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Comic-con events showcasing popular culture are proving to be very popular activities for libraries to be involved in, especially for teenage and young adult audiences. Goulburn hosted their second Comic Con at Veolia arena with 5000 participants despite a rainy day. Wollongong hosted their fifth Comic Gong , with participation rising to 10,000; and Comic Con-versation, held across Inner West Libraries is now in its fourth year and runs over four days. Some of the many activities at these events include cosplay competitions, comic book stalls, workshops and artist talks.
Image: The huge crowd at Goulburn Comic Con
On 18 March, Goulburn Mulwaree Library hosted the second Goulburn Comic Con at Veolia Arena. The intention of this event was to showcase the Library’s role in pop culture, including comic books and gaming, and provide an event tailored towards teenagers and young adults. Events on the day included a cosplay competition, hosted by MC Rae Johnston as Wonder Woman and judged by ‘Thor of Oz’, in addition to local cosplayer judges, Rock and Roll Wrestling, a Quidditch Competition, Star Wars vs Star Trek debate as well as a host of workshops and comic book & pop culture stalls. Despite rain on the day all events were able to go ahead with some activities moved inside or under cover. An estimated 5,000 attended over the course of the day and feedback was overwhelmingly positive with feedback like “A brilliant event for Goulburn to attract guests from far and wide”. - Susan McIlroy, Adult Programs and Outreach Officer, Goulburn Mulwaree Library
With all sorts of superheroes, Jedi Knights and cosplayers roaming the streets of Wollongong, Comic Gong was the place to be. Held on Saturday 13 May, Comic Gong saw its attendance numbers increase to over 10,000, with people travelling from all over New South Wales to attend. Presented by Wollongong City Libraries, the fifth annual Comic Gong festival once again brought together local artists, die-hard cosplayers and families to celebrate the love for all things comics and pop culture. Comic Gong has become an integral part of Wollongong’s community and cultural life. Not only is it a fun day out but the one-day festival has managed to engage the members of our community who do not typically visit libraries. For those who attend the festival, Comic Gong has become one of their favourites on the convention circuit. As one fan said, “It’s the highlight of the month!”. - Mark Norman, Manager Central Library, Wollongong City Libraries
Image: Cosplay competition winners at Comic Gong 2017
Inner West Libraries' Comic Con-versation is back for its fourth year and it’s bigger than ever. Over 20 libraries throughout Sydney will host events, talks and exhibitions celebrating the local comics community and highlighting the library's graphic novel collections. Comic Con-versation 2017 takes place from 10-16 July. Some of the highlights include: Comics Lounge at Ashfield Library, Meet comic creators, listen to live music and expert panels, and immerse yourself in live comic reading sessions. - Claire Macready, Library Promotions Specialist, Inner West Libraries