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HOSTING
YOUR OWN
COMIC CON:
THE
ULTIMATE
ALL-AGES
PROGRAM
PRESENTED BY
KATIE LAMANTIA
& EMILY VINCI
November 9, 2017
THIS IS US!
Emily Vinci
Fiction Librarian
Favorite Movie: Jurassic Park
Favorite Comic Series: LOL like I could
choose
Favorite Superhero: Wonder Woman!
Patronus: Tina Belcher
Katie LaMantia
Teen Librarian
Favorite Movie: Perks of Being a Wallflower
Favorite Teen Book Heroine: Aelin
Ashryver Galathynius aka Celaena
Sardothien
Favorite Superhero: Jillian Holtzmann
Patronus: Samantha Bee
HAS YOUR LIBRARY EVER HOSTED
A COMIC CON?
Let us know in the chat!
- COMICS
• periodical sequential-art
stories that provide
installments of a larger
story, typically released in
monthly issues
• ex: Batman #1, Batman
#2, Batman #3, etc.
WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE
SAY…
- GRAPHIC NOVELS
• one self-contained sequential-art
story read as a novel
• ex. Ghost World
• OR (esp. in library terms) a
collection of several issues of a
story (generally one arc of the plot)
– more commonly referred to as a
“trade”
• ex. Batman Vol. 1 collects
issues #1-#7
- COMIC CON
• a convention celebrating not
only comic books and
graphic novels, but many
different facets of pop
culture and the fandoms
therein
A (VERY) BRIEF HISTORY OF CON
CULTURE
Though it may seem as though comic conventions are a new fad, they’ve
actually been around for awhile. What we know now as San Diego Comic
Con, for example, was established in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book
Convention.
Its establishment gave it a place amongst countless fan conventions already
in existence, with science fiction fan conventions dating back to the 1930s
and comic conventions popping up in New York in the 1960s.
Cons started out with the purest of intentions, with passionate fans gathering
to discuss and debate the objects of their fandom. Often dismissed as
outsiders, freaks, and – you guessed it – nerds, conventions gave them a
place free from judgment and criticism and full of acceptance and
celebratory glee.
CON CULTURE & MAINSTREAM NERD
TODAY
WHAT TO EXPECT AT A COMIC CON
TODAY
EXAMPLES OF NOTABLE COMIC
CONS
ADDITIONAL TERMS TO KNOW
Fandom: a subculture/community of people who share a common interest
in a particular piece of pop culture (i.e. movie, TV show, comic book,
etc.), often characterized, in part, for the feelings of empathy and
camaraderie felt with one another over their shared interests
Fanboy/Fangirl: passionate, dedicated fan who is overzealous and
passionate towards one or more specific fanbase. It sometimes
overrides social boundaries and is used as a negative term, but many
fangirls or fanboys refer to themselves as such.
TERMS CONTINUED
Cosplay: Costume Play; creating and designing the costume and
the action of wearing it
RPG: Role-Playing Game in which players assume the roles of
characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for
acting out these roles within a narrative and make decisions
as characters. Ultimate example: Dungeons and Dragons
KNOW YOUR FANDOMS
GET INSPIRED BY YOUR COLLECTION!
POP CULTURE RESOURCES
AND DON’T FORGET…
THE INTERNET IS YOUR FRIEND!
WHAT DOES A LIBRARY COMIC CON LOOK
LIKE?
OPPORTUNITIES TO GEEK AND SHARE
COMMON INTERESTS
- Main Events
• cosplayers
• panels & workshops
• artists
• vendors
• gaming
WHY SHOULD YOUR LIBRARY
HOST A COMIC CON?
POSSIBLE PROGRAM GOALS AND
OUTCOMES
- promote your graphic novel collection/increase circulation
- provide social opportunities as well as opportunities for your patrons to
experience a Comic Con if they are otherwise unable to (esp. if your
library isn’t in a city or urban area)
- show the library in a new light
REACHING NEW AUDIENCES
- new people, or people using the library in a
new way
- people who come to other pop culture events
• online communities, Comic Con fans
• not necessarily interested in traditional
library programming
• engagement and interactive elements are
important
BECAUSE IT’S FUN!
HOW CAN I DO THIS?
Things to have in mind when you decide to host a Comic Con:
• determining time, location, space
• effect it will have on regular services and daily operations
• staffing needs
• partnerships and natural allies
• off-site possibilities, other options
KEEP CALM AND CON ON!
Anyone can do this, no matter the budget, time, or staff.
You just need to have an open mind and a willingness to
learn.
LET’S DO THIS!
Assembling Your Comic Con Team
Organization and Pre-Planning
Comic Con Day!
Q&A
AVENGERS
ASSEMBLE!
Putting together your Comic Con
staff super team
QUALITIES OF A VALUABLE COMIC
CON TEAM
- adventurous
- imaginative
- pop culture savvy, or willing to learn
- range of experiences or expertise
• programming and non-programming
OUTSIDE THE REALM
Expand participation to staff outside of the
Comic Con team; they have pop culture
interests too!
• include departments not normally involved in
programming, for example circulation,
branches, maintenance, etc.
• discover hidden talents and interests
• make staff happier and gain additional staff
buy-in, thus increasing your ability to promote
programs from within
PLAY TO YOUR PLAYERS’
STRENGTHS
If a staff member has a particular
interest in an area of pop culture or
programming, let them take the lead.
If you're a supervising librarian,
perhaps you can't offer your staff
higher pay or many opportunities to go
to professional development
conferences, but you can offer them
the freedom to incorporate their own
interests into programming and
outreach.
Emily, Fiction-
Artist and
Vendor
Coordinator
Monica, Kids-
Face Painting,
Kids
Superhero
Crafts
Dan- Teen,
Comics
Coordinator
Katie, Teen-
Fandom Teen
Event, Costume
Parade Leader
Allison, Kids-
Face Painting,
Kids Costume
Characters
ORGANIZATION
AND PRE-
PLANNING
SCOPE AND SIZE OF YOUR CON
- Will your Con take place throughout the library or will it be
contained in one spot/room?
- Aside from your core planning team, who will staff your Con?
- What is your budget?
• All of these questions will help you determine how big
your Con will be before you even pick the date.
- Talk to your management team! Get them on board and keep
them in the loop.
SCHAUMBURG SIZE AND SCOPE
SETTING THE DATE
Timing is everything
- conflict with other local Cons
- school year
- community events
- weather conditions (if applicable)
Strategic date tie-ins with other pop culture events … (or not!)
- May the 4th
- Free Comic Book Day
- Harry Potter’s birthday
TIMING
Hours of operation
- all day event
- few hours
Things to consider
- patron impact
- staff time
SCHAUMBURG TIMING
GETTING STARTED
The earlier you can start planning (relatively
speaking), the better. We recommend 6-8
months in advance, especially for first-timers.
Brainstorming sessions
- keep in mind your target audience
- resources you have on hand
- staff resources and equipment
- performers & artists
• will likely need to be booked far in
advance
- What are popular programs you already
have, and how can you put a pop culture
spin on them for Comic Con?
COMIC CONS = COMMUNITY
Community
- new audiences
- patrons young and old
- ultimate all ages programs, including adults without children –
pop culture is the great equalizer!
COMIC CON DAY
PROGRAMMING CHOICES
- taking traditional Comic Con features and making them accessible to
patrons
- relating it to pop culture and libraries
- utilize resources your library already has and make it Comic Con-esque
- mesh principles behind Comic Con and nerd culture into library life
WHY WE DID WHAT WE DID
KID OR FAMILY THEMED EVENTS
Crafts for kids
- superhero capes, armbands, masks, coloring sheets
Costume parade
- free
- attendees can show off what they made/wore
- shows patrons areas of the library they never/seldom see
FANDOM FRENZY
For Teens and Adults:
- trivia
- game
- snack
- craft
*chance to geek out with like-minded
friends and find new fandoms to
explore
CREATIVE WORKSHOPS
- Drawing workshop
• can separate by age
• give it a comic con twist- superheroes, Star
Wars theme etc.
- Fandom art
ARTIST ALLEY
PART II
Partnerships
Budget
Marketing
Evaluation
Outcomes
Q&A
MAKING THE CASE
FOR COMIC CON
WHY COMIC CON AT YOUR
LIBRARY?
- ultimate all ages program
-motivate staff to try new programs and use their
interests in their jobs
- show that the library is interested in current pop
culture, comics and relevant to everyday interests
- introduce non-library users to collections,
programming, and the library
PARTNERSHIP
POSSIBILITIES
PARTNERSHIPS - BOTH LOCAL AND
IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY
- comic shops & bookstores
- game stores
- collectibles shops
- comics publishers
- nerdy organizations
-cosplayers
-costume shops
BUDGET
PROGRAMMING ON THE CHEAP/DIY
- pull from multiple departments
- utilize staff talents
- make use of in-house resources
MARKETING
PASSIVE PROMOTIONS
SOCIAL MEDIA
GIVEAWAYS - reusable tote bags
- free comics donated from local a local comic
shop, sent from publishers, and withdrawn from
our collection
- small prizes available at the public service
desks to be handed out during the costume
parade (prizes we had on hand in our youth
department)
EVALUATION
COMIC CON EVALUATION PROCESS
We opted to have several staff members with clipboards and surveys to ask
people throughout the day how they felt about their Comic Con experience.
We kept the questions short and sweet:
• What did you like most about Comic Con?
• What could the library do to improve your experience at all-ages
programs?
• You and/or your children learned something new about pop culture –
disagree, agree, etc.
- In terms of attendance numbers, obviously it is quite difficult to keep track.
In order to come up with a count, we took the door count from the day and
compared it to door counts on the same day in past years.
OUTCOMES
WHAT WE LEARNED
- Additional staff members want to help, so let them!
- delegate responsibilities for before, during, and after the Con
- make sure everyone knows their duties
- keep it all ages and family friendly
- be flexible
- it will be loud!
ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries
Member Interest Group
ALA Games and Gaming Roundtable
Graphic Novel Roundtable
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Katie LaMantia
klamantia@stdl.org
Emily Vinci
evinci@stdl.org
CONTACT US
Amy J. Alessio, Katie
LaMantia, and Emily Vinci
50+ Fandom Programs:
Planning Festivals and
Events for Tweens,
Teens, and Adults
Click here to buy from ALA Editions
A Year of Programs for
Millennials and More
Amy J. Alessio, Katie LaMantia,
and Emily Vinci
Click here to buy from ALA Editions
THANK YOU
FOR
ATTENDING!

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Hosting Your Own Comic Con: The Ultimate All-Ages Program (November 2017)

  • 1. HOSTING YOUR OWN COMIC CON: THE ULTIMATE ALL-AGES PROGRAM PRESENTED BY KATIE LAMANTIA & EMILY VINCI November 9, 2017
  • 2. THIS IS US! Emily Vinci Fiction Librarian Favorite Movie: Jurassic Park Favorite Comic Series: LOL like I could choose Favorite Superhero: Wonder Woman! Patronus: Tina Belcher Katie LaMantia Teen Librarian Favorite Movie: Perks of Being a Wallflower Favorite Teen Book Heroine: Aelin Ashryver Galathynius aka Celaena Sardothien Favorite Superhero: Jillian Holtzmann Patronus: Samantha Bee
  • 3. HAS YOUR LIBRARY EVER HOSTED A COMIC CON? Let us know in the chat!
  • 4. - COMICS • periodical sequential-art stories that provide installments of a larger story, typically released in monthly issues • ex: Batman #1, Batman #2, Batman #3, etc. WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY…
  • 5. - GRAPHIC NOVELS • one self-contained sequential-art story read as a novel • ex. Ghost World • OR (esp. in library terms) a collection of several issues of a story (generally one arc of the plot) – more commonly referred to as a “trade” • ex. Batman Vol. 1 collects issues #1-#7
  • 6. - COMIC CON • a convention celebrating not only comic books and graphic novels, but many different facets of pop culture and the fandoms therein
  • 7. A (VERY) BRIEF HISTORY OF CON CULTURE Though it may seem as though comic conventions are a new fad, they’ve actually been around for awhile. What we know now as San Diego Comic Con, for example, was established in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention. Its establishment gave it a place amongst countless fan conventions already in existence, with science fiction fan conventions dating back to the 1930s and comic conventions popping up in New York in the 1960s. Cons started out with the purest of intentions, with passionate fans gathering to discuss and debate the objects of their fandom. Often dismissed as outsiders, freaks, and – you guessed it – nerds, conventions gave them a place free from judgment and criticism and full of acceptance and celebratory glee.
  • 8. CON CULTURE & MAINSTREAM NERD TODAY
  • 9. WHAT TO EXPECT AT A COMIC CON TODAY
  • 10. EXAMPLES OF NOTABLE COMIC CONS
  • 11. ADDITIONAL TERMS TO KNOW Fandom: a subculture/community of people who share a common interest in a particular piece of pop culture (i.e. movie, TV show, comic book, etc.), often characterized, in part, for the feelings of empathy and camaraderie felt with one another over their shared interests Fanboy/Fangirl: passionate, dedicated fan who is overzealous and passionate towards one or more specific fanbase. It sometimes overrides social boundaries and is used as a negative term, but many fangirls or fanboys refer to themselves as such.
  • 12. TERMS CONTINUED Cosplay: Costume Play; creating and designing the costume and the action of wearing it RPG: Role-Playing Game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative and make decisions as characters. Ultimate example: Dungeons and Dragons
  • 14. GET INSPIRED BY YOUR COLLECTION!
  • 16. AND DON’T FORGET… THE INTERNET IS YOUR FRIEND!
  • 17. WHAT DOES A LIBRARY COMIC CON LOOK LIKE?
  • 18. OPPORTUNITIES TO GEEK AND SHARE COMMON INTERESTS - Main Events • cosplayers • panels & workshops • artists • vendors • gaming
  • 19. WHY SHOULD YOUR LIBRARY HOST A COMIC CON?
  • 20. POSSIBLE PROGRAM GOALS AND OUTCOMES - promote your graphic novel collection/increase circulation - provide social opportunities as well as opportunities for your patrons to experience a Comic Con if they are otherwise unable to (esp. if your library isn’t in a city or urban area) - show the library in a new light
  • 21. REACHING NEW AUDIENCES - new people, or people using the library in a new way - people who come to other pop culture events • online communities, Comic Con fans • not necessarily interested in traditional library programming • engagement and interactive elements are important
  • 23. HOW CAN I DO THIS? Things to have in mind when you decide to host a Comic Con: • determining time, location, space • effect it will have on regular services and daily operations • staffing needs • partnerships and natural allies • off-site possibilities, other options
  • 24. KEEP CALM AND CON ON! Anyone can do this, no matter the budget, time, or staff. You just need to have an open mind and a willingness to learn.
  • 25. LET’S DO THIS! Assembling Your Comic Con Team Organization and Pre-Planning Comic Con Day! Q&A
  • 26. AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! Putting together your Comic Con staff super team
  • 27. QUALITIES OF A VALUABLE COMIC CON TEAM - adventurous - imaginative - pop culture savvy, or willing to learn - range of experiences or expertise • programming and non-programming
  • 28. OUTSIDE THE REALM Expand participation to staff outside of the Comic Con team; they have pop culture interests too! • include departments not normally involved in programming, for example circulation, branches, maintenance, etc. • discover hidden talents and interests • make staff happier and gain additional staff buy-in, thus increasing your ability to promote programs from within
  • 29. PLAY TO YOUR PLAYERS’ STRENGTHS If a staff member has a particular interest in an area of pop culture or programming, let them take the lead. If you're a supervising librarian, perhaps you can't offer your staff higher pay or many opportunities to go to professional development conferences, but you can offer them the freedom to incorporate their own interests into programming and outreach.
  • 30. Emily, Fiction- Artist and Vendor Coordinator Monica, Kids- Face Painting, Kids Superhero Crafts Dan- Teen, Comics Coordinator Katie, Teen- Fandom Teen Event, Costume Parade Leader Allison, Kids- Face Painting, Kids Costume Characters
  • 31.
  • 33. SCOPE AND SIZE OF YOUR CON - Will your Con take place throughout the library or will it be contained in one spot/room? - Aside from your core planning team, who will staff your Con? - What is your budget? • All of these questions will help you determine how big your Con will be before you even pick the date. - Talk to your management team! Get them on board and keep them in the loop.
  • 35. SETTING THE DATE Timing is everything - conflict with other local Cons - school year - community events - weather conditions (if applicable) Strategic date tie-ins with other pop culture events … (or not!) - May the 4th - Free Comic Book Day - Harry Potter’s birthday
  • 36. TIMING Hours of operation - all day event - few hours Things to consider - patron impact - staff time
  • 38. GETTING STARTED The earlier you can start planning (relatively speaking), the better. We recommend 6-8 months in advance, especially for first-timers. Brainstorming sessions - keep in mind your target audience - resources you have on hand - staff resources and equipment - performers & artists • will likely need to be booked far in advance - What are popular programs you already have, and how can you put a pop culture spin on them for Comic Con?
  • 39. COMIC CONS = COMMUNITY Community - new audiences - patrons young and old - ultimate all ages programs, including adults without children – pop culture is the great equalizer!
  • 41.
  • 42.
  • 43. PROGRAMMING CHOICES - taking traditional Comic Con features and making them accessible to patrons - relating it to pop culture and libraries - utilize resources your library already has and make it Comic Con-esque - mesh principles behind Comic Con and nerd culture into library life
  • 44. WHY WE DID WHAT WE DID
  • 45. KID OR FAMILY THEMED EVENTS Crafts for kids - superhero capes, armbands, masks, coloring sheets Costume parade - free - attendees can show off what they made/wore - shows patrons areas of the library they never/seldom see
  • 46. FANDOM FRENZY For Teens and Adults: - trivia - game - snack - craft *chance to geek out with like-minded friends and find new fandoms to explore
  • 47. CREATIVE WORKSHOPS - Drawing workshop • can separate by age • give it a comic con twist- superheroes, Star Wars theme etc. - Fandom art
  • 49.
  • 51. MAKING THE CASE FOR COMIC CON
  • 52. WHY COMIC CON AT YOUR LIBRARY? - ultimate all ages program -motivate staff to try new programs and use their interests in their jobs - show that the library is interested in current pop culture, comics and relevant to everyday interests - introduce non-library users to collections, programming, and the library
  • 54. PARTNERSHIPS - BOTH LOCAL AND IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY - comic shops & bookstores - game stores - collectibles shops - comics publishers - nerdy organizations -cosplayers -costume shops
  • 56. PROGRAMMING ON THE CHEAP/DIY - pull from multiple departments - utilize staff talents - make use of in-house resources
  • 58.
  • 60.
  • 61.
  • 62.
  • 64. GIVEAWAYS - reusable tote bags - free comics donated from local a local comic shop, sent from publishers, and withdrawn from our collection - small prizes available at the public service desks to be handed out during the costume parade (prizes we had on hand in our youth department)
  • 66. COMIC CON EVALUATION PROCESS We opted to have several staff members with clipboards and surveys to ask people throughout the day how they felt about their Comic Con experience. We kept the questions short and sweet: • What did you like most about Comic Con? • What could the library do to improve your experience at all-ages programs? • You and/or your children learned something new about pop culture – disagree, agree, etc. - In terms of attendance numbers, obviously it is quite difficult to keep track. In order to come up with a count, we took the door count from the day and compared it to door counts on the same day in past years.
  • 68. WHAT WE LEARNED - Additional staff members want to help, so let them! - delegate responsibilities for before, during, and after the Con - make sure everyone knows their duties - keep it all ages and family friendly - be flexible - it will be loud!
  • 69.
  • 70. ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Member Interest Group ALA Games and Gaming Roundtable Graphic Novel Roundtable ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
  • 72. Amy J. Alessio, Katie LaMantia, and Emily Vinci 50+ Fandom Programs: Planning Festivals and Events for Tweens, Teens, and Adults Click here to buy from ALA Editions
  • 73. A Year of Programs for Millennials and More Amy J. Alessio, Katie LaMantia, and Emily Vinci Click here to buy from ALA Editions