Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

December 16, 2018

A Public Service Announcement Upon Turning 50

So I turned 50 years old at 12:01 AM on Sunday. I know, right?

While I'm sure I will make a lot of jokes about my encroaching senility and ongoing, spectacular tumble from relevance, I feel pretty great. I had a great 2018 with some amazing surprises. I feel I should have died back in 2011 so all of these years are bonus ones. I think being 50 is going to be wonderful.

imageMy other job in comics is working as Executive Director of Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC). CXC is a growing, multiple-venue, creator-focused comics festival in beautiful Central Ohio. We are held between SPX and New York Comic Con in the last weekend of September: This year we are September 26-29. CXC does two days on campus; then two days in a standard expo downtown in a magnificent library space. We use several different venues throughout town, like a big film festival might: the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, The Wexner Center For The Arts, CCAD, Thurber House, Columbus Museum of Art among them.

CXC had a highly fun and rewarding show in 2018 (Kazu Kibuishi! Olivia Jaimes! Sally Cruikshank! Jim Woodring! Lynn Johnston!) and are hard at work on adjustments to make 2019 an even better experience for everyone.

One thing CXC failed to do as we went through significant growing pains this year is put together a properly structured individual donors program. Let me apologize for that and any unasked-for e-mail you might have received.

In 2019, our formal individual asks will launch in late May, generated from a custom database with reminders in early October and during the holidays. Back here in 2018, our program requires one more reminder through my other on-line presence that CXC is an established non-profit with all the tax advantages of donating to same. Welcome to that reminder.

Every dollar donated helps CXC put on our festival and give back directly to creators in attendance. CXC pays honoraria for program preparation and a per diem to special guests. We provide a first-rate experience to our hosted guests, and multiple teaching and celebratory events to everyone we can. We are a free show. We are just beginning to tackle the issue of exhibitor table refunds and a just staff/volunteer balance, which is very exciting. Our goal is that everyone leaves CXC with as much as possible in terms of direct reward, entertainment and good times, professional opportunity, inspiration and straight-up business done.

Giving to a show in today's environment is tough. There is so much need. There are creators in obvious direct financial need. There are creators from a lot of marginalized communities that don't receive the same opportunities their peers have been. There are important concerns about just behavior, humane conduct and positive human interaction within the industry and how to meet bare minimum expectations for how we treat one another. All of these are noble causes and I hope you pay attention to them through this site and others.

On my 50th birthday, I felt strongly enough about CXC's potential positive role to say so. I hope that CXC or similar shows for which you care may be a part of your year-end spending.

Thank you for all the birthday wishes. I hope to be a better 50-something than 40-something. I also hope your life in comics is as amazing as mine has been and continues to reward. Happy holidays of every kind. Thank for every and any way you contribute.


* for donating to CXC: or 51 Jefferson Ave #204 Columbus OH 43215.

* this site runs a Monday round-up of comics creators and causes in need called Comics By Request. A repeat subject this year has been Jim Wheelock but every column episode features someone in need.

* to find members of marginlized communities in need more generally, I look to my own own twitter feed. Be attentive to requests. GoFundMe, IndieGoGo and Kickstarter can be searched.

* the major campaign of the moment regarding industry conduct and legal reprisal is that supporting those cartoonists sued by an industry peer for publicly calling into question that person's behavior.



posted 5:00 pm PST | Permalink

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