Today Cartoon Crossroad Columbus kicks off its soft launch in Columbus, Oh, the new comics mecca. The show is being held in conjunction with SOL-CON: The Black & Brown Comix Expo 2015, also kicking off tonight. The entire schedule can be seen here and the tumblr of delights is here.

Co-organizers Jeff Smith and Thomas Spurgeon have been making the rounds to talk about the show, but here’s a fine profile from Paste magazine about the shows exclusive focus on actual comics and not the media spin-offs.

“[Walking Dead writer] Robert Kirkman is important to us because of the writing on his comic book, not because of the TV shows that result,” Spurgeon explains during coffee at Smith’s Columbus studio and publishing company, Cartoon Books. “We’re almost at the point where we’re treating comics as a weigh station before you make your money or impact. Comics are solely what we do and it’s solely where our efforts go. We want this to be important. We want to celebrate older cartoonists who may have fallen out favor. We want to celebrate the anniversaries of great comics. It’s solely comics-focused.”

Embracing the formula of decentralized man-o’-war events like South by Southwest and Cannes Film Festival, where different organizations host different events at different locales, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus is a community affair that holds special significance for the Buckeye State. Ohio makes a very strong argument as the nexus of American cartooning and comic books—even if most of the action is produced in New York City or Southern California, comics’ biggest dreamers were born in the heart of the Midwest.

Given the talents and resources behind this show, it has every sign of becoming a major event on the comics calendar. I’d really hoped to attend this inaugural event, but the scheduling between three other shows made it impossible. Dates for CXC’s future iteration s have already been announced through 2019:

2016: October 13 to October 16
2017: September 28 to October 1
2018: September 27 to September 30
2019: September 26 to September 29

…and while it’s still part of a jam packed schedule hopefully I’ll be there in the future.

We welcome any reports or comments. 



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