Hi everyone,

We’ve received many emails in the past couple of years from comics creators wondering how to get their work out and find community in comics. Especially in the wake of the ongoing pandemic which has pushed many artists to move to new cities and towns across the provinces, we’ve seen that a lot of people are feeling isolated and unsure of how to share their work.

We’re compiling resources in this post in the hopes that it will help creators get their work out and connect with other people in the comics community. If you have any suggestions, please send us an email at info@canadacomicsol.org, and we can update this post and add them to our website.

Comics and zine festivals

Visiting comics festivals and speaking with other creators can be a great way to meet potential future collaborators and make friends, although the crowded space and environment may not be accessible to everyone.

We created a list of Canadian comics and zine festivals by province for our website.

If you have self-published or produced work and are able to give away a few copies, handing them out at festivals is a nice way to meet people and potentially make connections. Be sure to include your contact info and that your name or pen name is on your work!

If you’re browsing and feeling nervous or anxious and don’t want to linger, you can ask to take a picture of a creator’s social media or contact information or take a business card if you’d like to follow up with a purchase or follow a creator’s work online.

And of course, you can apply as a guest to take part at these festivals! Several festivals now have an online component, so if you’re not comfortable taking part in person, there may be a way to take part remotely.

Social media

This might seem obvious, but if you like someone’s work, consider following them on social media. It can mean a lot to a creator if you like their posts, or add a thoughtful comment. They might follow you back or they might just appreciate the support given how algorithms are currently killing engagement for artists.

In my experience, artists also share some really great project opportunities and publishing submission opportunities through social media, so it’s a great way to stay informed and help each other out by sharing opportunities. Instagram seems to be the most popular social media tool for sharing artwork. If you are liking an alternative platform, please let us know.

Collectives and jams

You can join a local collective or comics jam to meet other creators, or start one of your own locally if you’re brave enough 🙂

Visit our Collective and Comics Jams page for resources and motivation: https://www.canadacomicsol.org/comic-book-resources/collectives-and-comic-jams/

Canadian Cartoonists Database 

You can look for potential project collaborators in the Canadian Cartoonists Database (illustrators, pencillers, inkers, etc.). This database is searchable by biographical, genre, and role-related keywords and includes links to creators’ websites and social media if publicly shared.

You can browse the database to see if other people are creating work in a similar dialogue with your own, or to see what’s being made out there or in your community.

Feel free to check if you’re in the database! If not, you can submit your information to be included in the database directly on the submission form at the bottom of the database page. Please send corrections or let us know if you come across broken links via that same form.

We recently shared a video presentation about the database in case you’re interested in the process of finding creators to include.

Other comics databases

You may be able to submit your information to several other online comics databases to help others find your work. Cartoonist MariNaomi curates the online databases Queer Cartoonists Database, Cartoonists of Color Database, and the Disabled Cartoonists Database.

Here is a list of more comics databases to look into sorted alphabetically by title.


If you are looking for Canadian publishers, we do include some publishers in the Canadian Cartoonists Database, and we have a broader and historical list of Canadian comics publishers on our blog. You can visit publishers’ websites and review what they publish and what their guidelines are. Many publishers require artwork already produced while others may be able to match creators (such as writers with artists) or accept script work.

A few years ago, we created a blog post of LGBTQ+ comics resources, including publishers (Canadian and international), digital archives, and databases.

We also have a blog post highlighting Indigenous creators and publishers and a post that highlights Black comics creators and publishers. 

If you are looking to distribute your comics zines, Broken Pencil Magazine curates a list of zine distros over here: https://brokenpencil.com/distributors/. You can browse through the descriptions and get in touch with those you are interested in submitting to (distro websites should be linked to on the list). Distros may be looking to include zines on particular topics or prioritize representing certain marginalized experiences and identities. For example, Microcosm Publishing (Portland), a zine publisher and distro listed, carries many works on autism.

We have shared some zine resources linked to on our website which may be of interest, including other zine libraries and zine databases where you may want to submit your comics projects.

We also have a list of comics distros on our website over here (towards the bottom of the page).

Consider sending samples of your work to comics distros. You might be a good fit for what they are curating!


Comics anthologies can be a great way to be matched with other creators if you have a story you’d like to tell and collaborate on, for example,Toronto Comix anthology projects or Balustrade Press. I would recommend following publishers and organizers on social media if you are able to, and watch for when submissions open.

There are also many interesting online comics anthology projects with accessible submissions processes, such as The Gutter and I don’t do comics.

Online workshops and spaces

We have a list of resources for creating comics on our website that includes online workshops, such as The Sequential Artists Workshop. You can watch previous recorded workshops from the Comics Workshops Archives at The Believer- They are great!

Since the pandemic began, there seems to be more free online comics workshops, events, and book launches. These can be a nice low-key way to feel connected to other creators while developing your skills and building community.

There are also opportunities out there to pay to take workshops from creators who run their own events independently. For example, Drawing The Inside Out is an ongoing series of month-long courses for adults who want to make comics, hosted by artist Georgia Webber. You can visit our Websites page for more workshop opportunities.

Consider joining an online Discord space like the Ontario Comics Clubhouse Discord, an online comics community and discussion forum created by the DIY Comics School, or the Creator Resource Discord for comics professionals run by Creator Resource.

CCOL runs a Discord for our Open Workshops for Comics Creators when that project is active.

We haven’t had a lot of online events recently, but we announce CCOL events on our Instagram and our blog Events page. When possible, we’ve been uploading events to our YouTube channel. We’re hoping to switch over to a newsletter eventually so we don’t have to rely as much on social media to get the word out.

We’d be happy to share your comics event as well, so get in touch if you’re looking to spread the word!

We also have a zoom account with the means to run lengthier webinars and events with automatic captioning. If you are running a free online comics event and need a space for this, please get in touch with us and we may be able to offer you our zoom free of cost.

If you are looking for more online resources for creating comics, we have a list of comics podcasts and features on our website. We are looking to expand this, so please let us know if you have recommendations!


Some public libraries may have zine collections and accept self-published works. If you have extra copies of previously created mini comics, longer form comics, or zines around, you may want to donate them to your local library or a zine library to share your work. The Toronto Zine Library welcomes donations from across the world. You can browse other physical spaces where you might be able to submit your work to over here by province.

CCOL accepts donations of self-published comics at our library to share with the public.You can read more about donating comics over here on our Donate Comic Books page. Unfortunately, we do not have the means to share digital comics projects currently, but you are welcome to send print comics donations to our physical library. Please contact us if you’re thinking of sending more than one comic.

Your local public library may also hold workshops on creating comics and zines, which can be a nice way to meet other creators and community members.

Your local comics shop

Here is a list of Canadian retailers organized by province. You may want to do some research and then reach out to a few to ask about selling your work on consignment or if they can buy it outright. Your local independent comics shop may have a zine section or self-publishing and small press section.This could be a great way for others to find your work. It’s also a great way for you to get to know the work of local creators and find out about local events and opportunities. Many creators will include contact info or their social media handle in their work.

Before dropping off your work, be prepared to mark up the price of your comic a bit so that you don’t lose money if the shop takes a percentage of the selling price for consignment. Write down how many copies you’ve dropped off, and you can follow up with the shop to see how your work is selling or if they’ve received any feedback.

Other resources that may be of interest

On our website:

  • Comic Creator DB which matches creators for projects
  • Websites such as Creator Advisor and Paper Cat Press compile job opportunities
  • Creator Resource offers comic book freelancing tools and many great resources
  • The Definitive List of Comic Publisher Submission Guidelines for 2019
  • Literary Agents Who Represent Graphic Novels, curated by artist and writer Niki Smith
  • Litebox Cover and page rate data for artists
  • Comic Book Script Archive
  • Gail Simone’s ComicsSchool
  • Love Love Hill Resources for Printing Comics
  • Rent-A-Critic! A service offered by comics critic Rob Clough
  • Writing on comics, journalism, and culture
  • Scholarship and educational resources
  • The Ins an Outs of Webcomics by Jey Pawlik
  • and more!


Despite the many resources available, it can still be difficult to make connections, meet other creators, and get your work out there.

If you’re feeling isolated or discouraged about your work, I hope that you will keep going and creating in a way that feels right for you. I think, I hope, that if you keep going, learning, and trying that you’ll make those meaningful connections eventually. We need more art in the world, and that includes the “bad” stuff too. 🙂

We’re hoping to have another update soon about where we’re at with reopening the library. At the moment, we are still adding barcodes and call numbers and preparing the collection for circulation, and we’re getting close.

We hope that helps!

*Featured image description: Girl Reading a Comic Book by Richard Sala (one of my favourite cartoonists) from comicartcollective.com. A black and white illustration of a girl with long dark hair (parted to the side) who wears a black long-sleeved dress sitting perched on a wobbly stool reading a comic titled “Love” while looking slightly skeptical with a raised eyebrow. She is surrounded by piles of comics and her left leg and barefoot is resting on a bookcase filled with toy robots. Her cat gazes up at her from atop a comics pile below, grimacing or maybe slightly smiling. The line work is detailed with heavy fine shading and plenty of shadows.


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