Taking place in October, the virtual festival will invite attendees to participate in live streamed events with special guests and take part in online cartooning workshops.
In any given year, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus has a footprint that covers a wide swath of Columbus, from the campus of Ohio State University to the halls of the Columbus Metropolitan Library Main Branch.
This year, however, the four-day festival celebrating all things illustrated will pivot to an online format due to concerns about the coronavirus. Taking place in October, the virtual festival will invite attendees to participate in live streamed events with special guests and take part in online cartooning workshops.
All activities and presentations will be offered for free. Table fees paid by exhibitors accepted to the physical CXC expo will be fully refunded, and those exhibitors will be invited to participate in the new event without charge.
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Organizers hope that the new format may make the sixth iteration of CXC more accessible to comic book and animation enthusiasts the world over.
"The goal will be to reproduce the easy fellowship and rapport unique to CXC and open the festival to a wider audience that can experience it from anywhere in the world," Jeff Smith, CXC’s artistic director, said in a written statement. "We’ll still have great guests, professional tools to bolster our community, lots of fun and some new surprises."
The festival will take place between Oct. 1 and 4, but organizers are leaving open the possibility of extending events before and after the main show.
CXC’s partner organizations — which include the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, the Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Columbus College of Art & Design, and the Columbus Museum of Art — are deciding what their participation might look like this year.