SCHENECTADY – The Schenectady County Public Library’s Comic Con will make its eagerly-awaited return to the Electric City on Saturday to highlight cosplayed evil villains and courageous superheroes, amongst other comic personas, and provide the opportunity for innovative minds to personalize their own costume accessories – whether that be a bright pink updo or a disguise mask.

Centered around the act of cosplay – short for “costume play,” the event is funded by The Friends of the Library and offers a day of creative collaborations with local artists, as well as promoting the numerous services of the community’s public library. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., attendees can expect engaging conversations with graphic novelists, exploration of the visualization of sound and the opportunity to work with costume crafting professionals.

This will be the library’s sixth Comic Con and adult programming coordinator, Julie Dahlie, is looking forward to welcoming back the free family affair for the first time since the pandemic.

“Our response is always really great. People love that it is kind of a home-grown Comic Con, that we have a lot of indie artists and we make sure that the Comic Con itself is about family-friendly fun and literacy, because we are the library. As well as just focusing on the art that these people [the event’s featured graphic artists] produce – which is amazing,” Dahlie said.

Dahlie works to bring local vendors to the event who can create hands-on experiences for attendees. Schenectady-based business, The Costumer, has been involved in the local Comic Con for several years, said owner Bonnie Johnsen.

“We love participating in this. It’s community – we’re all about community,” Johnsen said.

This year, mother-daughter duo Morgan and Pam Rogers, both employees at The Costumer, will conduct a wig demonstration for cosplayers to learn about the different ways they can use accessories to complement their costumes. Morgan is a rising senior at Mohonasen High School, who has been involved in cosplay for many years and Pam is the theatrical wig stylist at The Costumer. The two will display a variety of inexpensive materials and styles cosplayers can use to create wigs of their choice, as well as show-specific hairpieces they have worked with in their own cosplay worlds.

“They [wigs] can add so much to a cosplay costume. So we thought that this would be a great way for people who are entry-level cosplayers to try out wig styling without being scared and also without committing to spending a lot of money too,” Johnsen said.

This year, The Costumer will also have a table set up all day where cosplayers can go if their costume needs “a little TLC” before its reveal at the costume contest. If Spiderman’s webbing gets tangled or Batman tears a hole in his cape, the hands of the craft from The Costumer will be there to fix them up.

Along with representatives from The Costumer, cartoonist Caitlin Cadieux and journalist and comic book enthusiast Chad Burdette will be in attendance. Saturday’s line-up is packed with pursuits for cosplayers of all ages:

All day events (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.): 

  • Kids’ mask making craft in the Children’s Room
  • Photo booth – all photos taken go directly to the Schenectady County Library’s Instagram page
  • Artist Alley – 15 artists at outdoor Comic Commons with other vendors
  • Cosplay Triage Table with The Costumer – if any cosplayers have a wardrobe malfunction, friends from The Costumer will help fix it in real time
  • Demonstrations on how to use digital lending services, Hoopla and Libby, to check out library materials on their personal devices

Other workshops and programs throughout the day:

  • 10:30 – 11:15 a.m. in the Slater Room – Superhero Stretch for kids under 12
  • 10:30 – 11:15 a.m. in the McChesney Room – Drawbstacle Demonstration – Sound Visualization with artists Zach Appio and Rick Arthur
  • 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. in the Children’s Room – Balloon Twisting: Swords
  • 12 – 1 p.m. in the McChesney Room – Creating your Cosplay: Wigs and Q & A with Morgan and Pam Rogers from The Costumer
  • 1 – 1:45 p.m. in the Slater Room – Superhero Stretch for kids under 12
  • 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. in the Children’s Room – Balloon Twisting: Swords
  • 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. in the McChesney Room – Graphic Novels: Not the Enemy Panel Discussion
  • 3 – 4 p.m. in the McChesney Room – Cosplay Costume Contest (with a youth category: children up to 12 years old and an adult category: 13 years old and up)

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Categories: Schenectady, Schenectady County

By AKDSEO