KAPOW! Comic convention arrives Sept. 23 at Monmouth County Library
Meet superheroes and comic book authors and artists! Be part of a podcast with Mike and Ming from Jay and Silent Bob’s! Come dressed in your anime/comic best to win a prize, join a Jedi school and take in an old-fashioned Batman radio play.
All that – and more, at the Monmouth County Library’s first comic-con! The KAPOW! Comic-Con: A Celebration of Comic Books and Superheroes at the Monmouth County Library will be held at Library Headquarters in Manalapan on Sunday, Sept. 23, beginning at 1 p.m.
“Come join the fun as we welcome patrons of all ages to the Monmouth County Library Comic-Con – a captivating celebration of popular culture that will pay homage to superheroes, comic book characters and the authors and illustrators who create them. With this fun-filled event, we celebrate comics as a literary art form and the unique way this visual media in graphic format teaches reading skills,” said Renee B. Swartz, chair of the Monmouth County Library Commission. “As with all our major programming efforts at the Library, there will be additional Comic-Con programs at all 13 branchdes through October, and we invite our patrons to return to enjoy these events.”
“We’re excited to be hosting our first Comic-Con,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, who is the liaison to the Monmouth County Library and who is an admitted devotee of the DC Comic superheroine Wonder Woman. “Whether you like DC or Marvel comics, Star Wars or amine/graphic novels, there will be something at the Library’s Comic-Con for all ages.”
This event is free, open to the public and family-friendly. Come dressed: there will be a costume parade with prizes. Library Headquarters is located at 125 Symmes Drive in Manalapan.
The keynote speaker who will open KAPOW is Jonathan Maberry, a multiple Bram Stoker award-winning author as well as a freelance comic book writer for Marvel Comics who penned Wolverine: Ghost and Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher. Special guests Ming and Mike of AMC TV's Comic Book Men, will attend and conduct a podcast, as well as act as judges for the Costume Contest.
For young Star Wars fans, actor David Engel will appear as Jedi Master. As an actor, Engel has performed as Macbeth in a regional theater production of Macbeth, Titus in Titus Andronicus in New York City. He has also choreographed fight scenes for
plays and television. He combines his love of both as the Jedi Master, as he leads young charges in light saber play.
The actors of Raconteur Radio will perform an old-fashioned radio play, Batman, the Dark Detective. This production will be staged around an authentic “fatboy” radio microphone with a vintage chrome grill and feature theatrical lighting,
costumes, and extensive sound effects. The play appeals to adults but is suitable for teens and children.
Speaking of Batman, fans will be able to see a Batmobile at the Library and meet the characters of Batman, Robin and Batgirl (did you know she is a librarian?) There will be plenty of photo ops!
The KAPOW Comic-Con Expo, which will open after the featured speaker and performances, will allow participants to circulate around more than a dozen tables whose presenters will include:
-- Jack Kirby Museum. The museum is located in Hoboken and is dedicated to the comic book illustration of Jack Kirby, whose best-known creation is Captain America.
-- Paul Merklein Draws Great Big Faces. Artist, illustrator and entertainer Paul Merklein will draw audience members as superheroes on life-size paper.
-- New Jersey Authors’ Network. Meet local authors who have published books in the science fiction, fantasy and graphic novel genres.
-- Comic Book Appraiser. Bring in your comic books and fine out how much they are worth!
The Expo will run until 4:30 p.m. The final event will be the Costume Parade and Contest, judged by Mike and Ming.
KAPOW Comic-Con is only the beginning! All through October, there will be programs at all 13 of the Monmouth County Library branches with a superhero/comic book theme, designed for all ages.
The programs will range from movies, to author talks to performances. For more information on this special programming, please visit the Monmouth County Library webpage at www.monmouthcountylib.org