Geeks Assemble!


Comic-con big draw for library

By Andrew Carter - acarter@aimmediamidwest.com



Grace Ellis, left, and Lauren McCubbin, two-thirds of the creative team behind the “Moonstruck” comic book series, share a laugh with the audience during their panel discussion on Saturday at the Delaware County District Library’s Great GeekFest. The book is distributed through Image Comics.


Andrew Carter | The Gazette

Columbus-based artist Sean Forney takes a break from meeting with visitors at the Great GeekFest on Saturday to pose for a photo with his comic book creation, the Scarlet Huntress. Visit seanforneyart.wordpress.com to see more of Forney’s work.


Andrew Carter | The Gazette

Pokemon versus Amazon? It’s a friendly encounter as Pikachu gives Diana, Princess of Themiscyra — aka Wonder Woman — a hug during the Great GeekFest on Saturday at the Delaware County District Library’s main branch in Delaware. A large crowd of comic book, sci-fi, and gaming enthusiasts attended the free comic-con at the library. Hannah Simpson, communications specialist at the library, portrayed the Amazing Amazon.


Andrew Carter | The Gazette

Tensions reached a fever pitch as the Amazing Amazon came face-to-face with the beloved Pokemon.

Surely, a fierce battle would follow the stare down.

Actually, the kid dressed as Pikachu just wanted a photograph taken with Wonder Woman during the Delaware County District Library’s Great GeekFest. Diana, Princess of Themiscyra — aka Hannah Simpson, library communications specialist — was more than happy to oblige, joining actors dressed as DC Comics characters Batman and Harley Quinn for the all-star picture.

A wide range of costumed characters showed up Saturday for the library’s free comic-con. It was the second year for GeekFest, which was staged at the DCDL’s main branch in Delaware. The first GeekFest was held in 2016 at the Orange Branch Library.

Columbus area artist Sean Forney has enjoyed drawing and creating characters his entire life, inspired by superheroes like He-Man and Spider-Man. He and his wife, Stephanie, have developed a modern-day — and much more butt-kicking — version of Little Red Riding Hood called the Scarlet Huntress.

“It started out as a short story for an anthology comic series,” he said. “That was back in 2003.”

Scarlet Huntress has evolved from short story to her own comic book, detailing her exploits protecting Central Ohio, Forney said.

“Our first story was based in Columbus. She walking outside of Nationwide Arena,” Forney said. “So, we tried to throw in some landmarks in the books. We’ve just slowly but surely put out some more stories over the years. We’re trying to develop it a little bit more. We’ve been in talks to come up with another couple of stories for next year that we want to release and do some crowd-funding through Kickstarter. We’re looking at another anthology of our own. In 2013, we did an anthology of three stories, one we wrote on our own and two that some friends wrote for it.”

Forney recently completed artwork for Tire Discounters, drawing a character called the Phantom Tire Buyer. He said the commercials have been shown on social media.

“For years, listening to the radio I’ve heard about their Phantom Tire Buyer,” Forney said. “Hopefully, it’ll transfer over to TV here shortly. There’s five or six different videos of him talking about tire-related things to the mechanics at their different shops and what not. It’s been a fun experience.”

For information about Forney’s work, visit seanforneyart.wordpress.com.

The creative team behind Image Comics’ “Moonstruck” series participated in one of several panel discussions. Writer Grace Ellis and editor Lauren McCubbin talked about the book and answered questions.

“’Moonstruck’ takes place in a town that, in many ways, is a very normal, college-type town,” said Ellis, creator of the “Lumberjanes” series. “There’s normal, everyday types of stuff, but the world is populated not only with humans, but with paranormal creatures, like werewolves — our main characters are werewolves. … It’s very light, it’s very fun. It’s a lesbian, romance, mystery, fantasy comic book.”

Ellis, McCubbin, and illustrator Shae Beagle each have ties to the Columbus College of Art Design. Ellis and Beagle are alumni and McCubbin is an assistant professor at CCAD.

Discussion moderator and teen librarian Becky Woodruff asked Ellis and McCubbin for their thoughts about why the Columbus area is becoming such a magnet for comic book artists and writers.

“I think that Columbus is a great place for comics because it’s not expensive to live there,” McCubbin said. “It’s easy to be able to both make a living and pay your rent, and also have a creative life, whereas in other more expensive cities, it’s really hard to do that. As well, there’s a really great creative community that’s grown up around comics and that is very supportive of each other.

“And it’s really great to have places like the Billy Ireland (Cartoon Library and Museum), where you can see the entire history of comics as well as how that influences contemporary creators,” she added. “They bring in a lot of great contemporary creators.”

Executive Director George Needham said GeekFest offers folks who aren’t regular library patrons the opportunity to visit, possibly for the first time.

“That’s part of the idea, to attract people who have a very traditional idea of what a library is or who may think the library’s not for them,” he said. “By doing this, we introduce a new audience, we introduce a whole different set of things that people can do in the library, and we just have some fun. I love doing anything we can that throws a little bit of sawdust into the works of what people think a library should be. … It gives kids whose interests are a little different than other kids a chance to get together and have some fun with each other without anyone worrying about being teased.”

Grace Ellis, left, and Lauren McCubbin, two-thirds of the creative team behind the “Moonstruck” comic book series, share a laugh with the audience during their panel discussion on Saturday at the Delaware County District Library’s Great GeekFest. The book is distributed through Image Comics.
http://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2017/10/web1_GEEKFEST2017-03.jpgGrace Ellis, left, and Lauren McCubbin, two-thirds of the creative team behind the “Moonstruck” comic book series, share a laugh with the audience during their panel discussion on Saturday at the Delaware County District Library’s Great GeekFest. The book is distributed through Image Comics. Andrew Carter | The Gazette

Columbus-based artist Sean Forney takes a break from meeting with visitors at the Great GeekFest on Saturday to pose for a photo with his comic book creation, the Scarlet Huntress. Visit seanforneyart.wordpress.com to see more of Forney’s work.
http://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2017/10/web1_GEEKFEST2017-02.jpgColumbus-based artist Sean Forney takes a break from meeting with visitors at the Great GeekFest on Saturday to pose for a photo with his comic book creation, the Scarlet Huntress. Visit seanforneyart.wordpress.com to see more of Forney’s work. Andrew Carter | The Gazette

Pokemon versus Amazon? It’s a friendly encounter as Pikachu gives Diana, Princess of Themiscyra — aka Wonder Woman — a hug during the Great GeekFest on Saturday at the Delaware County District Library’s main branch in Delaware. A large crowd of comic book, sci-fi, and gaming enthusiasts attended the free comic-con at the library. Hannah Simpson, communications specialist at the library, portrayed the Amazing Amazon.
http://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2017/10/web1_GEEKFEST2017-01.jpgPokemon versus Amazon? It’s a friendly encounter as Pikachu gives Diana, Princess of Themiscyra — aka Wonder Woman — a hug during the Great GeekFest on Saturday at the Delaware County District Library’s main branch in Delaware. A large crowd of comic book, sci-fi, and gaming enthusiasts attended the free comic-con at the library. Hannah Simpson, communications specialist at the library, portrayed the Amazing Amazon. Andrew Carter | The Gazette
Comic-con big draw for library

By Andrew Carter

acarter@aimmediamidwest.com

Contact Andrew Carter at 740-413-0900. Follow him on Twitter @DelOhioEditor.

Contact Andrew Carter at 740-413-0900. Follow him on Twitter @DelOhioEditor.