Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Conventions are great for having free swag!

When I was a teen and attended my first conventions, the Sky Cons in Asheville, I was amazed at how much stuff was just given away. There were promotional comics, posters and pin-ups, buttons, bookmarks, and if you were lucky- maybe a t-shirt! The times continue to change and economics does, too. The excess that lead to easy give-aways in the 1980s moved to a comics industry nearly imploding in the 1990s, to companies succeeding as idea fodder for movie studios and video game designers today. You can still get things for free, but it represents a more calculated effort and intent by the companies involved to offer those things.
 Sometimes that reason is to stir up interest in a product. Sometimes it is to draw attention to the company as a whole. The best reason, though, is to be an ambassador for the medium that so many people love and enjoy. When I put together the comic events at my library, it is with an eye on creating lovers of comics. Whether that is purely as readers, or as active participants who draw, write, or perform cosplay, the goal is to get them involved and invested.
 This year, several publishers and companies are stepping up to give our kids a fantastic convention experience. Top Shelf Comics generously donated a box of FCBD comics for us to hand out. IDW and ONI have also donated comics from past FCBD events. DC donated a handful of posters and a bunch of Flash bookmarks. First Second gave us posters and books for kids, teens and adults. Capstone generously sent us posters and some incredible tote bags. Heroes Aren't Hard to Find is giving three one-day passes, so hopefully a father and son who have never been to the Heroes Con will get to go. The UCPL library system is offering up 10 of it's exclusive Superhero Cards. Biblioboards saw we were doing the mini-con and is offering a trial access to their online graphic novel library which features many Dark Horse, Bluewater and golden age titles! You can access the books by going to the library's home page, www.union.lib.nc.us and clicking "Information Seekers" on the left. Click "Search Our Databases" then select the NC Live banner. On the NC Live page there is an ad box on the right. Click the fourth ad (home grown e-books). Then, select your catagory, explore and read!And finally, the Chic-fil-A in Indian Trail is bringing someone over to handout bookmarks, that come with a little something sweet attached to them, to the kids. Overall, this pretty much insures no child leaves our event empty handed and with no comic to call their own and to read.

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