Cartoon Crossroads Columbus was supposed to start small this year. A toe in the water before the event organizers took the full on plunge in 2016.

CXC's test run runs wild

Cartoon Crossroads Columbus was supposed to start small this year. A toe in the water before the event organizers took the full on plunge in 2016. One new major cash prize, two separate expos, office academic talk and teach sessions, 15 special guests and what seemed like countless articles in major publications such as Forbes and Publisher's Weekly later, it became clear that CXC's inaugural year wasn't so much a timid dip as a big splash!

Women artists and creators receive top honors

The stereotype of comics creators being middle aged man-children has been a tough one for the industry to shed, but significant strides in recognition for women artists were made in 2015. For instance, every Ignatz Award winner at the Small Press Expo was a woman. (Trust me. That's a big deal. If the Eisners are the Oscars of the comics world, then the indie-centric Ignatz awards are the Emmys.)

Packrat Comics wins Eisner Retailer Award

Speaking of the Eisners, congratulations to our very own Packrat Comics in Hilliard, this year's Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. Lacking the budget and distribution of its counterparts in music and film, the comics industry must rely on its retailers to create an informed and receptive audience. The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award is one way for the industry to recognize the retailers who best create that connection between creator and reader.

Shifting geography of comics

New York City is the birthplace of the modern comic book thanks to Max Gaines and his Famous Funnies, a tabloid-sized collection of newspaper strips. New York City would continue to be the hub of major comic publishers until this year, when DC Comics, itself a child of Gaines' All American Publications, moved its primary offices from New York to Burbank, California, in 2015.

Charlie Hebdo

With a full year of accolades and accomplishments, it can be easy to forget that the biggest news in comics was a frightening reminder of their power to incite as well as educate and entertain. No one knew that the attacks on Charlie Hebdo's office in January of this year would soon be overshadowed, but the satirical publication's defiance of terror would set a tone of strength and unity to be echoed by all of Paris in the wake in the more recent attacks. Je suis Charlie.