“Calvin was one of the very first grown ups to get that comics are an art form, not a genre; they are a medium of literature,” said Vijaya Iyer, Cartoon Books publisher and CXC co-founder, in a statement accompanying the announcement. “It took a pivotal figure like Calvin Reid to not only recognize the value of comics and graphic novels, but to use his position as a writer at the most important book trade magazine, Publishers Weekly, to shout it from the mountain top!”
“I want new readers (as well as comics artists) to know that the world of comics they live in now is very different than it used to be,” Reid said in the announcement. “It’s a world of indie, literary comics, superhero, manga, Webtoon, just an endless variety of genre comics of all types for all kinds of readers. And that I was lucky and proud to be able to help bring about some of that change and growth in the marketplace.”
The award was established in 2021 to honor comics journalist Tom Spurgeon, the editor of The Comics Reporter and one of the founders of CXC (see “CXC Festival Launches Tom Spurgeon Award”), who died in 2019. It recognizes individuals who are not comics creators but have made substantial contributions to the field.
“This is a terrific honor and I can't tell you how much it means to me,” Reid said. “It's even more meaningful to get an award named after Tom Spurgeon, who went out of his way to make sure I was able to attend CXC in the first place.”