Comic book and gaming enthusiasts will be able to channel their energies this weekend in the second annual comic book convention at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin.
Last year the convention complemented the summer reading program theme at Gail Borden. This year, it's back by popular demand. Bob Cassinelli agreed to organize a second event at the request of comic book artists, authors and library patrons.
"There seemed to be no reason not to do it again," Cassinelli said.
The free event will last from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 9, at the library, 270 N. Grove Ave. Manga Mania, which will focus on manga and anime, will begin at noon. There also will be game tournaments throughout the day for Pokemon, Magic the Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh players.
Cassinelli, who has been collecting comics on his own for about 40 years, orders graphic novels for the teen and youth departments at the library. The Gail Borden collection numbers in the thousands.
"Graphic novels have always been one of the top circulating collections here in the library," Cassinelli said.
There will be 19 guest artists and writers excited to talk about their work at Saturday's convention with vendor booths set up for sales. Anyone who shows up in costume will get a prize. There will also be face painting for kids.
Denise Raleigh, director of communication at Gail Borden, said one goal of the convention is to entice kids to read. If they find out they like books when they open a comic, it could launch the beginning of a lifelong activity.
Though this year's summer reading theme is medieval, graphic novels maintain their place in the spotlight. And, like kids have been able to for the last few years, they will get to choose between a free book or bag of comic books upon completion of the summer reading program.
For more information about the convention or to register for any of the game tournaments, visit gailborden.info, stop by the library or call 847-429-4685.