Forget San Diego - Vernon Hills library to host local comic con

Superpowered heroes, diabolical villains and animated aliens soon will converge on Vernon Hills for the Aspen Drive Library's Mini-Con.

The March 3 gathering will feature costume and video game competitions, a discussion with Chicago comic book writer and novelist Michael Moreci, and more activities.

Another writer and two artists will promote their work at the free event, too: writer Trevor Mueller of Buffalo Grove, artist Don Cardenas of Waukegan, and artist Beth Zwolski, a former Libertyville resident now living in Wisconsin.

Dreamland Comics, a Libertyville retailer, will have a booth as well.

Reference librarian and event co-planner Mark Morton said the Mini Con is a "natural progression" of the library's ever-evolving services.

"We have been circulating comics, graphic novels, TV shows, movies and video games for years," Morton said. "It makes sense to take the love we have for all of this pop culture and celebrate it with one big event."

Thanks to movies and TV shows starring characters from Marvel Comics, DC Comics and other publishers, comic books and graphic novels are hot entertainment commodities. Manga - comics done in an art style that originated in Japan - have become more popular in the U.S., too, particularly with tweens and teens.

Libraries in Lincolnshire, Arlington Heights, Elgin, Schaumburg and other suburbs have responded by launching one-day celebrations like the one coming up in Vernon Hills.

"Libraries are seeing just how popular comic shows can be," said Mueller, who co-created "Albert the Alien," a series about a young extraterrestrial in a foreign-exchange program on Earth. "They get people in the door, (including) some who may not be regular visitors to their local library."

Cardenas, who co-created the "Packs of the Lowcountry" graphic novel, enjoys exhibiting at library comic cons.

"(I) get to interact with a wider variety of people who may not go to larger or even mid-size comic conventions," he said.

This is the Aspen Drive Library's third Mini-Con. It will run from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the library, 701 Aspen Drive.

For more information, visit

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Comic book creator Don Cardenas will be among the exhibitors at the Aspen Drive Library's annual Mini-Con in Vernon Hills on March 3. Courtesy of Don Cardenas
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