Durham County Library presents its fifth annual Durham Comics Fest with guests, prizes, workshops and activities for children, teens and adults from Thursday, July 23 to Sunday, July 26 at various locations.
This year’s guest cartoonists include Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules!), Nick Bertozzi (Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey and Lewis & Clark), Jim Ottaviani (Feynman, Primates, and Bone Sharps, Cowboys and Thunder Lizards) and Malcolm Goff (Running for Hope: A Novel by the John Hope Franklin Young Scholars). Workshops and presentations will cover cartooning basics, writing and drawing for comics, creating historical fiction and nonfiction comics and self-publishing. The main event will also feature a comic book swap and local artists’ alley, where guests will be able to meet members of the local comics scene to chat about their process and work. Registration is required for select events. Detailed event information is included below.
The weekend kicks off on Thursday, June 23 with a trivia night at Fullsteam Brewery at 9 p.m. On Friday, June 25, come Drink & Draw with the Durham Comics Project at Coca Cinnamon from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, June 25, spend the day with us at Southwest Regional Library for tons of comic fun!
The Fest concludes with a screening of the film She Makes Comics on Sunday, July 26. The film traces the history of women in the comics industry from the medium’s beginnings in the late 19th century to the present day. Contains some adult language and artwork. The screening is made possible by the Durham Library Foundation.
Comics Fest is made possible by the Friends of the Durham Library. For details and a complete schedule, visit durhamcomicsfest.org or call 919-560-8590.
Fullsteam Trivia Night
9 p.m. at Fullsteam Brewery
Come test your mental mettle against in a special night of trivia sponsored by the Durham Comics Fest and Duke University Libraries, home of the Edwin and Terry Murray Comic Book Collection. Win yourself some prizes, and maybe even the grudging respect of your peers! For adults age 21 and up.
Drink & Draw
7-9 p.m. at Cocoa Cinnamon
For experienced and aspiring cartoonists alike, the hardest part of making comics is often making the time to draw, so let’s make that time together! We’ll have an exercise or two (often collaborative), but you’re welcome to just come to work on your own thing. Good for all ages, and no drawing experience is required! More information at at the Drink & Draw Meetup page (no membership required) and at durhamcomicsproject.org.
Saturday – All Event at Southwest Regional Library
Comic Book Swap
10 a.m.-12 p.m. in the Meeting Room
Comics lovers can trade their way to a new collection! Single issues and collected editions are welcome. Please note that no money may be exchanged during this event. For all ages – no registration required.
Local Artists Alley
12:30-5 p.m. in the Meeting Room
Members of the local comics scene chat about their process and their work.
Jimmy Gownley: Where Do You Get Your Ideas?
1-2 p.m. in the Meeting Room
In this interactive presentation, Jimmy Gownley answers the #1 question he gets asked: Where do you get your ideas? With drawing demonstrations and anecdotes, Gownley will explain how he created the Amelia Rules! characters and came up with the idea for the series. His journey tackles the greater topic of imagination and demonstrates how to go from a blank piece of paper to a story, drawing or idea. This program is ideal for children aged 8-14, but everyone is welcome! Registration is not required, and a book sale and signing will follow.
Storytelling in Four Panels: A Workshop with Nick Bertozzi
1-2 p.m. in the Children’s Program Room
Attendees will learn about the fundamentals of storytelling and apply them to their own four-panel comics stories. For adults and teens; registration required. Register online or by calling 919-560-8590.
Jim Ottaviani and Nick Bertozzi: Historical Heroes
2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Meeting Room
Jim Ottaviani and Nick Bertozzi have, between the two of them, created historical fiction and nonfiction comics about the lives of Richard Feynman, Jane Goodall, Robert Oppenheimer, Marie Curie, Lewis & Clark, Ernest Shackleton, Harry Houdini, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein and many more. They will host a discussion of the joys and challenges of creating works about these larger-than-life and far-from-perfect figures. This program is ideal for adults and teens, but everyone is welcome! Registration is not required, and a book sale and signing will follow.
Self-Publishing to Book Deal: How My High School Hobby Became my Career: A Workshop with Jimmy Gownley
2:45-3:45 p.m. in the Children’s Program Room
Gownley began creating comics at the age of 15 and selling them out of his high school locker. While still in school he established his own business and became a self-publisher. Now a full-time cartoonist with an 8-book deal, Gownley travels the country speaking to kids about life as a cartoonist and inspiring students to find their own unique talent and follow their dreams. This presentation encourages interactive discussion on creative careers, the specifics of creating comics (including technical aspects of drawing, computer coloring, and publishing), and the importance of promotion, persistence and personal success. For ages 13-18; registration is required. Register online or by call 919-560-8590.
Sunday – Southwest Regional Library
Film Screening: She Makes Comics
3 p.m. in the Meeting Room
This documentary film traces the history of women in the comics industry from the medium’s beginnings in the late 19th century to the present day, featuring dozens of interviews with such vital figures as Ramona Fradon, Trina Robbins, Joyce Farmer, Karen Berger, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Becky Cloonan. Participants can win a gift certificate to Rue Cler. Contains some adult language and artwork. No registration required. Screening and drawing made possible by the Durham Library Foundation.