CXC plans some in-person events for 2021, announces the Tom Spurgeon Award

This year’s Cartoon Crossroads Columbus will be a hybrid event, with some events hosted online and some in-person.

Cartoon Crossroads Columbus has announced that this year they plan to return to hosting live crowds, as this year’s event, scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 3, will feature both in-person and online events.

Like most comics festivals and conventions, CXC went all virtual for its 2020 show due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CXC said some events this year will be online only, including the CXC Expo, and several of the in-person events will be broadcast online. They plan to follow the city of Columbus’s health guidelines and the recommendations of its programming sponsors when determining any necessary precautions. More details on programming and locations are forthcoming.

“Every Fall the art community in Columbus comes together for CXC, and once again we’ve put together an incredible guest list of creators,” said Bone creator Jeff Smith, CXC’s co-founder and artistic director. “Whether in person or online, we have events and activities planned for anyone who likes cartoons. Which is everyone!”

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Comics Lowdown | Zunar is in trouble again

Plus: A new graphic novel looks at Japanese Americans who resisted internment.

Zunar’s cartoon critiquing the minster of the state of Kedah, who canceled the festival of Thaipusam. The cleaver says “No Thaipusam” and the caption on the right reads “Kedah’s inhabitants lived in peace until he came.”

The Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar is in trouble with the law again. Police in the state of Kedah have summoned him to appear before them on May 7 (the original date, given in the linked article, was May 2 but it was rescheduled) for violating the country’s sedition law, a much-criticized relic of its colonial past, with a cartoon criticizing the Kedah state minister’s decision to cancel the traditional Tamil Hindu festival of Thaipusam.

Zunar got into lots of trouble during the tenure of Prime Minister Najib Razak, whom he mocked endlessly for his corruption; Razak was not amused and his government repeatedly raided Zunar’s studio, confiscated his books, banned him from traveling, and brought charges against him that could have led to lengthy prison sentences. The pressure eased once Najib was voted out.

Ironically, Zunar’s latest skirmish coincides with World Press Freedom Day, which was Monday; several national and international groups have criticized the Malaysian government for its repressive stance.

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Jeff Smith returns with a crowdfunding campaign for ‘Tuki: Fight for Fire’

The creator of ‘Bone’ and ‘RASL’ is crowdfunding two volumes of his latest project.

Jeff Smith, creator of one of the best-ever kid’s comics of all time, Bone, and the science fiction romp RASL, is crowdfunding his next project — the resurrected Tuki: Fight for Fire.

As longtime fans of the creator know, Tuki started life as a webcomic back in 2013. It grew from Smith’s love of fantastic heroes of pulp fiction, mythical lost realms and human evolution.

“I’ve always been fascinated by evolution,” Smith writes on the project’s Kickstarter page. “I visited Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, the famous archaeological site occupied by many early humans over time. Standing down amongst the rocks and dirt, looking up at the swaying trees above the gorge, I had a vision of multiple human species walking around and interacting with each other. It was almost like seeing an echo of something that really happened.”

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What Are You Reading? | Red Goblins, celestial avatars, Klan smashers and Texas blood

See what the Smash Pages crew has checked off their ‘to read’ list lately.

Like I said last week, summertime is the right time for crossovers and comics. This week brought us a taste of Empyre, Marvel’s big crossover event featuring the Avengers, The Fantastic Four, the Kree, the Skrulls, the Blue Area of the Moon, the Swordsman and all that crazy cosmic space action Marvel fans have come to know and love. You can see Carla’s thoughts on it below, along with a list of comics Shane has been buying for his kids and Tom’s thoughts on two politically minded books from DC.

You can tell us what you’ve been reading in the comments below or on social media.

Shane Bailey

Lately my kids have started wanting to read more comics. My little one has always been into them, but now the older kids are as well. So I let them pick out their own comics to read on comiXology Unlimited.

My 9 yr old son picked Amazing Spider-Man: The Red Goblin by Dan Slott and Stuart Immonen, and he loves it. He wouldn’t stop commenting on how crazy scary Norman Osborn is, how it was gross when Carnage bit the head off a rat, and during one issue when the Goblin had a captive and was interrogating him, he wondered aloud over who it was, making guesses and gasping when he found out who it was and that Norman knew who Spider-Man was. It’s great seeing him get excited at things that are old hat for me. It made me appreciate those moments more.

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CBLDF announces the Rory D. Root Comics Ambassador Grant

New program offers grant money to retailers to encourage ‘community building through the creation of events promoting comics as a valuable form of free expression.’

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has announced a new grant program aimed at “encouraging community building through the creation of events promoting comics as a valuable form of free expression.”

The Rory D. Root Comics Ambassador Grant is named for the beloved owner of the Berkeley, California-based comic shop Comic Relief, who passed away in 2008.

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Support free speech with these ‘retro’ CBLDF designs

Get shirts, hats, phone cases and more featuring artwork by Frank Miller, Jeff Smith, Mike Allred, James Kochalka, Jim Lee and many others.

Over the years comic creators have donated artwork to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund for use on membership cards, T-shirts and other premiums. Many of them quickly sold out and haven’t been available for a while — until now. CBLDF has launched a Threadless shop, offering shirts and other items featuring some of their “retro” artwork.

For instance, you can get a shirt featuring Mike Allred’s Lady Liberty drawing, which graced the cover of a CBLDF anthology in 2014. There’s also Frank Miller’s Defiant Fist, which would look great on a throw pillow. Or this patriotic Bone artwork, if you’re looking for something for the kids. Additional artwork by Cliff Chiang, Terry Moore, Jim Lee, Judd Winick and more can also be found on the site.

Proceeds benefit the fund, so head on over to Threadless to check them out.

Cartoon Art Museum presents Jeff Smith with the Sparky Award

The award celebrates ‘the significant contributions of cartoon artists who embody the talent, innovation and humanity of Charles M. Schulz.’

Last Saturday Bone creator Jeff Smith became the latest recipient of the Sparky Award during a visit to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Library

Named in honor of Peanuts creator Charles “Sparky” Schulz, the Sparky Award is presented on behalf of the Cartoon Art Museum and the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Library. The award celebrates the significant contributions of cartoon artists who embody the talent, innovation and humanity of Charles M. Schulz.

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Comics Lowdown: Wakanda fashion show, marketplace celebrates artisans and Black Panther

Plus: Roxane Gay thoughts on diversity, Jeff Smith, Cully Hamner, public-domain comics and more!

Excited for the increasing spotlight on Black Panther with the feature film coming out in 2018, retailer Fantom Comics in Washington, D.C. hosted a unique event known as Move or You Will Be Moved: A Black Panther Fashion Show over the weekend. The haute couture show included cosplay and Wakandan street fashion, and a marketplace of local black creators selling their jewelry, clothing and other Afrofuturist fashion accessories. Plus of course, Black Panther comics and paraphernalia.

“Where’s all the Black Panther merchandise? We’re less than a year out, and we don’t have any Happy Meal toys or anything we can just get on hand,” Sellars asked, introducing the concept to the crowd. “So with that came this idea of what about an Afro-futuristic showcase of what it means to be great? Of what it means to be in Wakanda.”

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Jeff Smith’s ‘Smiley’s Dream Book’ picture book coming next summer [Updated]

New project with Scholastic/Graphix features Fone Bone’s buddy.

Earlier this week Bone creator Jeff Smith teased on social media that his next project would be announced at Comic-Con this week, and lo and behold, here it is:

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Cartoon Crossroads Columbus festival: A photo diary (of sorts)

Spurred on by an invitation (and offer of free room and board) from festival director Tom Spurgeon, my friend Joe McCulloch I attended the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus festival, held in Columbus, Ohio, last weekend.

If you want a full blow-by-blow account of our trip, check out the latest episode of Comic Books Are Burning in Hell (shameless plug). What follows however, is a (somewhat) brief photo diary of my adventures.  It was a good time.

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Jeff Smith, Keith Knight, Peter Kuper and more turn their pens to the presidential election

With Comic-Con and the Republican National Convention occurring in the same week, The Guardian enlisted several cartoonists to draw their renditions of Trump and more.

Comic-Con International wasn’t the only convention happening in the United States last week; there was another convention with crazier, more colorful characters living in a fantasy world — the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. To mark this confluence of events, The Guardian asked several comic artists to turn their artistic talents to that other convention and the upcoming election.

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