Annual Mini Comic Con celebrates pop culture
Every fall since 2014, Vernon Area Public Library has hosted a communitywide Mini Comic Con for pop culture fans of all ages.
Modeled on large conventions, like Comic-Con International: San Diego, the library's event celebrates all fandoms, but in an accessible, local-centric format.
Despite this year's health guidelines that prevent large gatherings, this fall will be no exception for the Lincolnshire-based "con."
A series of online programs begins Monday, Oct. 19, and continues through Saturday, Oct. 24, with workshops, author talks, crafts and story times. All events are free and open to the public; registration is required for most.
Event organizers Sarah Okner and Diane Presta, both librarians at Vernon, view the event as a bright spot in 2020.
"One thing we can all agree on is the books and media we all love," said Okner. "Whether you're into Harry Potter, Marvel, Star Wars, air bending or any other fandom, this is a chance to dress up as your favorite character from page or screen and interact with other fans in a way you haven't been able to recently."
The Mini Comic Con lineup includes a virtual costume contest, superhero and Star Wars story times, illustration workshops with professional cartoonist Mark Anderson ("Andertoons"), family trivia and crafts to complete at home.
An online Artist Alley showcases the work of local creators who specialize in various fandoms or who have created comics of their own. Fans will be able to make secure, online purchases directly from the artists.
This year's event also features several well-known professionals from the world of comics and popular literature. The evening of Oct. 19, New York Times best-selling author and illustrator Gene Ha ("Top 10") and Christina "Steenz" Stewart, creator of the nationally syndicated "Heart of the City," share their experiences breaking into comics.
The weekend kicks off with award-winning author Chad Sell talking about the inspirations for his graphic novels like "The Cardboard Kingdom" and "Doodleville" on Friday. And, on Saturday, Oct. 24, New York Times Book Review columnist and industry expert Hillary Chute explores how the hybrid, word-and-image form, which dates back centuries, has borne witness to disasters from war to hurricanes -- and now the pandemic.
The weeklong series offers plenty of opportunities to join in the library's annual comic con fun.
"It's a great chance to be part of things," said Okner.
Get more information and register for free events at minicomiccon.vapld.info.
The Vernon Area Public Library serves a population of 42,222 within a 29-square-mile area that includes Lincolnshire, Prairie View, Long Grove and parts of Buffalo Grove, Riverwoods, Vernon Hills and unincorporated Vernon and Ela townships. The library is at 300 Olde Half Day Road, Lincolnshire.
For information about the library and its services, visit www.vapld.info.