Eisner Award-winning comics journalist and c0-founder of the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus festival Tom Spurgeon turned 49 today, and in honor of this landmark achievement, Spurgeon sent a letter out to his friends and colleagues to solicit some cash donations. Normally, we wouldn't share private correspondence, but Spurgeon also posted the email to his website, The Comics Reporter, so we're pretty sure it's okay. In the email, Spurgeon reflects back on his recent accomplishments, but not before opening up with a special request.
"This is a note asking for money," Spurgeon writes. "Just $5, even, but still. I'm writing this on my birthday, and I'm being reflective and sentimental, but I'm definitely also asking for money."
It's unknown why Spurgeon doesn't have all the money that he needs after working so long in the highly lucrative field of comics journalism, but those are questions for another day. For now, let's concentrate on what Spurgeon wants that cash for: the continued development of a world class comics festival in Columbus, Ohio.
"I think we now have the shape of the CXC we want in a guests and programming sense," he continues. "We'll get better at executing into the model, and there will be significant flourishes to keep things lively. We want a show that's a must-attend for fans of the art form at all levels of interest, and a show that gives back to the professional community it hopes to serve. We're getting there."
"This year we get to pay more attention to professional development," Spurgeon goes on. "The goal is that this isn't just a value of our programming, which it is, but that we respond to the needs of working makers with a combination of practical advice, directives and resources to make their lives better. I'm not sure we can ever get to a place where cartooning isn't heartbreaking and difficult on some level, but that doesn't absolve us from trying to lighten your load."
To that end, Spurgeon gets to the point: "So in a way this letter is really just the standard December 'ask' you get from me hoping to catch you in an end-of-year, holiday mood, reminding you that CXC is a non-profit that accepts tax-deductible donations. We can accept them straight up at the paypal account firstname.lastname@example.org. We can accept them in check and money order form at 51 Jefferson Ave #204 Columbus OH 43215. We can accept them just about any way you're prepared to give them and I hope you'll e-mail me if you have something in mind."
Though Spurgeon is admittedly hoping for a holiday hand-out, he does note that potential contributors first look at more important charities, both in comics and outside of it, such as Puerto Rico hurricane victims. If you've got a little left over after that, however, Spurgeon hopes you'll send it to CxC. Spurgeon notes that any donations will count toward fulfilling obligations of giving him a birthday present.
The next Cartoon Crossroads Columbus is set for September 27th-30th, 2018.