Comic-Con Comes To Town

For years, comic books were the nemeses of librarians.

Now they’re a way to get teenagers through the door.

Several good story lines surround tomorrow’s Westport Library Comic-Con (Saturday, May 18, 1-4 p.m.).

Comic-ConOne is that the event — it stands for “comic book conventions,” if your knowledge of comics ends with Archie and Jughead — is being held here at all.

Comic-cons are very popular — they include contests, games, workshops and more, and they are not just for teenagers — but they usually take place in convention centers and hotels.

A 2nd story line is what’s on tap: a talk by Paul Kupperberg (longtime comic author and former editor at DC Comics); a cartoon workshop with Christopher Hart (author of over 50 how-to-draw books); a trivia contest (run by former “Jeopardy” contestant Staples semifinalist Emily Greenberg); a showcase of artwork by local high school talent; a costume contest; comic books for sale; a card game and video game…you get the idea.

Oh, yeah: There’s food too.

But the best story line — for me, anyway — is that tomorrow’s Comic-Con has been planned entirely by teenagers.

Teen planning members joined the library's Jaina Lewis sitting) at a presentation for the Connecticut Library Association last month.(From left): Matt Walton, Zoe Ginsberg, and Shira Gitlin. All are Staples students.

Teen planning members joined the library’s Jaina Lewis (sitting) at a Connecticut Library  Association presentation last month.(From left): Matt Walton, Zoe Ginsberg and Shira Gitlin. All 3 are Staples students.

For over a year, teen services librarian Jaina Lewis has worked with a teen committee. They organized the Hunger Games and Haunted Library programs; they’re running the library’s Memorial Day float, and they are very excited about Comic-Con.

Jaina loves the group’s excitement. “They don’t think of the Westport Library as a place where they can’t do things,” she says. “They think of it as a place where they can make their ideas happen.”

For Zoe Ginsberg, the best part is “focusing on how great everyone in Westport is.”

She helped gather presenters from around the area. “These aren’t just stars coming for a paycheck,” she says. “They’re real people, with real talent. At larger Cons you can only see the talent from a distance. Here, everything will be up close and personal.”

Matt Walton appreciates being given rein by Jaina to pursue whatever he’s interested in.

In fact, he says, “I’ve honestly never read a comic book. But there’s so much variety in what’s going on — TV, film, virtually every kind of entertainment and media available — that I’d have a great time even if I wasn’t involved.”

(Comic-Con admission is $8, payable in advance or at the door. To register or for more information, click here or call 203-291-4809.)

5 responses to “Comic-Con Comes To Town

  1. Kerstin Warner

    This will be brilliant – can’t wait! And I love Jaina’s quote about the Library being a place to make your ideas happen – so true!

  2. Bobbie Herman

    If I had the comic books my mother threw out, I’d be worth millions!

  3. Steve Stein

    I wish I hadn’t throw away my comics as a kid- in the 1940’s. They cost a dime. We read them and shared them. They got thrown away when mom said you had to clean up your room. They were some of the originals!!

    My son bought them for a dollar or more- in the 1990’s, read them carefully, collected them- put them in plastic covers and stored them in his closet where they still sit today.

  4. maxine bleiweis

    There will be some comics for sale at the event. Come check them out!

  5. Sounds like it will be a lot of fun. Westport has been home to a lot of comic book artists and writers over the years. You can see it turn up in a lot of books from 80s and 90s.

    Can’t make it this year. Maybe I’ll come next year but, of course, by then it will be an enormous SXSW-like show.

    -Evan Stein