Wichita State University Libraries hosted their first Halloween ComicFest event on October 28, 2017. Although this national event is typically held in comic book stores, Diamond Comic Distributors has encouraged libraries to participate. The purpose of the event at University Libraries was to engage students and faculty, as well as the community at large, in a celebration of comics and graphic novels and learn about the academic importance of these media forms in a fun environment. The event also served as a valuable way to showcase the libraries’ resources and technology offerings while providing opportunities for attendees to create new partnerships across campus.
Activities included a green screen photo booth, costume contest, 3-D printing for cosplay demonstrations, film screening of Nosferatu, appearances by the 501st Legion, and of course, free comics. Roundtable discussions facilitated by faculty and students were another unique feature of the event that helped participants understand the value of comics and graphic novels at the university level. Over one hundred people attended the event including students, staff, and community members, many of whom brought their families.
Planning is underway for Halloween ComicFest 2018. Based on positive feedback the planning committee received the event will be expanded to include a more robust academic program, an increased number of participant-focused activities, and partnerships with more entities outside University Libraries.