Suzanne Buchholz, Senior Reporter
Since 2002, the first Saturday in May has been marked by Free Comic Book Day, an event promoted by North American comic industries to increase business at independent comic book stores and distribute new comics to all readers. This year, Free Comic Book Day occurred on May 6 and was honored at various comic book stores throughout Washington, such as Comics Dungeon, Golden Age Collectibles and Everett Comics.
For Puyallup residents, they needed to look no further than the Puyallup Public Library to get their free comics fix. Ever since its inception, the library has been involved in Free Comic Book Day, but it’s only been since 2014 that the library has put its own unique twist on the event. In addition to free comics, the library hosts a mini comic convention called PuliCon (short for Puyallup Library Convention), which just held its fourth annual convention.
PuliCon began at 10 a.m. and lasted until 5 p.m. May 6. As soon as the library doors opened, attendees were allowed to line up to receive free comics at the door, limiting it to three comics per person. Some comics available this year included popular titles such as Wonder Woman, Doctor Who, Rick and Morty, Attack on Titan and more, as well as comics put out by certain publishing companies that offered previews for upcoming titles.
In addition to the comics, PuliCon offered activities similar to those seen at bigger local conventions such as Emerald City Comic Con and Sakura-Con. One such feature was Artist Alley, in which local artists set up tables to sell homemade items commemorating favorite shows, movies and so on such as posters and pins. Other tables offered original books, plushes and other original items.
PuliCon also hosted panels on different topics for attendees to check out. Panels this year included one on making kanzashi (Japanese flower ornaments made of folded fabric), a discussion on what it’s like to be a scientist led by Dr. Barber DeGraaff of Western Washington University and discussion on Mahou Shoujo (anime focusing on magical girls such as Sailor Moon).
Other activities included costume photography provided by Charlotte Lewis Photography, a Pokemon Go scavenger hunt, Lego displays and a crafts section.
One highlight event of this year’s PuliCon was a discussion with local author Marissa Meyer, who wrote the Lunar Chronicles series. The discussion focused on the process she takes in writing, specifically on her latest book Wires and Nerve, a graphic novel that’s a spin-off of the Lunar Chronicles. After the discussion Meyer held a Q&A session to answer fans’ questions and autographed books. Attendees could either bring books to be signed or purchase them at the event.
Next year’s Free Comic Book Day will be on May 5 as its the second Saturday. PuliCon plans for 2018 have yet to be announced but are typically posted about a month before the event. Updates for PuliCon as well as information on other events at the library can be found on the Puyallup Public Library’s website.
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