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Boone KidsCon at Watauga Public Library

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Article Published: Oct. 4, 2012 | Modified: Oct. 21, 2012
Boone KidsCon at Watauga Public Library

Cartoonist Ben Towle’s most recent book is ‘Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean.’ Towle will speak at the upcoming Boone KidsCon.
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Appalachian State University’s Honors 2515 class will present an all-ages comic book convention for children, featuring free comic books, cartoon screenings, appearances by artists Ben Towle and Rachel “Rei” Haycraft, and other surprises on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Watauga County Public Library.

The event will be held in the library’s meeting room and is free and open to the public.

The Boone KidsCon will feature a free all-ages comic book for child attendees; an exhibit of original comic art by Towle, Haycraft and other cartoonists; a “comics catalog,” projecting the art of dozens of cartoonists; a screening of classic cartoons; and assorted comics-related art activities for children and adults.

There will also be a special session of the Boone KidsCon, from 9 to 11 a.m., for Girl Scouts working on their “Comic Artist” badges. Scouts should ask their troop leaders for more details.

Two cartoonists will speak at the event and work with kids on art activities.

Towle, a resident of Winston-Salem, is an Eisner-nominated cartoonist whose most recent book, “Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean” (with Sarah Stewart Taylor), a graphic novel for young adults, was released by Disney/Hyperion Books in 2010. The book has received accolades from such publications as The New York Times and Publishers Weekly and was a Junior Library Guild selection. His previous work includes the historical fiction graphic novel, “Midnight Sun,” as well as an earlier volume of comics folk tales, “Farewell, Georgia,” both from SLG Publishing. He’s currently working on the webcomic, “Oyster War.” For more information on Towle, visit http://www.benzilla.com.

Haycraft is a graduate student in educational media at Appalachian State. Interested in Japanese comics (manga), she drew a chapter of “Revenant Aidenn,” a manga-influenced fantasy epic, for her undergraduate honors project. She continues to work on “Revenant Aidenn,” samples of which can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsLwWxjbNlI. For more information on Haycraft, visit http://www.rachelhaycraft.com.

There will also be a bake sale sponsored by local children, with all the proceeds going to Team Cul de Sac, a campaign started by cartoonist Richard Thompson and fan Chris Sparks to raise money for research into a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

The event is sponsored by the children’s department of the Watauga County Public Library and the Appalachian State Honors 2515 class on comic books and graphic novels. The ASU students are planning, organizing and staffing the Boone KidsCon.

“I love how excited these college students are to share their enthusiasm for comics with the next generation of readers,” said Dr. Craig Fischer, Honors 2515 instructor, “and it’s terrific to work on an event that promotes literacy in the community.”

The Watauga County Public Library is located at 140 Queen St. in downtown Boone. For more information, email (fischercj@appstate.edu)

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