Caped crusaders, masked heroes, fandom favorites and comic culture were celebrated at the Oceanside Library’s OceanCon. OceanCon is one of the “few annual large events” the library runs said director Christina Marra. The event is a way to introduce more leisure reading into the lives of Oceansiders and allows staff and participants express themselves by dressing up and emulating their heroes.
Tony Iovino, the assistant director at the library said the staff originally came up with event. “We have a lot of fun, the staff love it, they get to dress up and have a great time. We highlight the fact that the graphic novels are a popular format and a great way to gets kids and adults to read and it also ties in with the movies that we also have,” he said.
The promotion of the library’s many graphic novels helps literacy and entertainment in all its facets come together to promote pleasure reading. Pleasure or leisure reading is reading that isn’t mandated by school or work but something someone can enjoy on their own time. In teens, starting with graphic novels helps to promote pleasure reading and can help them branch out to other more diverse novels.
Barbara Mickowski teen librarian said, “It also encourages pleasure reading, a lot of times the kids are so bogged down with reading for school, they don’t have time for pleasure reading and because it’s a fast, easy read and it’s very engaging it allows them to have that downtime.”
It’s also perfect for those who need some visual help while reading. “Some people who are visual learners’ graphic novels are prefect. Some people need more than just words on a page to get the full concept and full idea of something, so graphic novels bridges that printed word with the visual aspect together,” said Michelle Samuel, head of youth services.
It’s also fun to join or learn about different graphic or illustrative cultures. “A lot of these fandoms, as we know, have started from books. So, it was a great opportunity to really draw in a lot of different people who have a love for all of these different fandoms,” said Gabriella Trinchetta teen librarian.
“Whether it’s Marvel, or Harry Potter or Stranger Things, Spider Man, whatever it is, it was a way to really draw the community here. It’s also important for us to evolve with what people are looking for.”
Illustrator Jorell Rivera was at OceanCon to help those interested create their own characters and workshop their drawing skills. “I co-created a comic book called Go Robot Now, which I’ve been working on for about ten years now. It’s one of those things where you start as a kid and then you don’t stop, my mom is very supportive and always encouraged me to draw and it’s something I always wanted to pursue.”