Cartoonist Jerzy Drozd steps in for the late Tom Spurgeon

When Tom Spurgeon died in November, friends and colleagues within the Columbus comics community spoke of having big shoes to fill, and how it would take a group effort to carry on in his absence. 

One of the many voids left in Spurgeon's wake was his role as the executive director of Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC), which has now been filled, at least on an interim basis, by cartoonist Jerzy Drozd, whose wife, Anne, is the museum coordinator at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. Drodz will work alongside Jeff Smith, CXC's co-founder and artistic director, as well as the fest's board of directors, led by board president Rebecca Perry Damsen.

“Anne and I have been attending CXC every year since it began, and we were immediately enamored of the event's spirit,” Drozd said in a press release announcing his new role. “Its inclusive celebration of all forms of comics, the people who make them, and the many institutions that help shape the festival sent a clear message to us: Columbus is a place where cartooning is a revered endeavor. I have a lot of affection for CXC and feel honored to be asked to help achieve its mission.”

CXC, now in its sixth year, is set to take place Oct. 1-4.