Courtesy C. Spike Trotman

The XOXO Festival returns for a fourth sold-out year this weekend. It’s a conference all about using digital means to make a creative living, with presenters ranging from tech entrepreneurs to podcasters.  

One of the speakers who caught our eye was C. Spike Trotman. She got her start in comics with the web series “Templar, Arizona,” about a slightly irregular town filled with junkies, millionaires, strange subcultures, and weird religions.  

C. Spike Trotman's series "Templar, Arizona" was named one of the best webcomics of 2005 by The Webcomics Examiner. 

C. Spike Trotman’s series “Templar, Arizona” was named one of the best webcomics of 2005 by The Webcomics Examiner

Courtesy of C. Spike Trotman

After realizing that no one was publishing the kind of stories she wanted to read — stories about people of color, queer people, people dealing with the everyday issues of being human — she decided to start her own publishing house, Iron Circus Comics. She has since used Kickstarter to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for a half dozen graphic novels and comic anthologies, including two collections of erotica comics written by women: “Smut Pedler,” horror anthology “The Sleep of Reason,” and two books about living life with less called “Poorcraft.”

Producer Aaron Scott spoke with Trotman about the growth of webcomics, the state of diversity in comics, and her love of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”  

Trotman will speak at Revolution Hall for the XOXO Festival on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 11:25 a.m. The festival is sold out.

Here are her recommendations for anyone interested in wading into the world of webcomics:

“Vattu” by Evan Dahm 
“It’s a fantasy adventure story about colonization and being a fish out of water. It’s about being taken from the family you know and love and being deposited in an alien society and just trying to make your way.”   

a href=”” target=”_blank”> “Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell” by Sophie Goldstein and Jenn Jordan 
“An early 21st century story where fantasy creatures live alongside humans and everyone has a karmic bank account that cashes in when they die and decides the ultimate fate of their soul. Darwin Carmichael, a human being living in Brooklyn, New York, has accidentally, grievously hurt the Dalai Lama, so his karmic bank account is in the deep, deep negatives. It’s all about Darwin Carmichael attempting to not go to hell.”

“Love Me Nice” by Amanda Lafrenais 
“It’s a story of the backlot of a world where cartoon characters are like real-life actors. It’s about the inter-office personal drama on the set of an incredibly popular cartoon show.”

“Misfits of Avalon” by Kel MacDonald 
“It’s about really jerky magical girls, so if you’d like something about magical girls that are slightly different from what you’re used to — like Sailor Moon with a serious attitude.”