Here are my favorite comics making resources! My focus here is indie and alternative comics and where you can find them in Cleveland. This list is never complete. Please tell me about any resources/cons/shops that you think should be on this list! Updated October 19th, 2020. ” * ” denotes a resource I have not experienced but have heard good things about. 🙂

Cons and Festivals text in italics is from their corresponding websites

  • Genghis Con (Cleveland)
    • Genghis Con’s priority is celebrating the independent, DIY ethic with a focus on the art and language of comics and visual storytelling.
    • When I think of the Cleveland indie comics scene, I think of Genghis Con. Always takes place the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The only con I’ve tabled at so far. Huge, bazaar style, lots of minicomics. You’ve got to go to Genghis Con!
  • Pekar Park Comic Festival (Cleveland)
    • This festival is a small local festival featuring only cartoonists and zinesters of Cleveland. 2019’s festival included a marketplace, a few panels, a workshop, and a movie viewing. This one is around the block from me – in 2017 it was my first ever comics and zines festival.
  • BOUND Art Book + Zine Fair (Cleveland)
    • At MOCA’s BOUND Art Book + Zine Fair, we celebrate the work of writers, artists, and musicians who embrace inclusion and the DIY ethos, giving publishers a place to share their diverse voices with Cleveland.
    • I’ve only been to this festival once, briefly, and I didn’t get to stay very long.
  • Flaming River Con (Cleveland)
    • Midwest’s first Queer Geek Con! Your queer destination for everything geek, nerd, and fandom. With vendors and sponsors, we’re bringing you comics, cosplay, drag, panels, art, books, podcasts and more!
    • They’ve only been around for two years. I was a day-of volunteer in 2019, and that year was at the Cleveland Public Library main branch. Fantastic panels, super geeky, super gay, so basically like the best con ever. Not a ton of comics because it’s more of a general pop culture con, but a good showing of cartoonists and illustrators.
  • Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (Columbus)
    • We hope to provide an international showcase for the best of cartoon art in all its forms, including comics, animation, editorial cartoons, newspaper strips, and beyond, in a city that is a growing center of importance to comics and cartooning. We also focus on helping the next generation of young cartooning talent develop thriving careers that invigorate the industry for years to come.
    • CXC is HUGE. I attended it for the first time last year (2019). I believe it is similar to CAKE. Big names, tons of panels. It is now my favorite festival. 
  • S.P.A.C.E. (Columbus)*
    • You never know what you’ll find at S.P.A.C.E. A new favorite. An old one. Multiple genres represented. People from the webcomics world. People who just do mini-comics. The show has creators just starting out. As well as creators who have been working on their craft for quite some time. Pro… amateur… the common thread is they’re all creating their own thing.
  • Other zine and small press fairs

Independent Book Stores

Here are some local stores where you can buy and sell your comics and zines.


  • Get Graphic!
    • A free comics discussion group hosted by Cleveland Public Library and the Ohio Center for The Book
  • Coffee and Comics
    • A free monthly workshop featuring a new guest comics professional each month, hosted by the Ohio Center for The Book and Rising Star Coffee
  • Mac’s Backs graphic novel book club*
    • Haven’t been – but I heard it exists!


  • Make It the Tell Everybody
    • This. Podcast. Got. Me. Hooked. OMG you need to listen to Dan Berry’s podcast. He’s a great conversationalist. He’s like so not afraid to be honest about the good and the bad, and that makes his guests so honest. A great range of what comics can be. This really convinced me that comics can be whatever you make them to be, and you can make them however you want, and by no means do you have to be on this epic capital C Comics Artist path your whole life in order to make a comic.
  • Dirty Old Ladies
    • Great if you want to self publish
  • Graphic Novel TK
    • Great if you want a publisher for your graphic novel
  • Drawing A Dialogue*
  • Salt and Honey*

Books & Comics

  • Making Comics by Lynda Barry
  • Syllabus by Lynda Barry
  • Making Comics by Scott McCloud
  • Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
  • Reinventing Comics by Scott McCloud
  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures*
  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott*
  • Will Eisner: Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner*


Community Posting Boards

Cartoonist Databases


Zine Distros

to be added…