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Happy Columbus Hour: Our CXC 2017 Intermission

McKinley statue II!

William McKinley, 25th President of the United States of America, born and raised in Ohio. It’s not the first McKinley monument we’ve seen this year.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: last weekend my wife Anne and I attended the third annual Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, where I immersed myself in the wonderful world of comic book creators and the associated arts. In our typical entertainment “comic con” experiences we usually try to find a balance between the world of comics — totally my thing — and the experience of greeting actors from films and TV shows we’ve enjoyed, which has been her thing a bit longer than it’s been my thing, but now it’s our thing. Either of us gets self-conscious whenever a given event is lopsided more in favor of our interests than in the other’s. Given our eighteen-year road trip history together, comics and celebs aren’t our only interests when we’re away from home.

Partly as a cheerful concession to Anne, but mostly out of a shared mood to explore, after lunch we took a break from CXC and took a half-mile walk westward to see a bit more of that Ohio state capital.

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Our Cartoon Crossroads Columbus 2017 Photos

CXC Comics!

So you say you like comic books? Not just like them, but LIKE-like them? Have we got a show for you!

Last Saturday my wife Anne and I had the pleasure of attending the third annual Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, an enlightening expo in the heart of Ohio for hardcore fans of comic books, graphic novels, the Graphic Storytelling Medium, and whatever other labels my fellow fans slap on their favorite hobby. You’d think Anne and I had our fill of cons after all the shows we’ve been doing this year. We can honestly say we’ve officially reached burnout, but CXC isn’t your ordinary average “comic con”. CXC has no Hollywood actors. No celebrities. No cosplay. No photo-op booths. No gaming. No eBay toy dealers. No Funco Pops. No comic shops selling Marvel Ultimate trades by the pound as horse feed. No lengthy list of famous guest cancellations due to filming or showrunner malfeasance. And no sugar gliders.

What does that leave, you may ask before you close your browser tab in disappointment? Comics. CXC puts the “comic” back in “comic con” and then runs the “con” part through an intense filtration process to produce the purest possible form of the original sense of the phrase. CXC is the perfect show for the comics fan who’s disappointed by the increasingly mixed bag that the average Artists Alley has become at many large-scale shows. CXC is a bountiful bazaar for the collector who wants to buy something besides prints or self-published novels. CXC is a happy haven for readers who know there’s more to comics than Marvel and DC. CXC is a knowledgeable nexus for the artistic literati above my station, sneering at any comics retailer who thinks stocking some Image Comics by former Marvel writers is all the “diversity” they can handle.

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A Cavalcade of Comics and Cartoons in Columbus

CXC Banner!

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.

Right this way for a selection of pics from our experience!

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