Library hosts fourth annual Return of Mini-con Comic Book Convention
INDIAN TRAIL – As the superhero film genre continues to gain momentum among young fans today, the Union Regional West Library is gearing up to offer young readers and artists a chance to celebrate the culture of comic books.
For the fourth year in a row, the library is hosting its annual Return of Mini-con Comic Book Convention, featuring famous graphic novel artists and tons of comic book materials. The three-part event, which takes place the second week in June, is part of the library’s series of summer reading programs and is the only comic book convention in Union County.
“I’m kind of a comic book person myself,” said John Thompkins, the children’s librarian who founded the convention. “The library really is the only place to get comics. There are no comic shops or bookstores in Union County that sell the stuff. I thought we needed to bring it here where kids can get their hands on it and get copies of it and learn about it.”
But the event isn’t just for kids. On Tuesday, June 12, at 5 p.m., the library kicks off the convention by hosting Snow Wildsmith, an author and former librarian who has written numerous reviews on graphic novels and served as a consultant in developing libraries’ collections of comic books.
Wildsmith is the author of “A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids Comics” and will offer her expertise and insight to parents and teachers on how graphic novels prove to be quality, educational reading material. She will have copies of her book for parents, teachers and tutors to purchase.
The second part of the convention is a free showing of the film “Captain America: The First Avenger,” Thursday, June 14, at 4:30 p.m.
The third and final part of the convention is Friday, June 15, beginning at 1 p.m., when the library will host a handful of local comic artists who will speak to kids and comic book fans, answer questions and offer advice to aspiring artists, provide free sketches and sell copies of their works.
Top Shelf Comics, Campfire Comics and RightStuf will provide free materials and the library will feature a bin filled with classic comic books for $1 each.
The free event will wrap up around 5 p.m.
Due to attend are: Al Bigley, who has drawn for major publications, such as Marvel, Golden Books and Disney; Derek and Nikki Davis, authors of the comic strip The Ered Adventures (T.E.A.); Dan Johnson, author of graphic novel “Herc & Thor”; Jim McGee, creator of Area 21 Comics; and others.
“There are a lot of (famous comic authors) in the area,” Thompkins said. “People don’t realize that.”
Thompkins said he hopes the event will encourage young comic fans, authors and artists to continue fostering their talent, and teach parents and educators the value of graphic novels.
“There’s a lot to learn about applying this craft,” he said. “Some guys use computers, some guys don’t. This is a chance for (young artists) to learn about how this is done, and it gives parents a chance to see where they’re coming from.”
For updates on the convention and the artists expected to attend, visit sweetuniontoonists.blogspot.com or call the library at 704-821-7475 ext. 4.