Attention comic book fans, families, nerds and geeks of all persuasions: Be sure to visit all three locations of the Abilene Public Library beginning Monday.
That's the first day of the fourth annual Lib-Con, a celebration of anime, manga, comics and so much more.
Lib-Con runs from Monday through May 6, which happens to be Free Comic Book Day, a national event that celebrates comic culture.
The highlight of the six-day comic-con (comic convention to the uninitiated) is the Cosplay Contest on May 6. Cosplay is dressing up as a character from comic books, video games, movies or TV shows. Hundreds of people crammed into the upstairs auditorium at the main library downtown last year to watch nearly five dozen people show off their creativity, sewing skills and sometimes unique costumes.
"Last year; a mom contacted us before the Saturday contest," said Ann Mount, information services librarian and the main library and Lib-Con coordinator. "Her little girl dressed up as a Ninja Turtle with a tutu."
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There are no fees associated with any of the many events during the week, including the costume contest. Mount said the APL cosplay event is like a rehearsal for bigger Comic Cons.
Most of the programs Monday through May 5 begin at 4 or 4:30PM, to accommodate school hours. There are a few storytimes and a move about a young boy and his green, fire-breathing friend on some mornings, for the "itty-bitties," Mount said.
Events include "Allons-y Doctor Who," for teens and adults with games, crafts, trivia and more 4-7:30 p.m. Monday, South Branch; "Harry Potter: Trip to Diagon Alley," for all ages, 4-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Mockingbird Branch, with magical crafts and a screening of the first movie about the boy who lived; the "Face Off: Makeup Challenge," for tweens, teens and adults, with makeup artists competing in a sci-fi/fantasy challenge, 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Mockingbird Branch; and, on Thursday, "Jedi Academy" for kids and families with books, games, activities and treats, costumes welcome, 5-6 p.m., "Star Wars Papercraft" for teens involves making a 3D "Star Wars" character out of paper, also 5-6 p.m. and a showing of Episode VII of the beloved sci-fi movie series, 6-8:30 p.m. All three of these activities take place at the South Branch.
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On May 5, award-winning graphic novel author/illustrator Mark Crilley will give a talk and demonstration of his work at 4 p.m. A book-signing at the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature, 102 Cedar St., follows at 5:30 p.m.
New this year are two D&D sessions, one intro at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Mockingbird Branch, and one D&D game from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 6 at the main library.
May 6 is the big day, with things kicking off at 9:30 a.m. and continuing until 6 p.m., with all events taking place at the main library.
Crafts, LARPing, retro gaming, board games, cosplay chess, the new Nerdy Speed Dating and a talk by voice actress Terri Doty ("Black Butler," "Wasteland 2," "Laughing Under the Clouds"), will be available, among other activities.
Free comics will be offered and food trucks will be outside the library from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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The day culminates with the Cosplay Contest and skits. There will be prizes for the first three winners in each category, except the Triforce Tots, for ages up to 6 years, in which the top six winners will receive prizes.
Mount said the costume contest is by far her favorite part of the week, but she loves it all.
"I like that when everyone comes, they want to do everything," she said. "I see them at events all week long."
But that's not the only reason she's a big fan of Lib-Con.
"I met my fiance at the first Lib-Con," she said with a grin. "We're getting married in November."