We hope to provide an international showcase for the best of cartoon art in all its forms, including comics, animation, editorial cartoons, newspaper strips, and beyond, in a city that is a growing center of importance to comics and cartooning. We also focus on helping the next generation of young cartooning talent develop thriving careers that invigorate the industry for years to come.
To do that, we are strive to create an atmosphere of communication and shared enthusiasm between creators and audiences of cartoon storytelling so they can have serious (and fun) discussions on it as art, with the respect their creators deserve, as well as help an emerging generation of young cartooning talent develop careers that are both artistically and economically rewarding.
The Story Behind CXC
Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) is all about making connections between people with a passion for the art of cartoons, and that’s exactly how it all started: a conversation between friends.
As a founder and world-renowned curator of The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, Lucy Shelton Caswell had already helped organize a semi-annual Cartoon Arts Festival in Columbus for many years. She knew it could become more, because she knew so many influential people throughout the city and the industry that shares her passion. But two in particular knew how much support Columbus institutions offered for the cartoon arts: the husband and wife team behind Cartoon Books, Columbus native Jeff Smith and his wife Vijaya Iyer.
The three of them talked about how some cities in Europe would turn themselves over to their comics festivals, and how much each festival would spend a week showing people the best of each city offers the cartoon community, and how first-class treatment of cartooning talent not only brought in industry greats, but created an atmosphere where connections between the creators and fans could be had.
They believed Columbus was a place they could create a truly unique festival experience that could rival anything that had overseas. Being in the heart of the country, it could be the crossroads where museums and art centers, learning institutions and cultural landmarks, industry legends and aspiring creators, as well as professionals and fans could meet to celebrate cartoon storytelling like no other place on Earth.
That day, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus was drawn into existence.
As CXC began to grow, we quickly drew the support of numerous Columbus comics and arts community luminaries, such as Jenny Robb, Jared Gardner, David Filipi, and Caitlin McGurk. Tom Spurgeon joined his friends at CXC as Executive Director, and he quickly began to gather world-class talent and cultivate the programming that would resonate throughout the cartoon world.
Today, CxC is annual festival that spans 4 entire days—and stretches throughout the city. With each year, thousands more people attend the festival events— drawing even more friends and colleagues in the field to come together in support of this one-of-a-kind cartoon festival. CXC continues to do what it originally set out to do: make genuine connections between people who share a love, a passion, and a personal reason to believe in the future of cartoon art.
Noah Van Sciver
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This is what comics are all about, creators, publishers, fans... don't need anything else! Thanks to Jeff, Vijaya, Tom, and everyone on staff and volunteers for CXC and the Columbus Library!!
CXC SOlcon is turning out to be the American equivalent of Angoulême International Comics Festival. I've been every year since its inception and each year has been a measurable increase in value over the previous. I'm impressed by the mix of creators from the mainstream, zine, independent worlds intermixed with Legends
This is an amazing event full of inspiring artists from up-and-coming to veterans. The amount of diversity in the art and the artists present at this event was wonderful. As a writer I felt the camaraderie and belongingness with other artists/writers there and felt like the visitors were also engaged and participating in the event fully.
I'm so thankful to have been there! A superbly organized show with a solid gold heart. Great guests, an excellent venue, a beautiful and historic city, great restaurants and museums, richly talented vendors, everything one could want in a comics convention and more.
So many creative people, both famous and aspiring, all together in the wonderful Columbus Library downtown!
Wow. Just.... Wow.
Everything about this show, from the biggest names to the humblest of volunteers and EVERYONE in between and beyond makes this show a super special comic-love-in!
It was an honor to attend this event and be surrounded by so many people I admire! I met so many fascinating, talented people from whom I gained so much inspiration. A highly educational and entertaining event run by amazing people! I'm grateful to have been a part of it and I hope to return next year.
Full of wonderful, interesting artists and highly educational for an art student. I was amazed by the commerce and discussions being had by comic artists here. CXC is a valuable experience for the aspiring artist or even just avid comic fan.
A great show that continues to grow. A killer guest list, great staff and volunteers and mind-blowing exhibits at the Billy. Take a bow, everyone. CXC should be a pilgrimage for every creator and fan.
A fantastic festival celebrating cartoon art, open to everyone, with panels and presentations and a chance to see comics creators from all over with an amazing breadth of genres.