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‘ComiXnite’ Resumes This Month at Penn College’s Madigan Library

A new round of weekly ComiXnite programs, a continuation of a grant-funded series that debuted last fall, will be held throughout February at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Madigan Library.

“The 2012 program promises to deliver innovative presenters and creative, experiential learning,” said librarian Judy J. Zebrowski, one of the coordinators for ComiXnite. “From zombies and superheroes to cartooning and illustrated journaling, program participants will capture the excitement of the graphic novel and comics universe to learn, create, share and network with other comics enthusiasts.”

Partially funded with a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, the programs will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays during February in Room 200 of the library.

Students who register for and attend all four of the ComiXnite sessions will have the chance to win two free tickets to the Wildcat Comic Con, to be held April 13-14 at the college’s main campus in Williamsport.

In addition to funding the workshops, the grant has expanded the library’s graphic-novel collection with an eye toward improving high school students’ literacy as well as their college preparedness through exposure to reading, discussion groups and related activities.

The topics, dates and presenters for this semester’s ComiXnite activities are:

  • “Dangerous Cartoons and Comics” (Feb. 7)
    A pen may be mightier than the sword, but a picture can incite the wrath of the powerful and inspire change. For more than 1,000 years, cartoonists have used images to tell stories and poke fun at kings, society and religions. Cartoons have been used to inspire revolutions, and they have also put their creators’ lives at risk. John Shableski, program organizer and publisher liaison for the Wildcat Comic Con, will examine images and discuss their motives and repercussions.
  • “How to Kill a Zombie With a Pencil” (Feb. 14)
    Participants in past ComiXnite sessions have watched movies and looked at books about zombies, as well as dressing and walking like them. Following the footsteps of George Romero and Max Brooks, they now will write about them. Those who have written stories, made comics or drawn pictures of “the living dead” are encouraged to share their ideas. John Weaver, from Williamsport Area High School’s English department, will help attendees create new stories and art, contributing to the growing world of zombie literature.
  • “Illustrated Journaling: Drawing the Mind in a Quest for Self” (Feb. 21)
    The presentation will address the aspects of an illustrated journal, how to find inspiration, what to write, what the rules are (if there are rules), why bother, and a good formula for ratio of writing to drawing/illustrating. April Line, a self-employed writer/editor, will talk about alternative 2-D illustration styles such as collage and stamping and oversee participants’ work on their journals writing, drawing and sharing.
  • “Hellboy: Hey, That Superhero is a Monster” (Feb. 28)
    John Hruschka, assistant professor of English/composition at Penn College, will review the startling and complicated life of Hellboy, a B-movie monster transformed into a superhero defending Earth and its inhabitants from the occult forces of evil first as the comic book superhero imagined by Mike Mignola and then as the bigger-than-life star of his own movies.

Zebrowski and Madigan Library faculty colleague Patricia A. Scott are coordinating the initiative, with support from the library’s Outreach Team.

High school students who register for ComiXnite programs will be able to join The Madigan Library with a one-year waiver of the annual membership fee. Students ages 15 to 18 need a signed parental-consent form before a card can be issued.

Light refreshments will be served at each session.

For more about Penn College, visit on the Web, email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

For more information about grant-funding opportunities, faculty and staff may contact the Grants and Contracts Office at ext. 7562 or through its Web portal.

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