The List: Five events worth scoping out at CXC

Justin McIntosh
Tom Spurgeon, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus executive director, and cartoonist Jeff Smith, the festival's founder, at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum at OSU

A conversation with a co-worker this week went something like this:

Me: “Are you going to CXC this weekend?”

Co-worker: “No. Wait, what’s that?”

Me: [Explains what CXC is and talks about some events of interest.]

Co-worker: “Dav Pilkey? Oh, I’m going to that. Got my tickets already, too!”

You can imagine the GIF that looped through my head.

Anyway, I recall the conversation because it illustrates the best and worst part of CXC: So much goodness is going on all over the city that keeping track of it all can be overwhelming. Even those in the know sometimes don’t know, you know?

If you’re not sure where to begin this weekend, consider these fine options. (Alas, the Pilkey event set to take place at the Wexner Center for the Arts on Friday, Sept. 27, is sold-out.)

CXC 2019 Keynote: Mike Mignola in Person (A Conversation With Jeff Smith)

4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27

Wexner Center for the Arts (Mershon Auditorium)

If ever there was a hero for our modern age, it’s Hellboy.

Summoned by Nazis as a boy from the bowels of hell in 1944, Hellboy is rescued and adopted by an American professor and grows into a spoiled man-child determined to avoid the fate set before him by his demon father, Azzael.

And what is that fate? Starting the apocalypse and ushering in, well, the total annihilation of everything.

I mean, who can’t relate, right?

Whatever it was, something about Hellboy resonated with hordes of Americans, enough so, at least, that it spawned two separate film series. (The most recent of which is an underrated stoner monster gem, if you ask me.)

So suffice it to say: Between that and the just-announced one-shot coming out soon, there will be plenty for host (and “Bone” creator) Jeff Smith to talk about with “Hellboy” creator Mike Mignola.

CXC Expo and Marketplace

10:59 a.m.-5:01 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28

1-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29

Columbus Metropolitan Library, Main Library (2nd Floor Reading Room)

Hark! Danger is ahead.

Your money, though now safe, is soon to vanish.

Behold 135 dope comics-makers selling everything from mini-comics, graphic novels and original art to posters, prints, T-shirts, pins and maybe even headbands, who knows?

Definitely in attendance will be publishers like Fantagraphics and Silver Sprocket, along with creators like Nate Powell.

The entire experience at the library should be next-level. Signings, workshops, panel discussions and other programming will run concurrently with the expo and marketplace, while a sidewalk chalk slam run by editorial cartoonists will go down outside the library.

Talk and Lecture: CM Campbell: Maximum Horror in Comics: How “Uzamaki” Scared You

1-1:50 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (Will Eisner Seminar Room)

For those unafraid to take a late lunch and peek behind the curtain, this talk and lecture by CCAD’s newest comics teacher, CM Campbell, will surely thrill.

Using contrasting examples from literature and film, Campbell will dive deep into Junji Ito’s classic seinen horror manga, “Uzumaki,” to reveal how the master storyteller scared the bejeezus out of entire generations.

A History of British Animation

4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26

Wexner Center for the Arts (Film/Video Theater)

Amid the flurry of activities centered on the printed version of cartooning, it’d be easy to forget how much more CXC has to offer. Particularly as it relates to cartooning’s animated form.

This 75-minute program of short animated works organized by the British Film Institute is no exception. Of particular note: a pioneering stop-motion film and a propaganda piece titled “Adolf’s Busy Day” (!).

More Years: How Donald Trump Has Changed the Course of Political Cartooning

3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28

Columbus Metropolitan Library, Main Library (Auditorium)

Oh, Nov. 9, 2016. We were so naïve. Or maybe just desperate — struggling, reaching, striving for silver linings. Any scrap of hope to cling to, really.

So some of us thought: “Maybe the art will be better?”

Weeeell, about that.

You can expect this panel to have much more to say on the topic.