Comic con in Centre County

In my local newspaper this morning, there is an article about Nittany-Con, happening this weekend (March 24) just down the road from me in Milesburg. It caught my attention first because – hey cool, a local comic-con! I kept reading because it’s about an 8th-grade art teacher who has managed to get a table for her students to show their work.

I think this is cool not only because the kids are learning about comics in their art class, but because their teacher has made an effort to teach them the business side of comics as well. I’m all for teaching art for its own sake, but I wish in my own education I’d been more exposed to the business side of things (and not just art). It’s great to have artistic ambition or enjoy solving equations, but you do have to pay rent and buy food. I wish I had learned a little earlier that, even if you don’t own your own business, you have to think of yourself as an entrepreneur. The days of getting a liberal arts education and getting trained on the job and advancing up the ladder until you retire are pretty much gone. I hope these kids have a great experience and sell some prints. (The proceeds go to charity.)

I was also reminded about the show by a tweet from local illustrator Jason Lenox. Unfortunately, my schedule won’t allow me to attend the show myself but I hope it is successful!

Free Comic Book Day is May 3

Free Comic Book Day

If you’ve been wanting to check out comics, tomorrow is your chance. All you have to do is stop by your local comic book store (or library – some libraries are planning events) and get your free comics. Yes, they are free, no strings attached!

This year I’m excited about the Hellboy, Neotopia, IGNATZ, and Owly (and friends!) books.

Comics and libraries

I haven’t been posting much about comics and libraries lately, in part because it seems almost commonplace these days. Libraries are embracing comics, and the comics industry is paying attention to libraries.

Why, just today Library Journal includes a report from the New York Comic Con that casually opens with “San Diego move over…” as if all librarians know that the San Diego Comic Con is the big comics convention.
In fact, comics have become so commonplace that the censors have taken to going after Newbery Award winners rather than comics. (There are references to this controversy all over the biblioblogosphere—for a little different take, see Neil Gaiman’s post. Personally, I think the censors should go straight to the source and advocate pants for dogs.)

I simply don’t have time to report all the comics and libraries stories out there, and since comics are way outside of my research library’s scope, I’m not the best person to report on them anyway.

However, I thought I’d report on a local event I attended. Penn State’s library hosted a panel discussion with Harvey Pekar (American Splendor) and Phoebe Gloeckner (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) on graphic novels. This panel discussion was part of the Charles W. Mann, Jr. Lecture in the Book Arts series, no less, and the auditorium was standing room only. The discussion was accompanied by an exhibit on graphic novels using materials from the library’s collection. Very cool.

DIY Librarian Top 5 Library Blogs of 2005

’Tis the season for lists, and I love lists. Not as ends unto themselves, but as beginnings for conversation and debate. I thought I’d start by listing the library blogs that have stood out in my reading this year. I have a small list of blogs in the sidebar, which I do weed and reseed occasionally, but it remains more a collection of the blogs that originally inspired me than a current reading list. I also have a public Bloglines blogroll so you can see what I’m reading in RSS, but the categories may not make sense to anyone but me. (For instance, “News” is health and science stuff that I read for work.) So, without further ado, here is the short list. It doesn’t include everything that I read and enjoy, or even everything that I think is important. It is quite simply the

DIY Librarian Top 5 Library Blogs of 2005 One of my original inspirations, both for blogging and as a librarian. Jessamyn continues to offer unique insight, to bring attention to important issues in libraryland, and to be very gracious and helpful to the up-and-coming (including me).

Library Dust. The biblioblogosphere is blessed with many eloquent writers, but I enjoy Michael McGrorty’s prose the most. I save the Library Dust entries in my aggregator because they are almost invariably worthy of savoring rather than scanning. This is one of the few library blogs that I recommend to people who aren’t librarians.

Information Wants To Be Free. I’ve only started reading this blog fairly recently, but it’s quickly become one of my must-reads. Meredith has a calm and rational, yet simultaneously exuberant, take on library and technology issues.

Librarian Trading Cards.This one has only been around for a couple of months, but I hope Amy keeps it up. Lots of fun and good for the profession too.

Open Stacks. I have not been reading Open Stacks as much since the focus has turned to podcasting—something I’m sure is very cool and worthwhile that I just haven’t made time for yet. However, I am completely in love with the Carnival of the Infosciences that Greg started back in August.

Honorable Mention: Conference Blog

SLA 2005 Conference Blog. For the first time, I wished I had more Internet access at a conference. Not so I could check in at work or post to my blog (sorry!), but so that I could check in on SLA 2005 for program changes, session reports, and local restaurant and recreational tips. This was also my first time participating in a group blog.

Honorable Mention: Non-Library Blog

The Comics Curmudgeon. Kind of like Mystery Science Theater for the funny pages. Instead of taking a smoke break, I read The Comics Curmudgeon.