Keep calm and Comic Con: Troy University’s library holds third annual Comic Con to kick off Banned Books Week

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(PHOTO/ Suraj Thapa Magar)

Grace Parsons, a junior sign language interpretation major from Auburn (left), and her friends, attended Troy’s Comic Con decked out in their best cosplay to show their support the “nerd” community. 

Andrea Hammack

Staff Writer

Troy University held its third annual Library Comic Con on Sunday, Sept. 22 to kick off the beginning of Banned Books Week.

The Library first held the event in 2017. Though it was small in the beginning with only a few available activities and tables set up, the event has matured.

“This is the third year that we have hosted this event. Each year, it grows a little bigger and we are able to add a little more to the event,” said Kelly Wilson, the social sciences/government documents librarian.

This year the event had more than 10 booths set up with local artists and businesses –  some even came from out of state. 

This year’s event featured two artists from Troy – a crafter and an art student. The artwork created for Banned Books Week by the students of Beverly Leach were also on display during the event.

“We also had Dr. Blum to answer questions about the new game design minor, Troy University’s Board Game Alliance, Magnolia Gaming (Fanatix) Store, Barnes & Noble and more,” Wilson said.

Guests at the event were able to take part in a wide variety of activities, such as a puzzle contest where groups of three or four competed to complete a puzzle first, and a scavenger hunt where event-goers competed in groups of two. 

Jamie Caple, a graphic design major from Clio, Alabama, had a booth set up to showcase her company “Nekomancy Studios.”

“My booth displays my cosplay and my cosplay props,” Caple said. “The goal of my company is to not only have cosplay and pop culture content, but to become an animation studio.

“I make everything for myself first and model it myself, but I do make cosplays for other people and I plan to merge into that more. This is my first time attending the event at Troy University and having a booth. I am really proud of my creations and I am excited to get to show off my stuff and get more exposure.”

Jacob Messervy, the manager of Fanatix in Troy, had a booth set up selling comic books. 

“I was here last year and I had an expectation of product to monetary value bracket,” Messervy said. “This year I just want people to be excited about finding something they enjoy.

“If I sold five comics here I’d be happy, If I sold two I’d be happy. If somebody’s here looking for something to get into or a different medium to consume storytelling, then I’m happy.”

According to Wilson, the organization of the event took some time to get together, with planning beginning around March. 

“Usually over the summer semester is when we reach out to potential artists, the local comic store, and other people we would like to have in attendance,” Wilson said.

Wilson stressed how much the outcome is worth the troubles of organizing such an event. 

“The most rewarding aspect is to see all the work come together the day of the event, to see students explore the event and enjoy themselves,” Wilson said. “To see so many happy students makes all the work worth it.” 

Grace Parsons, a junior sign language interpretation major from Auburn, attended the event cosplaying as Olivier Mira Armstrong from “Fullmetal Alchemist.”

As a transfer student, Parsons had never attended Troy’s Comic Con before, but said she has been to multiple other fan conventions in the past.

“My friends and I like cosplaying at conventions, so I bullied them into coming with me,” Parsons said. “My favorite thing about other comic cons is all of the community of the nerds coming together to feel accepted.”

Parsons said it was important for the university to hold events such as this in order to allow people to feel included.

“I would never be able to go out like this anywhere else,” Parsons said. “It’s a fun, creative activity and it might introduce you to things you wouldn’t normally like.”

Wilson encouraged everyone to attend the event in the future and give it a try. 

“I’m a nerd and love games, anime, comics, etc., so I greatly enjoy meeting others that are into the same things,” Wilson said. “I also feel this event allows students to take a break from studying, as I know how stressful college is.”

“When you walk in, there are so many like-minded people in the same room that you just made a whole bunch of friends and you didn’t even know it,” Messervy said. 

The Library Comic Con kicked off Banned Books Week, which is celebrated annually and is being held from through this Saturday. Details about planned events for Banned Books Week can be found on the Troy University Library’s Facebook page. 

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