Arts Students League to Host Inaugural Camden Comic Con

Comic book fans unite!

The Art Students League at Rutgers–Camden, in conjunction with the Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts, will host Camden Comic Con from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 5.

The event, which is free and open to the general public, will be held in the Campus Center, located on Third Street, between Cooper Street and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on the Rutgers University–Camden campus.

The inaugural comic con will feature guest creators and artists, panel discussions, vendors, live music, and a host of family-friendly activities, promising an authentic, welcoming experience for hardcore fans and newcomers alike, says Miranda Powell, program assistant for arts education and community arts for the Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts.

For further details, contact Powell at 856-225-6202.

“We are bridging the worlds of serious and novice fans, and bringing everyone together,” says Powell, who co-organized the event with Victoria Widener, president of the Arts Students League at Rutgers–Camden. “Here’s the spoiler alert: Everybody wins!”

Vendors stationed in the Multi-Purpose Room, located on the lower level of the Campus Center, will be selling comics from the Silver Age through the present day, as well as a variety of comics-related memorabilia, art, and merchandise.

Guest creators, illustrators, and writers will be on hand to meet and greet fans, showcase their work, and/or commission their services. Featured guests include: Bob McLeod, co-creator and illustrator of “The New Mutants” for Marvel Comics; Bryan Glass, the multiple Harvey Award-winning co-creator and writer of “The Mice Templar” for Image Comics, and “Furious” for Dark Horse Comics; writer, artist, and comics historian Rob Kelly, co-creator and writer of the award-winning webcomic “Ace Kilroy,” author of the book, Hey Kids, Comics!: True-Life Tales From The Spinner Rack, and co-host of “The Fire and Water” podcast; and Mark Robinson, creator of “I Love Trouble” at Image Comics, and a writer whose credits include “The Incredible Hulk,” “Ghost Rider,” and “Ms. Marvel” for Marvel Comics, and “Dragon Age” for IDW Comics.

In addition, Marc Lombardi, a writer, editor, production assistant, and talent coordinator for GrayHaven Comics, and Jan Marc Quisumbing, art director for Pronto Comics and a 2004 graduate of Rutgers University–New Brunswick,will conduct portfolio reviews for aspiring artists. All artists are invited to bring their work to be reviewed.

The event will also feature a series of panel discussions in the South ABC Conference Room, located on the lower level of the Campus Center. Julie Still and Zara Wilkinson, reference librarians for the Paul Robeson Library at Rutgers–Camden, will lead a panel discussion on women and gender in science fiction, fantasy, and comics from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. The panel is a preview of their upcoming interdisciplinary conference, “Buffy to Batgirl: Women and Gender in SciFi, Fantasy, and Comics,” to be held on Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3, at Rutgers–Camden.

Writer, educator, and film aficionado Robert Repici will lead a discussion on the evolution of superhero comics, titled “Tall Tales on the Small Screen: The Televisual Superhero and the Molding of the American Mythology,” from 11:30 a.m. to noon. An alumnus of Rutgers–Camden and Arizona State University, Repici delves into the realms of narrative theory, film authorship, genre evolution, and pop-cultural superhero stories in print and on the screen.

Representatives from GrayHaven Comics, Unlikely Heroes Studios, and Pronto Comics will lead a panel, titled “How to Kick Start Your Comic,” from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Ryan Morrison, co-founder of game development studio Island Officials, will lead a presentation, titled “Indie Game Development,” from 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Morrison will share his insight and perspective gleaned from leading the development of more than a dozen games and applications at Island Officials.

The aforementioned Mark Robinson will lead a youth workshop on graphic novel basics, creating characters and mythologies, and illustration from 12:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

The aforementioned Julie Still will lead a youth workshop enabling Girl Scouts to earn their Comic Artist badge from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Robert Emmons, associate director of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences College’s Digital Studies Center at Rutgers–Camden, will lead a discussion, titled “Diagram for Delinquents: Fredric Wertham and the Crusade Against Comics,” from 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Emmons will present clips from his forthcoming documentary, “Diagram for Delinquents,” which focuses on the anti-comics movement of the 1940s and 50s in America.

Newt Wallen, co-creator of the popular YouTube channel, “Underbelly,” will present a video montage highlighting hilarious superhero episodes, titled “Nerds, Girls, Guns, and Ghouls,” from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wallen will also offer a sneak peak of Underbelly’s upcoming feature film, “Midnight Show.”

Not to be forgotten, the event will also feature arts, crafts, and activities for kids. “Camden Comic Con has really snowballed to include so many different elements for all ages,” says Powell. “It is going to be fun for the entire family.”

Delran-based band, Knuckle Puck Time, will be playing in the Student Lounge, located on the main floor of the Campus Center, treating guests to a variety of original and comics-inspired tunes.

Guests are also invited to visit the Student Works Gallery, located behind the Corner Store, on the main level of the Campus Center, and to take a tour of the gallery show, “Compulsive Narratives: Stories that MUST be Told, The Graphic Novel as Confession and Inspiration,” currently on display in the Stedman Gallery.

Scheduled times may be subject to change. For updates, visit camdencomiccon.tumblr.com.

For directions to Rutgers–Camden, visit camden.rutgers.edu/resources/getting-to-campus.

Tom McLaughlin
Rutgers University–Camden
Editorial/Media Specialist
(856) 225-6545
thomas.mclaughlin@camden.rutgers.edu

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