Where can you find the Justice League and the Avengers together?

Comic Con Spiderman Photo courtesy of Jimmie Epling, Darlington County Library System.

Comic Con Spiderman
Photo courtesy of Jimmie Epling, Darlington County Library System.

Comic Con Poison Ivy Photo courtesy of Jimmie Epling, Darlington County Library System.

Comic Con Poison Ivy
Photo courtesy of Jimmie Epling, Darlington County Library System.

By Jimmie Epling
Darlington County Library System

There were two places where you could have gone this past Sunday and found the Justice League and the Avengers together under one roof, the Florence Comic Con and the Darlington County Library System! If you missed the “Con” you missed Jedi Knights, Matt Murdock, the Doctor, Black Widow, the Doctor, Spiderman (who was running for President), several versions of characters like Captain America, Batman, Green Arrow, and Maleficent, a host of Manga characters, dancing zombies (to the tune of Michael Jackson’s Thriller); and Heath Ledger’s Joker in a nurse costume. Some were spot on with their character, such as nurse Joker who spoke during the costume contest and was just as creepy and scary as the original. The other place where you can find all your favorite heroes and villains together is at the Library. And you don’t have to wait even one more day to do it!

Why did the Library go to the Florence Comic Con again this year?

It is all about encouraging reading! At the Library, our philosophy on reading is that it is more important that you are reading something rather than what you read. If you prefer to read about the adventures of Captain America, Luke Skywalker, or the characters in “Attack on Titan,” that is fine with us. We know in time your reading interests will change, they will broaden, and the “comic books” and “graphic novels” you read today can be a gateway to discovering “good literature.” But until then, it is just as important that you enjoy what you read.

The Florence Comic Con is a place where we can be seen by thousands of readers of all ages! If you are not familiar with comic con, it is a large comic book and popular arts convention. A typical comic con features comic book dealers, artists, authors, costume competitions, games, memorabilia, programs and panel discussions, demonstrations (makeup, costuming, martial arts, etc.), and movies all focused on the sci-fi/fantasy worlds created in comics, graphic novels, novels, TV, movies, and other media. It is the place to go for some of the coolest, hottest, and biggest stuff in pop culture.The Florence Comic Con was again an opportunity for us to showcase the cool children’s and adult stuff available at the Library. Not only did we have on display DC and MARVEL superhero graphic novels, we had Star Wars tech guides, Minecraft, Dr. Who, and Harry Potter. This year we featured many of our mangas, graphic novels, and anime films. Among the manga series on display were “Fullmetal Alchemist,” “Gakuen Alice,” “Beyblade,” “Knight of Sidonia,” “Naruto,” “Attack on Titan,” “D.Gray-Man,” “Kiss of the Rose Princess,” and of course, “Pokemon.” Those interested in anime will find “InuYasha,” “Grave of the Fireflies,” Spirited Away,” and “Dragonball Z.”

What was comic con like for us this year? We were seen by thousands and many stopped by our booth to see what the Library has to offer. We heard many times throughout the day, “I didn’t know you had that” from Darlington County attendees. What was gratifying to hear from those not from Darlington County was, “My library doesn’t have that.”The Library’s staff works to keep the collection up to date on the latest pop culture reading trends.

During the eight hours we spent at the Florence Comic Con, we saw hundreds of individuals who displayed their amazing talent, creativity, and resourcefulness through the costumes they wore. We took over a hundred photographs of those in costume with a book. Our plan is to turn them into mini “READ” posters to encourage reading. If you are interested in seeing some of the costumed characters we saw, check out our webpage at www.darlington-lib.org or our Facebook page over the next week as we add to the gallery.

The Florence Comic Con is set for September 11th next year. We will be there! The Darlington County Library System was able to show those who attended that the Library has something for them as well. The Library will now come to mind as the place to go year round to catch the latest adventure of their favorite character, whether in print or video.

Author: Jana Pye

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