Calling all comic book lovers, superhero fans, gamers, and kids of all ages: Comic Hero Weekend is here.
The three-day pop culture event – which features Disney Comics artists Patrick and Shelly Block, professional cartoonist Joe Wos, DC Comics publisher and cartoonist Peter Tomasi and local cartoonist Clarence Butler – kicks off Friday at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum and continues Saturday and Sunday at the Frank Sarris Public Library.
The Comic Hero convention was hosted (no evil plot is included) by the Frank Sarris Public Library and is partially sponsored by the Washington County Tourism and Promotion Agency.
Jeff Kotula, president of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Promotion Agency, said the organization was excited when the Trolley Museum “joined the library to create a super – excuse the pun – weekend events focused on comic book lovers as well as families. “
Comic Book Heroes Weekend begins with Comic Book Heroes Night from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays, where kids and families can interact with the comic book heroes and explore the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum . Activities will include a junior hero training academy, wagon rides, free cartoons, free quick cartoons, and a scavenger hunt. Everyone is encouraged to show off their favorite comic book hero costumes or t-shirts.
All the children who attend will receive a drawstring backpack and a book, compliments of the library.
Tickets for Comic Hero Night can be purchased online or at the door for any of three sessions: 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.
Visit Comic Hero Night on the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum Facebook event page.
On Saturday and Sunday, the library will host the FSPL FanFest, a celebration for all ages of comics, anime and pop culture.
The FanFest runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, and features appearances by Tomasi, Wos (a native and professional Pittsburgh cartoonist since the age of 14 who is the artist behind the internationally syndicated feature MazeToons, a hybrid of cartoon-illustrated mazes that appeared in newspapers spanning the United States to Australia), The Blocks and Butler.
Other FanFest offerings include vendor and artist tables, a cosplay contest, trivia, workshops, and Q&A.
Kids can fight their way through a pop culture-themed escape room. Players can participate in one of two Super Smash Bros. tournaments. Ultimate. Young people can participate in the Junior Hero Training Academy.
The library hosted a Comic Hero event in 2019, but COVID-19 threw down any plans to have a comic book convention last year.
Beth Kairush, deputy director of the library, said she and some of her colleagues “are geek, enjoy pop culture and wanted to bring (Comic Con) to the community for a more reasonable price than typical comics.”
“We wanted to bring the atmosphere and that fun to our community, and let people enjoy it,” Kairush said. “We realize we’re not San Diego Comic Con, and never will be, but we wanted to have that vibe and stay true to who we are and what we do here.”
For more information on the daily FanFest times, visit the Frank Sarris Public Library website at franksarrislibrary.org.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.
Note: Face masks are highly recommended for anyone over the age of 2 attending Comic Hero Weekend at the Trolley Museum and Library. Face masks are mandatory on public transport, including trolleys. Face masks will be available at the door for both events. For cosplayers, masks can be removed for judging at FSPL FanFest and for photographs at both events.