Discover what drives Spike Trotman at CXC 2020

c spike trotman headshot

If there’s one thing comics fans understand, it’s the power of a good story. And C. Spike Trotman has a great one to share about navigating the comics publishing landscape and harnessing creative passion for professional success.

Hear Trotman's Story at CXC

Saturday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. EST, comics aficionados will hear Trotman’s story in a Columbus College of Art & Design-sponsored talk between Trotman and Cartoon Crossroads Columbus Artistic Director Jeff Smith (Bone).

Trotman, founder of Iron Circus Comics, Chicago’s largest comics publisher, is a cartoonist, editor, executive producer, thought leader, and Kickstarter pioneer (she’s earned $2 million on the crowdfunding platform since its launch). Through the years, Trotman has grown Iron Circus from a self-publishing imprint for her webcomic Templar, Arizona to an internationally-distributed small press powerhouse, responsible for such Amazon bestsellers as The Harrowing of Hell and Banned Book Club. Iron Circus recently became a multimedia company, launching its first animation venture, Lackadaisy, that, with $330,000 in Kickstarter funding, has unseated Academy Award-winner Good Hair as the Short Film category's highest earner.

Columbus-based Smith is the award-winning New York Times bestselling cartoonist of Bone, Rasl, and Little Mouse Gets Ready.

Trotman and Smith will discuss how the comics publishing landscape has changed in the past decade. Students and beginning creators will get road-tested and passion-laden advice from Trotman as she explains the role Kickstarter has played in her publishing ventures and why we should “make the comics and graphic novels that nobody asked for.”


CCAD, which has a popular and well-respected Comics & Narrative Practice major, has been an integral part of CXC since the festival’s founding in 2015. 

In addition to the Trotman-Smith talk, CCAD’s festival presence this year includes:

  • Sponsoring this year’s LGBTQIA+ programming track at CXC. 
  • Event poster design and logo design by four-time Eisner nominee and Illustration Assistant Professor Ben Towle. His poster design depicts an astronaut reading a comic and a space station representing the festival’s physical locations.
  • Presentations for artists on diversifying their income and on building healthy financial habits by Adjunct Faculty Elaine Grogan Luttrull.
  • Plus, CCAD alumni are among the number of comic and cartoon artists whose work will be available for purchase online in a digital exhibition hall during CXC.
cxc poster in space

The Trotman-Smith talk is free and open to the public, but space is limited. To register to attend the Zoom webinar, click here. You can also watch the video on the CXC Facebook page, YouTube channel, and Twitch stream. To learn more about CXC 2020, visit

Learn more about Comics & Narrative Practice major at CCAD here, or apply here.