2nd Annual Library Comic-Con
By Rachel Holt
Photography by Otto Kitsinger
“Library Comic-Con is a family-friendly, all-ages celebration of comics and geek culture, which endeavors to bring out the joyous inner-child in everyone,” says Josh Shapel, Library Materials Specialist and founder of the Library Comic Con. 2013 was the first year of Library Comic-Con, a one day event at Boise Public Library to promote and enjoy comics.
“The thing that is nice about it is that it’s free. It makes it easier for people to get into comics and learn about them when they have this great free event,” says Shapel. This year, the comic-con will be held on Saturday, August 30th, from 10 am to 5 pm.
The Library Comic-Con has a number of different activities that go on throughout the day including panels, a costume contest, short programs, and a book sale. The programs this year will include events on Tolkien, Wheaton-verse, My Little Pony themes, and a Dr. Who meet-and-greet.
“The con was very kid friendly which was good. I thought it was cool that cosplayers came out to the event. A number of my friends were there in super hero costumes and the kids seemed to get a kick out of that,” says Daine Smith, owner of Steel Guard Cosplay.
There will also be an expanded artist alley, where visitors will have the opportunity to meet with local vendors and artists. Todd Clark, a children’s book author and creator of the LOLA comic strip, had a table last year in the artist alley.
“I really encourage people to go down and check it out. It’s a good way to get a feel for what comic-cons are if you’ve never been to one before. Oh, and bring money,” Clark says with a laugh, “You will find a lot of stuff you will want to buy: prints, magazines, and books. Every time I go to one, there’s always a cool new thing I want.” Clark intends to participate in a panel this year and have items available from LOLA and his new book, The Ice Cream Kid.
This year will also feature a number of pre-event activities. From June 1st to July 31st, members of the community can enter the Comic-Con drawing contest. All ages are invited to participate and a library membership is not required. On July 17th, come out to the library to learn how to make props, as well as items for cosplay, with Dave Ultis from the Reuseum. In early August, there will be a Star Wars related event, but the date and time are still to be determined. The last event before the actual comic-con is a screening of Cartoon College at the Flicks theater in Boise. Cartoon College is a documentary film that explores the Center for Cartoon Studies, the only school in the U.S. to offer a Master’s program in cartooning.
Hoping to break last year’s record attendance of 7,500 community members, Shapel pleads, “Please come visit us. You will be pleasantly surprised with what we have to offer. It will be way more fun than you are expecting!”
For more information about this year’s Library Comic-Con or future Boise Public Library Events, see your local librarian or visit www.boisepubliclibrary.org.