Juan here with updates from this weekend. Just got back to Pittsburgh and wanted to write up some thoughts off the cuff before I headed off to work. I’m exhausted but energized <3

We had a doozy of a Comics Workbook operation running full force at LICAF in Kendal and at the 2nd Annual CXC in Columbus! I joined Sacha Mardou, Alyssa Berg, Whit Taylor, Kurt Ankeny, Sally Ingraham, Caleb Orecchio and Emil Friis Ernst in Columbus. I have lots of thoughts on the bang up show that the fine folks at CXC put on. For now, I’ll share what I can!

Whit Taylor will be putting together a comprehensive Festival recap for Cartoon Crossroads Columbus later this week, so stay tuned for that! AND Frank Santoro will be reflecting on his time at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in just a bit [He’s still got to return stateside with Aidan and Connor ;)]. Things got deep for him and the rest of the crew over in the UK and you won’t want to miss those updates, loyal reader.


First off, a HUGE thank you to everyone on the Cartoon Crossroads Staff including Jeff Smith, Vijaya Iyer, Kathleen Glosan, Lucy Caswell, Tom Spurgeon and Caitlin McGurk for all of the tireless work that they did to make this festival a unique experience for a multitude of comics reading perspectives: academics professionals, aficionados, and new readers – the team’s work has created a unique experience that offers both depth and breadth. Incredible.

Mad props to Sergio Aragonés, Carol Tyler who received the 2016 CXC Master Cartoonist awards for their lifetime work in comics – and Kevin Czapieski for their CXC Emerging Talent award. What a time to be alive in comics.

Highlights for me:

Locations – The Billy Ireland is heaven on earth. The Metropolitan Library is glorious. Spacious, open spaces that look out to the treetops. I was able to breath and stay calm even at the most stressful moments of my experience.

Scheduling – Smooth as silk. Attendees had oodles to choose from. Little to no double booking that prevented people from seeing all that they wanted to see.

Exhibitor selection – The selection ran wide and deep, in one room. Great curatorial choices on CXC’s part.

Volunteer Assistance – Always on hand to assist with tech for presentations, to get materials, to cover for people’s tables, to direct around facilities… invaluable.

I’d like to share some moments from our time in Columbus:


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LIVE at CXC!!! #comicsworkbook

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The CW crew, packing it up at CXC (Alyssa Berg not pictured – She’s behind the camera ;))


On the home front here in Pittsburgh, we had the 6th Annual Pittsburgh Zine Fair which saw record attendance. I’m one of the organizers of the fair, so I was overjoyed to see photos of everyone’s days over on FB and Instagram. And when I heard that we had record breaking attendance of over 700 attendees? Well, my heart just skipped a beat. Print is alive and well here in Pittsburgh. I can’t wait to join up with the rest of the organizing committee: Christina Lee, Maggie Negrete and Raiona Gaydos to debrief and start plotting and scheming for the zine fair’s next adventure.


I leave you with the view that I got, homeward bound from Columbus. Suffice to say I left with energized, ready to lean in and make some new work and teach my heart out.

until next time,


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