Since debuting in 2014, the Camden Comic Con has offered an authentic, fun-filled experience for all ages that is as much a celebration of comics as it is an educational event.
Like an exciting new comics issue that’s even better than the last, the latest installment – featuring an ever-growing list of guest creators, illustrators, and writers; panel discussions; and vendors – will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 8 at Rutgers University–Camden.
The event, which is free of charge and open to the public, will be held in the Campus Center and the Athletic and Fitness Center, both located on Third Street, between Cooper Street and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on the Rutgers–Camden campus.
This year’s all-star lineup of artists includes Amy Chu, writer for Poison Ivy’s first solo series, KISS, Red Sonja, and Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman, among others; Emmy Award winner and Eisner Award nominee Dean Haspiel, creator of the characters Billy Dogma and The Red Hook, who has written, drawn, and collaborated on many superhero comics and literary graphic novels, such as American Splendor, Spider-Man, and Deadpool; Larry Hama, a writer, artist, editor, and actor best known as the writer for Marvel’s G.I. Joe and Wolverine comics in the ’80s and ’90s; and Carl Potts, a creative director, editor, artist, and writer, perhaps best known for creating the series Alien Legion.
Highlighting this year’s Camden Comic Con is a kids zone featuring nonstop interactive workshops for children and families from open to close, including Cartoon Beach Party, Puppetry Workshop, Drawing My Little Pony, and many more.
“Every hour, we will have an artist leading a new activity,” says Miranda Powell, program assistant for arts education and community arts for the Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts. “We are encouraging kids to explore many different mediums, so they see how they all collide in the wonderful world of comics.”
This year’s convention once again promises a series of engaging comics-related panel discussions – more than 20 in all – in the Campus Center, including a session titled “How To Be a Professional Geek.”
More than 125 vendors will also be stationed on the main 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.
For all of the surprises that guests will find at every turn, the Camden Comic Con still holds true to its original mission: offering an authentic, diverse convention experience that is free of charge and accessible to everyone, says Powell.
“In the convention world, we are a rarity,” says Powell, who has helped organize the annual gathering since its inception. “Guests can enjoy high-caliber programs and rub elbows with esteemed artists and writers, but it is just as important to us that it remains accessible to everyone across the board. I’ve had kids come up to me and say, ‘This is my first comic con; I never thought I’d get to go to one.’ Hopefully it’s the first of many!”
Guests are once again encouraged to dress up as their favorite comic book characters. A “Cosplay with your Kids” workshop will even give tips on how to optimize the cosplay experience as a family.
To cap off the experience, there will also be food trucks on site and a string quartet performing “geeky” film scores.
For more information, including a full lineup of guests and programs, visit camdencomiccon.com.