EATON — The Preble County District Library hosted its third annual Comic Con Saturday, June 1.
“We typically do it as a way of closing out our summer reading program,” PCDL Youth Services Manager Sarah Tozier said of the event. ““It’s a great way to keep kids reading,”
This year, Tozier said, they decided to use the Con as a kick-off event instead.
“We had great attendance last year, so this year we wanted to try and use it to make more people aware of the program from the beginning,” Tozier said.
The summer reading program exists to combat “summer slide,” according to Tozier — a phenomenon in which kids’ reading skills suffer because they spend so little time reading over the summer break.
“Keeping them reading over the summer helps prevent them from losing those skills,” Tozier said.
The convention has grown since it started in 2017, according to Tozier. The first Preble County Comic Con was held at the Eaton branch of the library, while last year’s moved to the Star Theater and Gym at Eagles Point Residences, also in Eaton. This year the event took place at The Wagner Center at 1407 N. Barron St., a community gathering place operated by L&M Products, Inc., an Eaton-based company which provides services to people with disabilities.
Last year’s Comic Con pulled in over 500 attendees, according to Tozier, mainly because not everyone has the ability to travel to some of the larger conventions.
“Most conventions are far away, and they can be very expensive,” Tozier said. “This provides people with something that’s free and closer to home.”
Annye Driscoll, a software developer from Moraine who promotes her cosplaying activities on social media under the name Gleume Cosplay, was a featured guest at Saturday’s event. Driscoll designs and crafts her own costumes based on movie, comic book, and anime characters, and has attended over 30 cons. Her favorite part of the experience, she said, is using a process called foamsmithing to craft props and costumes out of EVA foam, a substance also used to create movie sets and sports equipment.
“Different people get different pleasures from cosplaying, and that’s mine,” Driscoll said.
Saturday’s event included vendors, photo ops, a food truck, and a cosplay contest hosted by Driscoll. Megan McBarron, 17, took home first prize in the adult portion of the contest, while Alexandra Wenning, 10, took first prize among contestants age 13 and below.
Tozier said that, in addition to promoting the summer reading program, the con is a way to showcase the creative talents of Preble County residents.
“We want to keep using it as a way to promote local artists, and also to inspire the kids,” Tozier said. “They come here and see that people from Preble County can be artists and creators.”