We kicked off Free Comic Book Day 2015 at 1 pm on Saturday with a visit from three comic book artists, who shared with us their art, their passion and their insights. We held the event on the 4th Floor Studio.
After getting lots of inspiration from our amazing writer/artist panel, kids got their Free Comic books signed and were invited to join us for more programs downstairs. From 2-4 pm, we had two separate, simultaneous programs in the Technology Learning Center and the Story Room. In the Technology Learning Center, Mr. Nick led a workshop with three different web-based programs (see image links below!) that all give you different ways to design your own superhero character:
These are the three websites we used–click on the images:
Author Michael Owen Carroll also has a superhero/supervillain name generator at http://www.michaelowencarroll.com, and the kids were having fun with that. It generates ten names at a time, and gives you some names that are good [like Power Quake], bad [Lass Brother] and others that are just goofy [Weevil Power].
At the same time, in the Story Room, we had a program showing kids our comic-book-themed iPad apps, iPads provided. There were two apps we played with, one that was better for older kids and one that was easier to use for younger kids. Click the pictures below to find out more and purchase these apps from the Apple App Store. (They are only available for iOS devices.)
Here are some sample comic strips I made with the Big Nate app, to show kids what they can do with it:
Here is a comic strip made by Melissa, one of our participants:
Here are some shots of kids playing with and learning about the apps. Children and parents worked together to learn how to use them to make something fun. Some parents went and bought the apps for their device at home so they could keep the fun going!
We used a few joke books to give us inspiration for our comic strips. One of them, called Monkeyfarts, was a book that one participant already had at home and memorized from cover to cover!
A few kids made a game out of being superheroes in battle:
Suffice it to say, a good time was had by all. So if you were outside in the heat, waiting in a line stretching around the block for free comics at your favorite comic book store… Well… YOU WERE MISSING OUT!! Remember, libraries do Free Comic Book Day in air-conditioned style. 🙂