5 Reasons to Check Out the Public Library's Mini-Comic Con This Weekend

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A jawa caught up on some light reading at last year's Comic Con. - RIVA STEWART
  • Riva Stewart
  • A jawa caught up on some light reading at last year's Comic Con.

When you think of a crowded event drawing hundreds of excited fans like Comic Con, you probably don't picture it going on in the library.

But St. Louis Public Library will be challenging that notion this weekend with its second-ever Mini Comic Con. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. comic fans of all ages are invited to participate.

Here are the five best reasons to pay the mini comic con a visit this weekend.

1. The Costumes
As at any good comic con, there will be a slew of costumes in the crowd. Cosplay, the practice of dressing up as specific character, will be featured in a competition at the event as well.

Here's how it works: One room of the library will contain a selfie station. The photos that cosplayers take here are uploaded online this following Monday to the event's Facebook page. The top three photos getting the most likes will receive prizes ranging from gift cards to art from the participating vendors. The first place prize even includes a sheet of Worbla, an expensive type of plastic molding known in the cosplay world for its use in fashioning elaborate parts of outfits that you wouldn't normally find in stores.

While freedom of expression is encouraged, organizers want everyone to keep in mind that there will be children participating, and it is in a library. Just food for thought before you decide to dress as a character who looks like he just stepped out of a bondage porn video.

2. The Vendors
Let's start with the food. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the parking lot at 14th and Olive will have food trucks from three vendors: the Taco Truck, Sweet Divine and MK Rolls. 

Vendors won't just be selling food, however. Companies that make clothes, comics, accessories and more will also have booths inside the actual convention.

"I am really excited about the vendors because this year the booking for vendors was a submission process," said event organizer Christina "Steenz" Stewart. "So everyone at the convention has been reviewed and carefully selected to be a part of mini-Comic Con." 

3. Pick Up Some Jedi Skills — or Learn to Be a Detective
Kid, teenager, adult — no matter how old you are, you can still have some fun here. Kids will get the chance to become a Jedi. The 501st Legion is a Midwest-based group that attends conventions like this nationally to bring together Star Wars fanatics. They'll be on-site to teach Jedi skills to the youth.

The older kids will have a chance to test their detective skills in "X Files vs. Sherlock," an activity that involves a mystery-solving scenario for teens.

4. Vivek Tiwary
The name may not be familiar, but Tiwary has quite the resumé. He is the author of The 5th Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, a graphic novel about music industry legend Brian Epstein, and he even produced two Broadway shows, A Raisin in the Sun and American Idiot.

"He's had a lot of success in the arts and is going to be talking about how people of color can break into the comic book industry, which I think will be a presentation that everyone can enjoy," Stewart says.

Tiwary will be the event's keynote speaker, with his remarks and a book signing scheduled from 1-3:30 p.m.

5. You Get to Do All This In the Library
As any American who grew up under our public or private school system knows, the library is held as place of proper conduct. Running, laughing, even talking are things we have learned are not appropriate to do in a house of literature.

So, as juvenile as it may seem, this is a chance to go into a library and let loose a little. You can yell to your friend down the hall, you can fart without worrying about it echoing through hundreds of shelves in a quiet room, and since it's a comic con, you can even roll up into the library dressed like The Joker. It's even encouraged.

We aren't saying you have to raise hell, but you can maybe raise a small amount of heck. Last year's Comic Con drew more than 500 people, and the organizers hope this year will be even better — in a crowd like that, no one will even think to shush you if you get excited. They'll just be glad you're there and having fun.

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