The 5th Annual Free Library Comic Con!

By Kris L. RSS Thu, May 2, 2019

This year, Free Library Comic Con celebrates its 5th anniversary with our annual event at the Parkway Central Library on May 11, 2019!

When you arrive, you’ll first encounter our Vendor Hall which will be chock full of an array of local businesses, colleges and universities, and other organizations. Artist Alley is where you can find all the day’s featured panelists after you’ve heard them speak. We’ll even be hosting some young artists from around the city who are certain to play a role in the future of comics! Some of the folks you’ll see include: Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Moore College of Art, Artist & Craftsman, Fleisher Art Memorial, Artistacon, Art Baxter, and Pumpkin and the Patch.

The Montgomery Auditorium will be where we gather all of our special guests for a series of panels:

12:00 p.m.
Meet some of the artists who have contributed their talents to Magic: The Gathering, one of the most popular trading-card games in the world, during "The Art of Magic: The Gathering"! Learn about what it’s like to freelance, work with style guides and art directors, and adhere to tight deadlines—while still putting your own signature style into your work.


1:00 p.m.
Join the editors and creators of Dirty Diamonds: An All-Girl Comic Anthology for "Dirty Diamonds: An All-Girl Comic Panel". Editors Kelly Phillips and Claire Folkman will discuss the award-winning publication’s history, processes, and social impact with featured contributors Jennifer Chan, Noni Garcia, and Beth Heinly. Get the inside scoop on their upcoming and final issue, DEATH, and find out what the future holds for this Philadelphia-based project!


2:00 p.m.
We'll shine a spotlight on James Boyle—fresh off his highly successful Philly Tarot Card Project Kickstarter campaign. He will discuss his journey and experiences as a freelance illustrator, the value of self-started projects, and how artists can harness the power of crowdfunding and social media.







Those who are inspired by what they hear can also try their hand at our free Art Workshops. This year’s featured workshop facilitators are Anna McGlynn, Shawn Alleyne, and Alex Smith.

11:00 a.m.
Join Anna McGlynn for "Expect the Unexpected: Using Chance Elements to Create a Comic". In this workshop, you will create a short comic by integrating elements of chance and game play into your storytelling.


12:00 p.m.
Shawn Alleyne will lead "Creating Comic-Book Stories 101", an introduction to the world of graphic storytelling. Through a series of fun, challenging exercises, you will learn the basics of story development, character design, and universe building and shape your own unique artistic vision.


1:00 p.m.
Author, artist, and musician Alex Smith will run a hands-on workshop on "Deconstructing Superheroes". Participants will write, draw, cut, and paste their way into creating a new world. Through surprising exercises and collaborations, discuss traditional superheroes and how we can deconstruct them—or change them—to meet modern interpretations. Cyberpunk superheroes? Afrofuturist superheroes? Anti-imperialist superheroes? We’ll make our characters work for the people.





The Children’s Department will once again join in the fun hosting a series of events for our young attendees ages 12 and under.

10:30 a.m.
Author, illustrator, and cartoonist Andrea Tsurumi will read her books Accident! and Crab Cake, and then participate in a zine workshop.









12:00 p.m.
Illustrator and artist Dre Grigoropol will lead a Character-Making Workshop. Ever wanted to create your own comic character? Dre will teach you how in this workshop!






1:00 p.m.
Join us for a Personal Comics Workshop. You’ve got something to say! Explore different ways to express yourself through personal comics with teaching artist and cartoonist Meghan Turbitt.





2:00 p.m.
It’s time for a Face-Painting Party! Join us in the Children’s Department for face painting, glitter tattoos, crafts, and a chance to get a photo with a famous princess!







Teens can relax in the new Field Teen Center aka the Teen Chill Room! We’ll be showcasing some anime and video games throughout the day!

All attendees can enjoy some down time in our designated Gaming Room, which will be located in the new Heim Center on the 1st Floor. Bring your own Yu-Gi-Oh or Magic: The Gathering cards and face off against other attendees. Meet other gamers and borrow one of our board games such as Pandemic, Codenames, Castle Panic, and many more!

As if all of this wasn’t enough, we have one last activity to highlight: In true Free Library Comic Con tradition, the day will culminate in a Cosplay Competition for all ages! Prizes will be awarded to the best dressed in all three age groups: adult, teen, and children. Judged by Cosplay Philadelphia, the Cosplay Competition is the highlight of each Free Library of Comic Con. This year’s competition will be hosted by Drag Performer Icon Ebony-Fierce featuring a special Steven Universe Drag Performance! Make sure you register at the Cosplay Registration table in the lobby when you arrive as space will be limited and Cosplay Registration closes at 1:00 p.m.

And of course, while you're here, you can borrow all kinds of cool comics from our collections—all you need is your library card!

We hope you’ll join us for our 5th annual event on May 11, 2019 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Register in advance and get your FREE ticket today!

View and print out full Comic Con schedule »

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with our team at

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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Free library comic con was the best!. I saw so many different art and comics i never heard of. And the cosplay contest was amazing and fun, i entered myself and won 1st place for my costume as Steven Universe. can't wait for next year!.
Autumn Jones - philadelphia
Monday, May 13, 2019

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gohatukot - united kingdom
Wednesday, May 22, 2019