Lee-Whedon celebrates first comic convention in Medina
By Sue Cook, staff reporter
MEDINA – Lee-Whedon Memorial Library wanted to offer something new to patrons and decided the release of the new Captain America movie on Friday was a great day to celebrate with Comic Con.
The most famous examples of the convention are the San Diego and New York Comic Cons. They are conventions held around the world for people to get together and celebrate the pop culture of comic books, video games, movies and general science fiction.
This is the first year the library has held the event, but Kristine Mostyn, the assistant library director, said that the library wants to make it an annual event.
“There’s comic book movies coming out for like the next five years or so,” Mostyn said. “I’m planning on continuing it as long as it’s popular. I was trying to think of a program that people of all ages would enjoy, but also had the fun aspect that you could dress up and be a kid again.”
The event took place after hours throughout the main area of the library.
“We wanted it to be a loud, boisterous and fun program, but we didn’t want it while we were open where we’d disturb other people,” she said. “Plus, having the lights off for the film limits the ability for others to use the library.”
Library staff that are fans of the con genres helped out during the event and some even got into the spirit by dressing up. Mostyn dressed as Elphaba from Wicked and Children’s Librarian Suzanne McAllister came as Darth Vader from Star Wars. Staff also brought some props from their personal collections, such as light sabers, for con-goers to use in photographs.
“It was fun because the staff was enthusiastic about it, too,” Mostyn added.
The kids participated in several events to win prizes throughout the evening.
Because dressing in costumes is traditional for Comic Cons, the library held a costume contest. Aaron Lama won the event dressed as Iron Patriot from the third Iron Man film. He was awarded a life-sized cardboard stand-up of the character Loki from Thor.
Kristen Helton brought her son, Trent Ingerson, dressed as a Sith Lord from Star Wars. “It’s just a fun event. I hope they do this every year,” she said.
The children also participated in a superhero scavenger hunt. They had to seek out the symbols of superheros from all over the library. Those who completed it were entered into a raffle. Mason Moreland and Andrew Schmidli won faux vintage metal signs of Spiderman and Wonder Woman.
During the trivia contest, the kids were asked questions about the most popular heroes, such as how Superman got his powers or who Batman’s sidekick is. Timmy Vasquez won a Justice League poster.
The kids also took a 30-minute drawing lesson from local art hobbyist Jeffrey Leigh. He taught the children how to draw several popular characters.
To wrap up the evening, everyone gathered around the projector screen for a viewing of the movie “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
“I picked the day to coincide with the day the movie coming out on DVD. It’s still new and people that haven’t seen it in theater haven’t seen it on DVD yet,” Mostyn said.
She is hoping to draw older kids next year to participate with the younger kids. The average age of kids at the event was between 6 and 10, although a couple of 18-year-olds joined the fun. She is hoping that older siblings might attend with younger ones next year and that they might even choose to dress up as well.
Mostyn also plans to try and get a real comic artist to come in next year. She knows of a successful comic book artist in Lockport that she is hoping to invite to talk about how comic creation can be a worthwhile aspiration.
“I tried to get all aspects of being a comic book lover, or just sci-fi and fantasy in general,” Mostyn said. “I thought this was a good way to embrace this for our community. There is nothing like this. I’m hoping it will grow.”