The Hippo


Jul 22, 2019









Where: Nashua Public Library, 2 Court St., Nashua, 589-4610
When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (regular library hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. are still in place)
Admission: Free
Contact:, where there are more details and a schedule

Pop culture paradise
Nashua library hosts its first-ever ComicFest

By Kelly Sennott

On Saturday, June 20, the Nashua Public Library holds its inaugural ComicFest, meant to kick off a summer of reading under the national Collaborative Summer Library Program theme “Every Hero has a Story.”

Outreach and community services coordinator Carol Eyman thought interest would be plenty considering the popularity of New Hampshire events like Free Comic Book Day, Granite State Comic Con and Another Anime Convention. Of course, Eyman said it also didn’t hurt that many NPL staff are also comic book fanatics.
“A lot of people interested in comic book culture are also interested in certain types of books, like graphic novels, manga, science fiction and Harry Potter,” Eyman said via phone a couple weeks before the event. 
The event, which starts at 10 a.m., will be one of the biggest in NPL history. There are activities and presentations for kids and adults, from panels and workshops to video game tournaments and anime screenings. Cosplayers (fans dressed in comic book/pop culture attire) will be scattered throughout the building, and so will artists and pop culture experts.
Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe, who will present “The Female Perspective in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers,” is very happy to see yet another library embracing comic book culture, both as a fan and a librarian herself at the Springfield City Library in Mass.
“I’m a huge proponent in that reading should be fun. I’m 37 years old, and I still like to relax in the bath tub with a good old Wolverine comic. It’s no different from loving Stephen King or romance novels,” Hodge-Wetherbe said via phone last week. “There’s some really wonderful stuff happening with libraries and geek culture, and I was delighted to see Nashua was doing something.”
The comic book medium, Hodge-Wetherbe said, is great for kids who are reluctant readers — they’re accessible and can be a gateway into other kinds of reading material. But she also thinks the medium as a whole is a noteworthy way to tell stories, which is why she tours comic book presentations at cons and conventions around the country. 
She’s noticed many area libraries have expanded their comic book collections — maybe because of pop culture, maybe because they’re realizing what she did years ago: that they tell some of the same stories as traditional literature.
“I’ve always been interested in storytelling. I started off as a child and teen interested in folklore and mythology and things along that line,” she said. “As I got older, what I found really interesting is that modern geek culture storytelling has a lot in common with traditional storytelling. When you boil down to the basic components, they’re basically exactly the same. [Comic books] are basically telling the same stories dressed up in different costumes.”
She began these panels through her own interest (see her others at The one she’ll present at Nashua starts at 11 a.m. and discusses why The Avengers and other Marvel movies have done just as well with female audiences as male. 
Another guest is Matthew Myers, lead singer of the LeetStreet Boys, an otaku band whose YouTube cartoon music videos have millions of hits. The band’s music contains songs about their passion for anime, video games and Japanese culture, and on June 20, Myers will present three panels: “Video Game Music Appreciation” at noon, “Producing Animation” at 1:30 p.m. and “LeetStreet Boys Q&A” at 3:30 p.m.
Myers thinks his animation presentation is especially accessible. He knew nothing before he produced the LeetStreet Boys’ breakout single, “Yuri The Only One” in 2008.
“I had absolutely no background in animation, in terms of the technical side of it, and had no aspirations to be an animation director or producer. I just started on this totally from square one,” Myers said. “[The presentation] talks about how to make a video, the aspects of being a producer, how to come up with ideas and all the different steps involved, from making a storyboard to developing a script, to working with animators overseas.”
Between these events, there will be games, face painting, trivia contests, a concert by Steve Blunt, a mask-making workshop, an “artists’ alley” and, at the end of the day, a Steampunk Fashion show. 
“I think we’re all pretty excited we’re going to be able to pull it off,” Eyman said. 
As seen in the June 18, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

®2019 Hippo Press. site by wedu