Comics Fest: A Celebration of Graphic Novels

May 18, 2024    
12:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Location: Metuchen Public Library 480 Middlesex Ave, Metuchen, NJ 08840

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Join us for a fun-filled afternoon of visual storytelling for the whole family! Graphic novels, manga and comics are stories told via “sequential art.” All have become hugely popular in recent years, and we couldn’t be more excited! Comics Fest will feature workshops and activities, a panel presentation, and an artists’ reception. This program is held in conjunction with the Gallery exhibit “Visual Storytelling: A Celebration of Graphic Novel Art,” on display in the Library Gallery from May 4th through June 26th.

The Comics Fest program:

12:30-1:00 – Introduction and Opening Group Activity

1:00-2:00 – Concurrent Workshops for Kids and Teens:

WORKSHOP: All About Silly Characters with the BUMBLE BROTHERS! (ages 5-8)
In this workshop, author Steve Metzger and illustrator Brian Schatell will read aloud from their early reader graphic novel series, THE BUMBLE BROTHERS. They will explain how they came up with the silly characters who do silly things in their silly books, and help kids develop their own silly character. This workshop is for ages 5-8.

WORKSHOP: From Doodles to Full-page Comic in One Hour (ages 8-12)
This hands-on cartooning workshop with graphic novelist Mike Dawson is designed to unlock creative potential and build each child’s storytelling confidence. In this funny and engaging presentation, students learn to overcome any fears about drawing to begin telling their own stories using comics. Activities include an exclusive workbook filled with exercises designed to get kids writing and drawing quickly. Go from doodles to full-page comic strip in just one hour!

WORKSHOP: Graphic is a Language: Sketching Words & Drafting Stories (ages 13-18)
Like to yap about graphic novels? Wanna write and draw a little? Join artists John Polizzano and Jane Westrick and graphic novel scholar Dr. Ken Sammond for a fun and engaging workshop just for teens.

2:00-2:15 – Break / Activity stations

2:15-3:00 – PANEL DISCUSSION: Developing Graphic Novels: What Happens Behind the Scenes
Graphic novel professionals Steve Metzger, Brian Schatell, Mike Dawson, Debbie Fong, and Janna Morishima will discuss how comics creators develop their ideas and pitch them to publishers. They’ll explain the graphic novel creative process, from script to thumbnailing, pencilling, inking, coloring, and lettering. They’ll also talk about how and why they started their careers in graphic novels, and offer some tips for people who are interested in breaking into the field. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Ken Sammond, a graphic novel scholar in Metuchen.

3:00-3:30 – Book sales and signings / Activity stations

    REGISTRATION IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED.  An Artists’ Reception for the exhibit will immediately follow Comics Fest at 3:30pm.


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    Accessibility: Our library is committed to inclusivity and accessibility. Our building is wheelchair-accessible with a modern elevator and accessible restrooms. We’ve installed hearing loops in our Community Room, and we offer T-coil receiver/headphone kits for in-library use by those with hearing loss. If you need specific accommodations, such as sign language interpretation, for any of our services, events, or activities, whether on-site or online, please reach out to us at (732) 632-8526 or email metuchenpubliclibrary@metuchenlibrary.org. We’re here to ensure everyone can fully enjoy their library experience.