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Fanboys and Fangirls: The Time is Now

//Fanboys and Fangirls: The Time is Now
  • SCLSNJ 2nd Annual Comic Con event

Fanboys and Fangirls: The Time is Now

Fanboys and Fangirls: The Time is Now

Comic-themed programs are coming to SCLSNJ’s libraries this May and June, including special presentation by Damon Lindelof

(Somerset County, NJ: April 7, 2017) This May and June, Somerset County Library System of New Jersey will celebrate the comic boom with a three-part program series at SCLSNJ’s Manville Library branch and a Comic Con at SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch.

“Teens, particularly those reluctant to read books in prose, will pick up comic books, especially if it’s related to pop culture and movies and shows that are currently out,” said Katie Salerno, librarian at SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch. “With shows like ‘The Flash’ and ‘Arrow,’ and extremely popular Marvel movies like ‘Captain America’ and ‘The Avengers,’ we’re noticing teen interest in related books. There is also a TV show called ‘Riverdale’ based on the ‘Archie’ comics that is very interesting and has a big teen appeal. I think this show will bring this comic back to the forefront for teens.”

“I think an important factor in the growing popularity of this genre is that the younger generations are finding greater engagement with comics due to their parents reading them as kids,” said Jodi Silverman, librarian at SCLSNJ’s Manville Library branch. “A benefit of that cross-generational interest is an increased acceptance in alternate formats. Last month I had my first 100 percent checkout during my school visit with fourth graders when the theme was alternate formats, which includes comics, graphic novels, ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines.”

“Comics remain unique with their own styles and conventions, able to express ideas in ways that film or verse cannot,” said Chris Murray, librarian at SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch. “They really haven’t been ‘for kids’ in a good 40 years–comics are relevant to all generations.”

“Our library system has a number of graphic novels in the top 100 most checked-out juvenile fiction books in the last year,” said Laura Frantz, librarian in SCLSNJ’s Collection Development department.

Raina Telgemeier’s ‘Smile,’ ‘Sisters,’ ‘Drama,’ ‘Claudia and Mean Jean,’ and ‘Mary Anne Saves the Day’ are among SCLSNJ’s top 100 most checked-out juvenile fiction books. Other graphic novels that appear on the list include ‘Big Nate: All Work No Play,’ ‘Amulet Book Seven,’ and ‘El Deafo.’”

“Comics and graphic novels are being recognized with more awards and appearing on many school reading lists, which increases their popularity,” continued Frantz. “We want to share these titles and also help patrons discover plenty of hidden gems in this collection.”

“Over the past two decades, the popular stereotypes of the Golden and Silver Ages of comics are slowly, but surely, being challenged,” said Silverman. “There are a number of award-winning comics that challenge these stereotypes by highlighting young adult protagonists of varying gender, sexual identity, race, culture, and religion.”

Silverman recommends picking up the following to explore diversity in comics:

  • Anya’s Ghost” by Vera Brosgol. A young, Russian emigrant girl struggling with both literal and figurative ghosts.
  • Boxers / Boxers” and “Saints / Saints” by Gene Luen Yang; color by Lark Pien. A two-part historical fiction series exploring two youth’s alternate viewpoints of China’s Boxer rebellion.
  • Drama” by Raina Telgemeier; with color by Gurihiru. A coming-of-age story that explores a middle school girl’s experiences with friendship, burgeoning love, and sexual identity.
  • Lumberjanes. 1, Beware the Kitten Holy” written by Noelle Stevenson & Grace Ellis; illustrated by Brooke Allen. A group of four girls at summer camp defy female stereotypes and battle the supernatural.
  • Ms. Marvel Vol. 1, No Normal” by G. Willow Wilson (writer) and Adrian Alphona (artist). For the first time in history, a major comic hero is depicted as a Muslim in this reboot of the iconic Marvel character.
  • Paper Girls Volume 1” by Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Cliff Chiang (artist), Matt Wilson (colors), and Jared K. Fletcher (letters). Four young girls fight off an alien invasion during the emerging “Grrrl Power” movement of the late 1980’s.
  • Runaways Vol. 1, Pride & Joy” by Brian K. Vaughn, Adrian Alphona, David Newbold, Craig Yeung, Brian Reber, Paul Tutrone, Chris Eliopoulos, Randy Gentile, Jo Chen, Takeshi Miyazawa, Brian Reber, Stephanie Moore, Mackenzie Cadenhead, C.B. Cebulski. A group of six youths of varying age, gender, and race are forced to come together when they stumble upon a dark and sinister secret about their parents.

Let your celebration and appreciation of all things comics continue with The Comics Creation: Everyday Superheroes program series at SCLSNJ’s Manville Library branch, appropriate for ages 10-18 and SCLSNJ’s Comic Con at SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch in June, appropriate for teens and adults. Details are below.

Comics Creation: Everyday Superheroes
Lindelof’s Master Lecture: Telling Stories
May 12, 6-7:30 p.m.
SCLSNJ’s Manville Library branch, located at 100 S. Branch Road in Manville
Damon Lindelof, of “Lost” fame, will share pro-tips on developing a story from concept to completion. Lindelof will also discuss: exploring the story behind your story, do’s and don’ts when working as part of a creative team, and how to develop realistic expectations of your work. Q&A session to follow.

Comics Creation: Everyday Superheroes
Transforming Through Thumbnails: Planning it All Out
May 26, 6-7:30 p.m.
SCLSNJ’s Manville Library branch, located at 100 S. Branch Road in Manville
Illustrator and writer Falynn Koch will discuss the process of turning a comic script or idea, into a fully fledged comic by using thumbnails, or tiny sketches, before going to final pages. This will include knowing what format or ratio you want to pages to be, printing out thumb pages to draw on or using digital ones, and how to draw small “correctly” to think about light and dark placement and panel layout.

Comics Creation: Everyday Superheroes
Drawing Comics
June 2, 6-7:30 p.m.
SCLSNJ’s Manville Library branch, located at 100 S. Branch Road in Manville
Cartoonist R. Sikoryak will focus on the design of comics and how to make a story more dramatic, more funny, or more entertaining through the pictures. Participants will draw and discuss character styles, panel arrangement, and even lettering, and how those elements come together. Sikoryak will show samples of his own comics and more to provide inspiration.

SCLSNJ Comic Con
June 17, 12-4 p.m.
SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch, located at 1 Vogt Drive in Bridgewater
The SCLSNJ Comic Con will feature vendors and artists. Local artist Darren Auck will be providing portfolio reviews; local audiobook narrator Jonathan Davis will read an excerpt from “The Force Awakens”; and there will be a cosplay contest and a pop culture trivia contest.

Registration is required to attend these programs. To register, visit  or contact your local SCLSNJ library branch.

About Damon Lindelof
Damon Lindelof, New Jersey born and bred, earned a film degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts before heading west to pursue a screenwriting career. After several years in the business as staff writer and story editor, in 2004 he began working with writer-director-producer J.J. Abrams to create a television series about the survivors of a mysterious plane crash in the South Pacific. “Lost” brought together a number of creative talents that would reteam for “Star Trek,” which represented Lindelof’s first feature credit as a producer.  Since then, he has worked as a writer and producer on Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus”, “World War Z,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” and “Tomorrowland.” Recently, he just finished Showrunning the third and final season of HBO’s critically-acclaimed “The Leftovers,” which he fiercely defends as “not as depressing as everyone says.” He also wrote this bio. In 2013, Lindelof teamed up with legendary artist Leinil Francis Yu and Dave McCaig to bring to life the highly popular comic book series: “Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk.” The comic book/mini series featured six episodes.

About Falynn Koch
Falynn Koch is an illustrator and writer in Philadelphia. She has a masters degree from The Savannah College of Art and Design and is a graduate of the International Culinary Center. Koch once owned a food truck, is fascinated by animals and microorganisms, and her favorite thing draw is impractical mythological creatures. “Science Comics: Bats” is her first work with First Second publishing, with “Science Comics: Plagues” coming out summer 2017 and “Make Your Own: Baking” after that in late 2018.

About R. Sikoryak
R. Sikoryak is a cartoonist, illustrator, and teacher. He is the author of “Masterpiece Comics” and “Terms and Conditions: The Graphic Novel” (both from the publisher Drawn & Quarterly). He has drawn comics for “SpongeBob Comics,” “MAD,” “Nickelodeon Magazine,” “Hellboy,” and more. His cartoons and illustrations have appeared on the cover of “The New Yorker,” “Fortune,” “LA Weekly,” and “Harvard Business Review,” as well as in “The Onion,” “GQ,” “Esquire,” and other magazines. He’s also drawn for television, including “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and done animation design and storyboards for Augenblick Studios in Brooklyn.  His adaptations of literary classics have appeared in “The Best American Comics 2015,” “The Graphic Canon,” “Drawn and Quarterly,” and “Fable Comics.” Sikoryak teaches at Parsons School of Design and The Center for Cartoon Studies. Since 1997, he’s presented his live cartoon performance series, “Carousel,” around the United States and Canada. It has showcased the work of over 150 artists. Sikoryak lives in NYC, but he grew up in Manville.

About Darren Auck
Darren Auck is a shaved down Bigfoot who writes and draws comics. He also teaches at The Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Arts in Dover, NJ and builds Halloween props. Auck is best known as a Marvel Comics Art Director and penciler on “Ren & Stimpy,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “She-Hulk,” and other titles. He is currently working on his graphic novels, “Jersey Devil vs. Bigfoot,” “Uncle Samson and Son,” and commissions for fans.

About Jonathan Davis
Jonathan Davis is a critically acclaimed and award-winning narrator and voiceover actor who has earned accolades for his narration from “The New York Times,” “Publisher’s Weekly,” American Library Association, “Booklist,” Audiobook Publishers Association, “AudioFile Magazine,” and “USA Today.” Jonathan’s work as a narrator includes film and programming for National Geographic Television, National Geographic Channel, VH1, NOVA, and PBS. He has narrated a variety of bestselling and award-winning titles in all genres for major publishing houses and national audio divisions, including Penguin Random House Audio, Harper Audio, Hachette Audio, Recorded Books, Blackstone Audio, MacMillan Audio, Simon & Schuster Audio, and Audible, Inc. He is a three-time recipient and fourteen-time nominee of the celebrated Audie Award, presented by the APA for excellence in audiobook narration/production. Active in all voice markets, Davis has provided voice talent in commercials, promos, long-form narration, documentaries, video games, and animation. He has narrated over forty titles of the “Star Wars” series for Lucasfilm Ltd./ PRH Audio, including several iconic movie tie-ins and novelizations, most recently as the audiobook narrator of both “The Force Awakens” (YA) and “Rogue One” and has made appearances at Star Wars Celebration, Comic-Con, and book conventions in New York and California. Davis grew up in San Juan and Miami and works in both English and Spanish language media.

About Somerset County Library System of New Jersey
Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) partners with you to connect, to explore, to share and to discover. Together we enrich lives, expand knowledge and strengthen communities. SCLSNJ branches can be found in Bridgewater, Bound Brook, Hillsborough, Manville, North Plainfield, Peapack & Gladstone, Rocky Hill at Mary Jacobs Memorial Library, Somerville, Warren Township, and Watchung. Additionally, there are two SCLSNJ reading stations in Branchburg and Washington Valley. Visit for further information about library services offered at SCLSNJ.


By |2017-12-05T19:12:09-04:00April 7th, 2017|SCLSNJ News|
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