Comics Crossroads Columbus: My Experience

by Cailey Tervo

If you love comics, make comics, or study comics, Comics Crossroads Columbus was the place to be from October 1st-3rd! I had the time of my life both attending CXC and volunteering for it. I also drew a few quick comics based off some of my experiences!

CXC is the brainchild of Columbus comics guru and legendary creator of works such as Bone and RASL, Jeff Smith. With the mindset to establish Columbus as the place for comics people to be, the convention mimicked European style conventions; where the events take place all over the city, instead of being restricted to a single convection center. Members of the Columbus arts community, such as The Wexner Center, Billy Ireland Museum, Thurber House, Cultural Arts Center, and our very own CCAD, came together to host events throughout the entire weekend.

Some quotes from Art Spiegelman. Some quotes from Art

For me, the event kicked off on Thursday, when Art Spiegelman, Kate Beaton, and Katie Skelly popped up in my Comics Narrative and Illustration Class to give us a casual Q&A. I’ve been a fan of all of their work for years, and the senior class should recognize Spiegelman for our freshman-required reading, Maus: A Survivor’s Tale. It’s really hard to describe what it was like for me, a huge comics nerd, to have three of my heroes sit down and talk with me about their work. It was incredible.

Despite all three artists stating they don't read many superhero comics, one kid stuck til the end to ask them his very important question. Despite all three artists stating they don't read many superhero comics, one kid stuck til the end to ask them his very important question.

On Friday, CXC events continued over at the Wexner Center. There were lectures and talks given throughout the day, but I could only make it to the last event of the evening: a talk between indie comic artists Jeff Smith, Kate Beaton, and Craig Thompson. They talked about how their careers started, their experiences with Hollywood, and briefly answered a few questions from the audience.

Saturday I volunteered at the final day of the convention, hosted in the Cultural Arts Center. I was running the Toon Books booth with renowned art director and publisher, Françoise Mouly. I was mostly selling books and informing people what Toon Books were about, but I also helped out Art Spiegelman and Jeff Smith while they were signing together at the booth. IT was an amazing experience, and at the end of the signing Art signed a copy of his latest Toon Book Jack and the Box for me.

the tiniest cartoonist Kate said that she is a lot shorter than what people usually expect.

Comics Crossroads Columbus wrapped up Saturday night with an artist talk right here at CCAD featuring Jeff Smith, Françoise Mouly, and Art Spiegelman. The talk was celebrating the 35th anniversary of RAW Magazine; the comix magazine Spiegelman and Mouly published together from 1980-1991.

All in all, it was an incredible experience, and I believe the convention was successful in its venture to establish Columbus as a comics hotspot. As a creator, fan, and student of comics, there was so much to be gained from attending and volunteering at CXC. Be sure to check it out next year!

Cailey is a senior illustrator major, RA, president of the Illustration Student Collective, comic artist, and cat enthusiast. She also probably needs a nap. You can view her work on her website