Ontario Media Development Corporation

Showcase

Inspired by the artxgame projects in Los Angeles and San Francisco, we put together five pairs of comic and game creators and asked them to create original games for Comics vs Games. The resulting creations were exhibited as part of the Comics vs Games gallery show at Magic Pony and on site at TCAF.

Also included were two additional games that while not created specifically for the show combined aspects of comics and interactivity in interesting and meaningful ways:

 

Storyteller (Daniel Benmergui) – Meanwhile (Jason Shiga, Andrew Plotkin)

Gallery

Magic Pony hosted a selection of game inspired illustrations from the Attract Mode collective.

 

Art From

Lamar Abrams • Georgina Chacón • Lindsay Collins • Ashley Davis • Jacob Ferguson • Kyle Fewell • Chris Furniss • Zac Gorman • Olly Jones, HamletMachine • Kris Mukai • Maré Odomo • Cory Schmitz • Jovan Velkoski

Curated by Matt Hawkins of Attract Mode

 

Check out these photos from the show on Matt Hawkins’ blog.

Panel

On this TCAF panel several of the showcase participants discuss creating their games and the intersection of the two mediums.

 

Panelists

Christine Love, Damian Sommer, Andy Belanger, Steve Manale, John Martz
with moderator Miguel Sternberg.




Comics vs Games 2 (2013)

Co-organized with TCAF,  Bento Miso & Attract Mode
Sponsored by Bento Miso

Showcase

Playable onsite at TCAF, four existing independent games from around the world that borrow structural elements from comics and sequential art in their game design and presentation.

Framed

Loveshack Entertainment
Australia

Where is My Heart

Die Gute Fabrik
Denmark / Germany

Storyteller

Daniel Benmergui
Argentina

Gorogoa

Jason Roberts
United States

Gallery

Attract Mode returned once again with a selection of game inspired illustrations  displayed on site at Bento Miso’s gallery space.

 

Art From

Natasha Allegri •  Lindsay Collins • Ashely Davis • Daniel Dussault • Jacob Ferguson • Kyle Fewell, Chris Furniss • Zac Gorman • Corey Lewis • Giannis Milonogiannis • Kris Mukai • Maré Odomo, John Pham • Aleth Romanillos • Asif Siddiky • Jacob Smiley • Jovo Ve

Curated by Matt Hawkins of Attract Mode

 

Attract Mode have some great photos of the show here and here.

Bit Bazaar

Bento Miso’s video game craft fair and marketplace. One-of-a-kind, limited-edition and handmade/DIY items—zines, boxed games, art prints, comics, t-shirts, mixtapes, papercraft and toys—direct from your favorite Toronto independent game makers!

 

Gallery of past and present Bit Bazaars

Panel

Narrative Intersections

A discussion on the intersection between comics and games and how they borrow from each other to tell stories.

 

Panelists

 Scott C. (Doublefine, The Art of Brutal Legend), Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim), Benjamin Rivers (Snow, Home), Jim Zub (Skullkickers, Street Fighter HD Remix)
with moderator Miguel Sternberg.







Comics vs Games 3 (2014)

Co-organized with TCAF,  Bento Miso & Attract Mode
Sponsored by Bento Miso

Showcase

Playable onsite at TCAF, four existing independent games from around the world that borrow structural elements from comics and sequential art in their game design and presentation.

From Comics vs Games

Black Church Brigandage – Miguel Sternberg & Andy Belanger
Cumulo Nimblers – John Martz & Farbs
We’re no Angels – Steve Manale & Jamie Fristrom
The Yawhg – Emily Carroll & Damian Sommer

Special Guest (Sunday only):

Framed – with developer Joshua Boggs from Love Shack Entertainment.

From ARTXGAME

Calvin and Hellen’s Bogus Journey – Hellen Jo X Derek Yu
Jottobots – J. Otto Seibold X Kyle Pulver
Untitled – Deth P Sun X Cactus
Untitled – Souther Salazar X Petri Purho
Return of the Quack – Matt Furie X Chevy Ray Johnston
Catburger – Beau Blyth X Jeni Yang

Gallery

Attract Mode returns once again with a selection of game inspired illustrations. This time in glorious Anaglyph 3D!  Displayed on site at Bento Miso’s gallery space.

 

Art From

Lamar Abrams Mariel Cartwright Ashley Davis Kyle Fewell Jovo Ve Kris Mukai John Pham Asif Siddiky Kelly Smith Babs Tarr Ventla Mikko Walamies Steve Courtney Jesse Tise

 

Attract Mode have some great photos of the show here.

Bit Bazaar

Bento Miso’s video game craft fair and marketplace. One-of-a-kind, limited-edition and handmade/DIY items—zines, boxed games, art prints, comics, t-shirts, mixtapes, papercraft and toys—direct from your favorite Toronto independent game makers!

 

Gallery of past and present Bit Bazaars

Panels

A full day of talks and panels, featuring comic and game creators discussing their work and the intersection of the two art forms. A diverse line up ranging from Faith Erin Hicks talking about creating The Last of Us: American Dreams to a panel discussion on autobiographical comics and games and an on stage interview with Randall Munroe (XKCD) on his more experimental interactive web comics.

Comics and Crowds: The Experimental, Massively Multiplayer Comics of XKCD  – A Conversation With Randall Munroe

Randall Munroe with interviewer Miguel Sternberg

 

The Last of Us – Making American Dreams

Faith Erin Hicks

 

Play My Life – Autobiographical Comics and Games

David S Gallant, merritt kopas, Annie Mok, Kelly Phillips with moderator Soha El-Sabaawi

 

Putting Pixels on Paper – Game Zine Revolution

Elizabeth Simins, Ashley Davis, Mathew Kumar, Matt Hawkins with moderator Adam Hines

 

Furnishing Gone Home – Creating a House That Tells a Story

Kate Craig

 

The Yawhg Post Mortem – Crafting A Multiplayer Choose Your Own Adventure

Damian Sommer and Emily Carroll

Out of Order – Playing with Sequential Art in Framed

Joshua Boggs







Comics vs Games 2015

Co-organized with TCAF

Panels

 

Comics vs Games Microtalks

David Calvo, Alfe Clemencio, AM Cosmos, David Hellman, Andrew Hlynka, Kim Hoang, Rachel Kahn,  Xin Ran Liu, Matthew Ritter,  Jason Shiga, Miguel Sternberg.

 

Introduction to Game Making For Artists

Chris De Castro, Paloma Dawkins, Matt Hammill, Kim Hoang, Archie Wisco, Sagan Yee.

 


 

Comics vs Games 2016

Co-organized with TCAF, sponsored by the OMDC

Click here for the full recap and testimonials!

Full list of exhibitors and descriptions

Digital Games

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build • Aces Over Eights • Alea • An/Other • Auto Age: Standoff • Balloon Buoyancy • Bravery Network • Cryptark • Cupkins • Dodge Club Party • Don’t Fall In The Hole • Endlight-Outside • GalaCollider • Hackers Versus BankstersLast Fight • LongStory • LOUD on Planet X • MANDATORY UPGRADE: X MARKS THE SPOT • No Holds Billiards • Project Grand Vault •  Quick Drop • Real Army Simulator • Runbow • SHNIPERS • Shuyan • Sky Rogue • Sokobond •Super Hero VR • Those Without Shadows • Visual Novel Chill Zone • Wits & Warfare • Za Vas (To You)  

Panels

The Bizarro Land Between Comics to Games

Benjamin Rivers

Comics vs Games Microtalks

Keith Makse – Dreaming of Superman: The Top 5 Intersecting Points between Comic Books and Virtual Reality
Yifat Shaik – Subversive Humor and The Absurdity of Real Life Experience
Derek Quenneville – Taking Things for Granted: The Origin of Pausing
Kalervo A. Sinervo – Playing/with Comics: Some Excursions into Digital Hybridity
Alex Rushdy – Colors of the Runbow – Working Around Art Limitations
Andrew Baillie – Visual Novels 101

Comics VS. Games on Twitch – Creative and Game Streams

Nic ter Horst, Rosemary Brennan, Shawn Mcgrath, Rachel Kahn, Leisha-Marie Riddel


Current and past partners

Comics vs Games logo design by Cory Schmitz.   Photos by Matt Hawkins, Henry Faber, N Maxwell Lander, Ken Cho.