And here’s the official word on that new comic arts festival that people were alluding to at ICAF: Cartoon Crossroads Columbus or CXC, which will be a lot more than a CAF, really. The event will debut in 2015 as a two-day event (held October 2-3) and then grow into a four day festival in 2016. The show has a four person executive committee consisting of Cartoon Books’ Jeff Smith and Vijaya Iyer, Comics Reporter’s Tom Spurgeon and Billy Ireland Library founder Lucy Caswell. Smith is the Artistic Director, while Spurgeon will be the Festival Director. Can you say heavy hitters?
You can read more about the event in the PR below. Obviously using the Billy Ireland library for a CAF-type event is a no brainer and given the muscle behind the show, it sounds like it will quickly move into a pre-eminent spot on the calendar. But, there is still the crowded calendar to contend with. There’s an existing show in Columbus, SPACE, which, while small, has roots that go back to the birth of the CAF with the Spirits of Independence tour. SPACE has staked out the spring slot, leaving October for CXC. While that’s a very crowded time slot, CXC is well placed to take advantage of cartoonists who may want to continue their tour after SPX, and perhaps on to the revamped APE.
At any rate, given the massive comics related resources located in Columbus, this is an exciting development, and another step on the growing importance of the CAF circuit for comics.
The Columbus, Ohio based Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) has announced its formation and intention to stage a four-day, yearly comics festival beginning in Fall 2016. The group also announced the CXC Launch Event for October 2-3, 2015. The CXC Launch Event will be a two-day show split between the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (October 2) and the Columbus Cultural Arts Center (October 3). The October 3 portion of the event will be a one-day comics expo featuring up to 35 exhibitors. The four-person Executive Committee for Cartoon Crossroads Columbus is: * Lucy Caswell, Founder, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum * Vijaya Iyer, President and Co-Publisher, Cartoon Books * Jeff Smith, Award-Winning Cartoonist and Co-Publisher, Cartoon Books * Tom Spurgeon, Editor and Co-Publisher, The Comics Reporter Smith will further assume the title of President and Artistic Director. Spurgeon will serve as Festival Director, and will relocate to Columbus in early 2015. ”We’re extremely excited to try and bring a first-class comics festival to Columbus, Ohio,” said Jeff Smith. “I’ve attended and enjoyed so many great shows over the years, and hope that CXC can take its place alongside them.” ”I share with the council members a belief in the comics art form and a love for the American Midwest as a great place for comics,” said Tom Spurgeon. “We also share a passion for the professional development and infrastructure issues facing so many cartoonists. We hope that CXC can become a positive force for a better community and more effective industry.” The group’s organizational status, its advisory council members, its initial sponsorships, details on the 2015 Launch Event including exhibitor application information and initial plans for the 2016 Festival and beyond will be announced in early 2015. A placeholder site can be found at cxcfestival.tumblr.com A twitter account can be followed @cxcfestival.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.