The Royal Academy of Illustration & Design, aka R.A.I.D., is an award-winning artist collective located in Toronto’s historic Parkdale. With a primary focus on comics and graphic novels, R.A.I.D. is a creative ecosystem where artists can build their ideas, collaborate, and access varied expressive platforms. Through its network of creatives, R.A.I.D. also operates as a scaleable creative agency that offers expertise in creative concepts, idea development, and visual solutions involving illustration, design, animation, film, multi-media, and sequential art.


R.A.I.D. was founded in 2002 by friends Chip Zdarsky, Ben Shannon, Kagan Mcleod, and Cameron Stewart. What began as a shared space for four artists eager to make their mark grew and evolved into an artist collective featuring some of the finest talents in the comic and sequential art industry. Ensuing years saw residencies by such notable artists as Kalman Andrasofszky, Karl Kerschl, Andy Belanger, Scott Hepburn, Cary Nord, Marcus To, Paul Rivoche, Francis Manapul, and Ramón K Pérez. Some staying a short time, while others have made it their home to this day. With such a varied array of creatives and an ever-evolving array of new voices entering the collective, individuals are given a unique space to learn, collaborate, and inspire. In 2018 R.A.I.D. expanded to its new headquarters located at 1720 Queen Street West in Parkdale, Toronto ON. Within these walls you can find our creative ecosystem;

  • RAID Work, a co-working space for creatives to create and collaborate.
  • RAID Create, a scaleable agency to meet every client’s needs.
  • RAID Press, an independent publishing avenue for creators, by creators.

In out space you’ll also find;

  • RAID Gallery & Cafe, the RAID gallery of Sequential & Illustrative Arts whose mandate is to showcase, educate, and inform on the most pervasive yet often neglected form of art; comic books. The gallery also boasts a cafe and snack bar hosted by El Almacen Parkdale.


Members of the The RAID Studio, a curated collective of elite professionals, garnered critical acclaim through numerous awards and nominations across many fields and industries, such as digital media, animation, short films, children’s literature, video games, and comics.


    • Multiple Eisner Awards, Harvey Awards, and Schuster awards in the sequential arts.
    • Official Selection of the Silver Birch Non-Fiction Awards
    • ForeWord Book of the Year Award for children’s literature.
    • Silver medal from the Society of Illustrators.
    • Multiple features in Spectrum and American Illustration.
[Video] The documentary COMIC BOOK ARTISTS: NEXT GENERATION was filmed in 2014, and originally aired on AT&T’s U-verse. The 30-minute documentary takes a peek into the lives of RAID studio members Ramón Pérez, Francis Manapul, and Kalman Andrasofszky, and their lives as visual creatives and storytellers, with cameos by Stan Lee, Alyssa Milano, and Jim Lee.


In 2002, a crack commando unit of talent creatives was formed. Sent out into the world they garnered awards and accolades for their creative achievementsl. These creatives promptly escaped desk-jobs and fled  underground. Today, still highely sought after for their unique skills they survive as freelancers-of-fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you simply reach out to these individuals…  you can hire THE RAID STUDIO.


Managing Director

Marcus To

In-House Liaison

Rob Coughler

Director of Operations

Kryś Jankowice

Administrative Assistant

The Royal Academy of Illustration & Design is a creative agency, incubator, and ecosystem, which is home to an award-winning community of artists, writers, designers, editors, animators, photogtaphers, and more. Our headquarters is also home to a public-facing gallery & cafe – visit us today.

ADDRESS / 1720 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M6R1B3 CANADA
PHONE / 416.961.1274
GALLERY & CAFE / Weekdays 8am – 6pm / Weekends 9am-5pm / EST
STUDIO RECEPTION / Weekdays 10am – 6pm / Weekends Closed / EST

Website created by Kayley Luftwig  |  Our online Privacy Policy for your perusal  |  All Content displayed on and is copyright © by it’s respective creators. RAID logo designed by Ramón K Pérez.