Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cosplay workshop!

Hot on the heels of the Charlotte Heroes Con, the Union West Library hosted a cosplay workshop. The workshop provided materials and workspace for families to come in, work together and fashion their own super outfits. The purpose of  the workshop was to show how simple, everyday household items could be turned into elements of a superhero outfit. Water bottles became ankle rockets and wrist cannons. Craft foam was turned into masks and logos. Plastic table clothes got fashioned into capes, skirts, belts and tops. Pizza boxes and paper plates were repurposed into shields.
Scroll through the photos and check out some of the amazing creativity displayed by our families!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Cartooning Club Guest- Beth Smith and Alien Dude!

Thursday, June 18, the Union West Cartooning Club was very fortunate and pleased to have author Beth Smith come talk about her book series, Alien Dude!
Beth told the club her reason for coming up with Alien Dude was to give boys who were just beginning to read on their own a story they would want. The result was Alien Dude, a superhero who can morph into all sorts of things, can sing to birds, and use farts and armpits as weapons. Typically, Alien Dude is saving the day at school from threats like worm infestations, magically altered cafeteria food and unseasonal weather.
 Beth explained to the club that a book requires several people to make it good. Someone must write it, another person has to illustrate it, the book may need an editor and the cover and inside layout is done by a designer.
The kids took turns drawing themselves as food (a plot point from the second Alien Dude book!), and several of them took to drawing Alien Dude. The evening closed with a video lesson from Hamster Sam creator Dave McDonald on how to create a character starting with a 30 second exercise.
 Incidentally, while many of the presenters at the Return of Mini-Con V will be at Heroes Con in Charlotte this weekend, Dave will be in Michigan for the Kids Read Comics! annual event.
Discussing popular themes that kids like.

Presenting Alien Dude!

Talking book #2 and beyond!

Alien Dude in action!

Talking about all the people who helped make the book.

Book Signing!

Jackson shows off a variety of VeggiTales!

Deep into their art....

Dinosaurs, and picture frames around each frame!

A different kind of Alien Dude!

Alien Dude!

Another Alien Dude!

A third Alien Dude!

Guess who?

NOT an alien! It's a turtle, dude!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Mini-Con V- You've been framed!

These were pictures taken at the end of the mini-con. Unfortunately, Jeremiah Ray, Corey Davis and Criss Mitchell were already gone when one of our staff members got this idea. Enjoy!
Children's librarian Terri, aka "Bat-Gram!"

Herc Petmezas & Brandon Padgett with Spy Smasher.

Optimus Prime!

Dave McDonald & Al Bigley being heroic!

Alien Dude author Beth Smith!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mini Con V. A Quick Follow-up!

The dust from The Return of Mini-Con V has settled, and pictures are still finding their way to me to be posted, and as I get them in bunches they will be put here on this blog. Things went incredibly smoothly, and the crowd was as big as ever but didn't seem to be as chaotic or stuffy in years past.
 A rough estimation puts the crowd at more than 350, based on the door count, which translates to 100 people per hour! For a library, on a Saturday, with so many other things going on in the community, that really says something!
 The reason for the success is three-fold. First, the staff was ready for the day, and volunteers showed up to help. Things were set up ahead of time. Second- all the guests showed up! Beth Smith, Eraklis Petmezas, Brandon Padgett and Dave McDonald occupied the main children's area of the library while Al Bigley, Corey Davis, Criss Mitchell and Jeremiah Ray took over the meeting room. Everyone had plenty of space and got to make some new connections and i think they had a good time. Third, the sponsors of the event were incredible! First Second Books (:01) came through with great give-away prizes for all age groups while Top Shelf supplied free comics to every child. DC Comics provided bookmarks, posters and recommended reading guides, Capstone gave us amazing posters, Heroes Aren't Hard to Find let us give out their posters and gave us SIX one day passes to the Heroes Con (they said they were going to give three, which we were thrilled with- six was a pleasant surprise!) and Chic-fil-A gave out coupons for free milkshakes and provided food for the staff and presenters!
 Check out some of the mirth merriment in these pics!
The cosplay crew- Sandman, Joker, Spy Smasher

Lil' Hulk!


Brandon and Herc at work!

Library Instagram stuff!

Herc's Art.

Corey and Herc

Corey's Avengers.

Hobbes and Supergirl.

Joker is feeling brave...
Al's Batman

Awesome sketch cover by Al

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Roster for Mini-Con V grows!

Exciting news this morning as the core presenters for The Return of Mini-Con V- Al Bigley, Dave McDonald, Beth Smith, Jeremiah Ray and Corey Rocbottom Davis- are being joined by Columbia's Criss Mitchell, and Big Dogs Studio's Brandon Padgett and Herc Petmezas!
Criss Mitchell's art.
Brandon's Power Man/ Luke Cage card.
 This comes on the news that Ben Murray and Dan Johnson would not be able to attend, so losing two and gaining three is certainly a good thing! Herc and Brandon are veterans of the Mini-Con and have been major players in the Sketch Charlotte scene over the years. Criss is a talented artist who has done work for area comics shops and is a talent waiting to be found!

Herc's art!
Herc, the artist!
In addition, more folks want to get on that mini-con train. Bibliobooks, which provides books, print collections and graphic novels in digital format has opened up their Dark Horse Comics collection and their Comic and Graphic Novels page! The Comics and Graphic Novels page has collections of Holyoke, Key and other Golden Age publishers with a slant to the pre-code horror, crime and war comics. It also includes more contemporary publishers like Alterna Comics and Blue Water Comics (with their biography, politics and adventure titles showcased). The Darkhorse page has Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Conan the Barbarian, various horror titles and superheroes including the recently revived Captain Midnight! These books are free to read through the library's webpage. Just log into the library's NCLive page using your NCLive password and  follow the captain's orders. You'll be enjoying four-color excitement in no time!