John Tolley, September 25, 2017

As you may have gathered from our previous coverage of The Ohio State University?s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, we?re not exactly strangers to the world of comics.

So it should come as no surprise that when we heard that OSU?s Sõl-Con 2017 was right around the corner, we knew we had to get the word out.

Sõl-Con: The Brown and Black Comix Expo, which takes place in Columbus Sept. 28-Oct. 1, is a production of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion?s Latinx Space for Enrichment & Research (LASER). Approaching its third year, the event is the only collegiate comic book expo that purposefully celebrates the work of Black and Latinx artists, writers, editors, inkers, pencillers, filmmakers and authors.

The origin story of Sõl-Con begins with Frederick Luis Aldama, LASER?s founder and director. Looking to create a bridge between communities of color across campus, Aldama hit on the idea of comic books, graphic novels and ?zines. He enlisted the help of Latino Comics Expo founder Ricardo Padilla and SUNY-Buffalo professor and artists John Jennings to help organize the first Sõl-Con in 2015.

Speaking to The Washington Post in 2015, Aldama said that with Sõl-Con he?s looking to elevate voices that have traditionally been ignored.

 ?One of the great things about putting on an event like this is that it puts a spotlight on the importance of this talent, in a way that even people who are bottom line about dollars will understand that there is a market,? Aldama says. ?A market that has largely been marginalized and that, if they don?t wake up to it, tomorrow they are not going to be having that bottom line.?

In years past, Sõl-Con panelists and guest have included Lalo Alcaraz (?La Cucaracha?), Tony Puryear (?Concrete Park?) and Hector Rodriguez (?El Peso Hero?). 2017 will see guests getting a chance to meet and mingle with J.M. Hunter, Verzell James and Albert Morales, among others. There will also be a screening of the film White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books.

All Sõl-Con events, panels and receptions are free and open to the public. For more information, visit the link above or here.