Columbus Ohio Midwestern Invitational Classic (COMIC) is a not-for-profit social and service organization. COMIC primarily focuses on promoting bowling and sportsmanship within the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community through its annual bowling tournament. There are also benefits held throughout the year to help fund the tournament. Additionally, COMIC raises money for local charitable organizations of interest to the GLBT community.
Since 1982, Columbus has hosted a bowling tournament for the GLBT community. The current tournament, COMIC, began in 1994 and has continued annually, with few exceptions.
Bowlers and supporters come from all across the U.S. and Canada, the majority coming from Ohio and neighboring states. In its first year, COMIC drew 176 bowlers, selling out its then capacity of 296 bowlers in its second year. The capacity was increased in 1997 to 360 bowlers with the addition of another bowling shift. In 2003, COMIC once again expanded, this time to 432 bowlers. COMIC sold out every year through 2009 and has had more than 200 bowlers since then.
The Committee Show was started at the first COMIC as a fundraiser for local charities. The show became a success story from the beginning, and bowlers’ response to the show has been overwhelming.
The first show, “Going to the Chapel,” involved just a handful of people in one skit. In the past few years, our shows have involved more than 40 individuals in over 15 skits and musical numbers. With its continued appeal to bowlers and its fundraising ability, the Committee Show will continue for years to come.
Additional fundraising events sponsored by COMIC include: Toilet Bowl & Jester (mini bowling tournaments), Club “Bar” Nights and the weekly mystery score held in the GLBT bowling leagues.
Through the Committee Show, Miss COMIC, and its other fundraising events, COMIC has raised more than $80,000 for local charities. That amount includes $21,000 raised during the IGBO Annual Tournament in 2001 and 2010.
Past beneficiaries of COMIC fundraising include: The Stephanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research, Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO), Camp Sunrise, Project Open Hand Columbus, Ohio AIDS Coalition, Stonewall Columbus, Kaleidoscope Youth Coalition, F.A.C.E.S. at Children’s hospital, H.O.P.E. (Helping our pets everywhere), Kappa Kidney Camp, Columbus Aids Task Force (CATF) and IGBO AIDS quilt.