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Library Grant to Provide Eight Weeks of ‘ComiXnite’ Activities


The business, art and storytelling of comics and graphic novels from anime to zombies will be discussed during a range of ComiXnite programs at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Madigan Library in October and November.

Partially funded with a $3,500 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. Wednesdays from Oct. 5 to Nov. 30 in the library’s second-floor reading loft. (There will be no session during Thanksgiving week.)

In addition to the workshops, the funding will greatly expand the Madigan Library’s graphic-novel collection and will help foster high school students’ literacy as well as their college preparedness through exposure to reading, discussion groups and related activities.

“Academic librarians and their partners have sought to create programming to stimulate interest in and readiness for the college experience among high school students,” library director Lisette Ormsbee wrote in the grant proposal. “We believe that the programming around the graphic novel and other sequential art formats can jump-start continued high school to college readiness programming around other collections and subjects.”

Libraries at Hughesville, Loyalsock Township, Montgomery Area, Montoursville Area, Muncy Jr./Sr., South Williamsport Jr./Sr. and Williamsport Area high schools are among the partners in the series, which will whet the appetite for the inaugural Wildcat Comic Con scheduled at Penn College on April 13-14.

The topics and dates for ComiXnite activities:

  • Welcome to ComiXnite and the Worlds of Graphic Novels, Superheroes, Manga, Anime, Steam Punk and Sci-Fi Comics (Oct. 5) An introduction to the program and exploration of the graphics/comic industry.
  • Feed Your Inner Zombie (Oct. 12) A discussion of zombies in film, comics and literature.
  • Bring on Your Cosplay! (Oct. 19) The art and science of costuming for the world of the comic con; participants can bring costumes to display and discuss.
  • The Zombie Apocalypse (Oct. 26) Compare notes on how zombies should look, dress and act; attendees should wear appropriate makeup, as the evening will be capped with a “Zombie Walk.”
  • Manga: Japanese Comic Books and Characters (Nov. 2) The history of Japanese comic books and the stories they tell, their fascinating characters, and their influences on entertainment and culture.
  • Author Webinar (Nov. 9) Gain insight into the creative process and learn about comics as a career through an online discussion with a published professional.
  • Talking Without Words: The Language of Pictorial Narrative (Nov. 16) A look at telling complex stories with few or no words; participants are invited to bring along their favorite “silent” book.
  • Avatars to Fan Fiction Show Your Stuff! (Nov. 30) Share your talents for storytelling, character design, pencil work, computer-generated art, original stories, fan fiction, etc. Students will have the option of talking to the group, presenting one-on-one or simply displaying their work.

The workshops variously will be led by John Shableski, program organizer and publisher liaison for the Wildcat Comic Con; John Weaver, from Williamsport Area High School’s English department; Dave S. Sims, associate professor of English at Penn College; Jim Van Fleet, librarian for science and engineering at Bucknell University; and Rhonda A. Fisher, a Penn College librarian.

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

Students who register for ComiXnite programs will be able to join Madigan Library with a one-year waiver of the annual membership fee. Using a Madigan Library card, high school students can check out books and movies, as well as use library computers to access online resources. 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 information or to register, email .

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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