Rutgers–Camden to Host Second Annual Camden Comic Con

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Calling all comic book fans!

Hot on the heels of last year’s success, Rutgers University–Camden will host the second annual Camden Comic Con from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 7.

The event, which is free and open to the general public, will be held in the Campus Center and the Athletic and Fitness Center.

The comic con once again promises an authentic, fun-filled experience for novice and hardcore fans alike, featuring guest creators and artists, panel discussions, vendors, live music, and a host of family-friendly activities.

For further details, visit camdencomiccon.tumblr.com or contact Miranda Powell, program assistant for arts education and community arts for the Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts, at 856-225-6202.

Nearly 100 vendors will be stationed on the lower level of the Athletic and Fitness Center, selling comics from the Silver Age through the present day, as well as a variety of comics-related memorabilia, art, and merchandise.

This year’s convention features an expanded list of guest creators, illustrators, and writers, who will be on hand to meet and greet fans, showcase their work, and/or commission their services.

camdencomiccon2-text2“Word spread through this community of artists about what a great experience last year’s event was,” says Powell. “Several guest artists told us that Camden Comic Con really captured a spirit that has gone away in the convention world, which has become increasingly commercialized. To have a convention like this that is focused on artistry, education, and community is really unique.”

Guests include Mark McKenna, a longtime industry professional who worked for Marvel and DC Comics, and creator of “Banana Tail”; Bryan Glass, the multiple Harvey Award-winning co-creator and writer of “The Mice Templar” for Image Comics and “Furious” for Dark Horse Comics; Shawn Martinbrough, an illustrator for Marvel Comics, Vertigo, and DC Comics; “FaceOff” season 6 champion Rashaad Santiago; and local artist Ryan Brady, a 2011 graduate of Rutgers–Camden who created “The Bolt” and “Anomaly” comics.

The event will also feature a series of engaging comics-related panel discussions in the Campus Center:

Julie Still and Zara Wilkinson, reference librarians for the Paul Robeson Library at Rutgers–Camden, will lead a mini-symposium, titled “Buffy to Batgirl,” featuring panels and presentations on women and gender in science fiction, fantasy, and comics.

Jim Brown, director, and Robert Emmons, associate director, both of the Digital Studies Center at Rutgers–Camden, will lead a discussion on web comics.

Representatives from GrayHaven Comics and Pronto Comics will lead a panel for aspiring comics artists and creators, titled “Wind Up and Pitch,” offering tips on how to develop ideas and pitch them to publishers.

Ryan Morrison, co-founder of game development studio Island Officials, will share his insight and perspective gleaned from leading the development of more than a dozen games and applications.

Creator and writer Mark Robinson will lead a workshop on graphic novel basics, illustration, and creating characters and mythologies.

Representatives from Sequart Organization, a group devoted to the study of popular culture and the promotion of comic books as an artform, will present a screening and discussion on two documentaries: “She Makes Comics” and “The Image Revolution.”

camdencomiccon1-text1Gerry Giovinco and Bill Cucinotta from Philadelphia and South Jersey-based CO2 Comics will lead a panel discussion on indie publishing.

“Super!” co-creator Justin Piatt will lead a workshop on the art of comic book lettering.

The aforementioned Santiago will offer a sculpture and makeup demonstration, giving guests an up-close view of how creatures are made.

Several of the workshops and presentations will be geared for kids. Artist and illustrator Ellen Stedfeld will lead a youth workshop on creating mythical characters and simple bookmaking. The Camden County Library Teen Anime Club will lead an open drawing session for children.

“There might be a young girl or boy who has fun drawing and being imaginative, but might not have ever experienced the world of comics,” says Powell.

The event will also feature arts, crafts, and activities for all ages. All Things Fun!, a South Jersey game/comic/toy retailer, will host a slate of tabletop games, such as Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh! The Art Students League at Rutgers–Camden will provide face painting and lead arts and crafts activities for kids.

“Camden Comic Con has really snowballed to include so many different elements for all ages,” says Powell. “It is going to be a high-quality event that is fun for the entire family.”

Delran-based band Knuckle Puck Time will return for a second year, treating guests to some new “nerdy jams and covers,” says Powell. Chiptune music, performed in the style of classic video games, will be presented by local artist Dan Park.

Guests are once again encouraged to dress up as their favorite comic book characters. A cosplay contest will be judged by a special guest.

“It adds another layer of fun and celebration to the event,” says Powell. “Come as you are – or come as you wish you were!”

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