The winner of the 2017 Emerging Talent Award at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CxC) is Kat Fajardo, creator of comics such as Gringa! and the Bandida series. The award was presented to Fajardo on the show floor by festival president Jeff Smith, executive director Tom Spurgeon, and treasurer Vijaya Iyer. Fajardo joins past winners Kevin Czap and Katie Skelly as the Emerging Talent Award winner at the festival's third year.
We spoke briefly to Fajardo at her table shortly after winning the award on Saturday. Though she was already sold out of comics, like many artists at the show this year, she was helping to raise money for hurricane victims with commissions. She also had a sign-up sheet for the La Raza Anthology, which raised more than $13,000 for its Kickstarter launch in 2016. Fajardo revealed that she had just received the printed copies of the book.
Fajardo told us that winning the prize was "very overwhelming. People took photos of what was happening, but in most of them I'm just crying and trying to keep my tears back. It's been very satisfying."
"I have some mini-comics lined up, sequels to my older mini-comics and zines," Fajardo said when asked what she planned to do with the award's accompanying $7,500 prize. "I plan on printing some copies out, in addition to donating part of it to hurricane and earthquake relief."
Find out more about Kat Fajardo's work at her website, and keep up with the La Raza Anthology at its Tumblr. You can pick up some of her work digitally, including the La Raza Anthology and Gringa!, at Gumroad.