Six weeks ago, four comic fans made the decision to form an organization with the purpose of improving awareness for the comic community in Columbus.
In that time, the organization Columbus Comics Creator Coalition, also known as C-4, has organized a kickoff event, called Comics and Cans, to introduce themselves to the city and raise money for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
The Comics and Cans event will be held at What the Rock?, a rock ‘n’ roll-themed gift store located in the Short North and will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday.
The four members of the group, James Moore, Katie Baadke, Ken Eppstein and Christian Hoffer, all share a love of comics, but come from different backgrounds and experiences.
Moore has published three books over the past year-and-a-half with artist Joel Jackson under the label of Two Headed Monster Comics, and said he never dropped out of the comic hobby.
Moore, who has been reading comics since 1993, said he’s “followed the long and twisting path of comics over the last decade.”
Baadke, the only female member of the team, is the artist and author for an autobiographical web-comic called “Next Year’s Girl,” which she started as a New Year’s resolution.
“I had fallen into an art-rut and that was my way of shaking myself out of it,” Baadke said.
Eppstein, the editor and writer of “Nix Comics Quarterly,” a locally published magazine, said his interest in comics goes back to the late 70s and the early 80s.
Hoffer, the editor-in-chief for theouthousers.com, a comic book website that includes articles, reviews and feature stories, said he began reading comic books while he attended college.
Moore said he wanted to start an organization like C-4 because he was upset that so much talent in Columbus wasn’t getting noticed.
Moore said the group began discussing the beginnings of their organization on April 15 at the release party for Eppstein’s second issue of “Nix Comics Quarterly.”
“We started talking about the event and then from there it kinda blew up really quick, faster than we intended,” Moore said.
Before the group had a chance to decide on concrete goals for their organization they had to start planning their event, but they still knew what the purpose of their organization should be.
“Our purpose is two-fold. The first one is to get a better sense of organization in the comic community in Columbus,” Hoffer said.
“The second one is, in order to build this community, we also want to have a presence within the city of Columbus in general.”
Owner of What the Rock?, Mike Renner, said the event fits well with their store.
“I think it’s gonna be a great event. It fits with the theme of our store,” Renner said. “We sell mixed comics here and we’re getting other local publications in. We try to support local charities and local artists all at the same time.”
Renner believes the event will be something current customers can enjoy, and that it will also encourage customers to visit What the Rock? for the first time.
The event will include live artists, whose work will be on sale during the event as well as the following month at What the Rock?
One of the live artists participating in the event is Jackson.
“For as long as I can remember I was interested in comics,” Jackson said. “There is something interesting about comics, it’s not quite literature, it’s not quite pure visual art, it’s weird. It’s a combination of the two.”
For his live art, Jackson plans to bring wooden cassette-shaped blocks to personalize for customers.
One side of the block will have the details of a typical cassette tape, and the other side will be left blank so the customer can choose what will be drawn, possibly a favorite band, Jackson said.
A raffle will also help raise money with prizes including the work of local comics, gift certificates from World’s Greatest Comics, a comic shop in Westerville, Ohio, and a full collection of panel comics, a type of comic with a single frame.
Raffle tickets can be purchased at the event for $1 or one canned food item. All proceeds from the raffle and art sales will go directly to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
The art created during the event will be on display and for sale, at What the Rock? until June 25.