Magazine article American Libraries

C2E2 2013 Offers More Than Just Comic Books

Magazine article American Libraries

C2E2 2013 Offers More Than Just Comic Books

Article excerpt

Comic book conventions have exploded. What began in the 1960s as modest fan gatherings has grown into large, multifaceted affairs. Graphic novels still dominate, but the scope has expanded to encompass the totality of pop-culture entertainment and lifestyle: film, television, science fiction, fantasy, cosplay, toy collecting, tattooing, and more.

Comic-Con International: San Diego and New York Comic Con lead in size and draw, but a relative newcomer is gaining ground among comics conventions. At its first event, in 2010, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) drew an estimated crowd of 27,500 attendees. C2E2 2013, held April 26-28, welcomed approximately 53,000 people to the packed event at the McCormick Place convention center.

Attendees--many dressed as superheroes and other characters--browsed the booths of hundreds of vendors selling graphic novels, vintage and collectible toys, original artwork, and costumes. Film and television celebrities, writers, and illustrators--such as Patton Oswalt, Julie Newmar, Bruce Boxleitner, R. L. Stine, and cast members from The Walking Dead TV show and The Pirates of the Caribbean films--were on hand for autographs and pictures, some charging up to $50 for the opportunity.

Panels, forums, and speaker events addressed publishing issues and copyright concerns, as well as offering fundraising tips, artistic and story development pointers, videogame design start-up guidance, and marketing, branding, and retailing advice.

ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom and Office for Library Advocacy hosted two programs. "Into the Wild: The Adult Reading Round Table Tackles Comics" addressed strategies for supporting graphic novels in libraries, and "The Silver Age of Comics in Libraries: Programming, Best Practices, and More" featured librarians sharing how they use comic books and pop-culture programming to expand their clientele. …

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