This weekend ushered in the inaugural Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, an intentionally different comics show from what we’re used to seeing here in Indianapolis. As conceived and executed by Bone creator Jeff Smith, Comics Reporter journalist Tom Spurgeon, and no doubt a sturdy support network of other talents, CXC promised no actors or celebrities, no mainstream publishers, no costume contest, no cosplay, no gaming, no super-sized convention center, no inedible convention center food, no back-issue longboxes, no action figures, and no bobbleheads. CXC was an aesthetically purified form of literary/art show about comics, featuring a lot of people who make comics better, from within the local community as well as from distant parts.
As a longtime comics fan who needs more than super-heroes in his reading list, I found their guest list intriguing and populated with the kind of principled names we’re likely never to see at a Wizard World show. I deeply regret we had a limited time frame to spend there, but my wife, who only recognized one name on the entire guest list, was happy to tag along and let me immerse myself for a few hours, even though it meant a three-hour drive each way through an unsightly rainy day. We met several creators, we attended one Q&A, I came away with a potentially fascinating reading pile, and we had just enough time left over for some bonus comics sightseeing a few miles up the road.