Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) has announced the winner of this year’s Tom Spurgeon Award and it is going to someone near and dear to The Beat’s heart: Calvin Reid.

The Tom Spurgeon Award is presented annually to those who have made significant contributions to the comics industry but are not creators; it is open to retailers, distributors, journalists, editors, publishers, and others. 
Calvin certainly qualifies as someone who has made a significant contribution to comics. As senior news editor at Publishers Weekly he helped introduce comics coverage to the mainstream publishing world and pioneered graphic novel reviews in that highly influential publication. He launched PW Comics World, PW’s online coverage of the comics and graphic novel marketplace, as well as The Fanatic, PW’s current newsletter looking at comics and pop culture. And along with myself, Kate Fitzsimmons and Meg Lemke, Calvin cohosts More to Come, PW’s weekly podcast on comics and graphic novel publishing. That’s Calvin on the right in the above photo, which is l-r myself, Kate, Meg and Calvin finishing up another episode. It was, believe it or not, the first time we had all been in the same room, and Calvin is doing what he does best: smiling!  
You can read more of Calvin’s deeds here. He hired me to help with a number of the above projects, and I’m so grateful to him for his help and mentorship, and I can say there is no one more passionate, more knowledgable or more important to the rise of the graphic novels over the last 25 years. In 2006 he won the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award by the San Diego Comic-Con International for all his efforts to raise the understanding and business profile of graphic novel publishing in the book trade. 
“This is a terrific honor and I can’t tell you how much it means to me,” says Calvin in a statement, “It’s even more meaningful to get an award named after Tom Spurgeon, who went out of his way to make sure I was able to attend CXC in the first place.”
“Calvin was one of the very first grown ups to get that comics are an art form, not a genre; they are a medium of literature,” says Vijaya Iyer, Cartoon Books publisher and CXC co-founder, “It took a pivotal figure like Calvin Reid to not only recognize the value of comics and graphic novels, but to use his position as a writer at the most important book trade magazine, Publishers Weekly, to shout it from the mountain top!”
Calvin Reid Joins Freedom to Read Foundation – Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

The Spurgeon Award is named after the late Tom Spurgeon, himself a force of nature who ran the Comics Reporter blog and helped found CXC as founding executive director.

“I think the way that graphic novel and comics journalism was practiced by me has been to focus on opening the comics marketplace to the full expanse of what the comics medium can do as both literary expression, a commercial reading product, or any creative combination of both,” says Reid. 
“I want new readers (as well as comics artists) to know that the world of comics they live in now is very different than it used to be,” says Reid, “It’s a world of indie, literary comics, superhero, manga, Webtoon, just an endless variety of genre comics of all types for all kinds of readers. And that I was lucky and proud to be able to help bring about some of that change and growth in the marketplace.”
The Tom Spurgeon Award was awarded to writer, translator and manga scholar Frederik L. Schodt in 2022. In 2021, the award’s first year, it was given posthumously to Chicago Tribune-New York Daily News syndicate vice-president and director Mollie Slott; All-Negro Comics founder and publisher Orrin Evans; and Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson.
As illustrious as these previous winners are, no one is more deserving than Calvin and I’ll be giving a hearty virtual cheer when he is presented with the award! 


  1. Calvin has been the very best for a very long time. I remember how helpful he was when I worked at DC, trying to get mainstream critics to accept graphic novels as a medium worthy of consideration like movies, television and prose books.

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