Library comic-con set for Saturday, Feb. 24 and Sunday, Feb. 25 at the Hillsboro Brookwood Library.

Comic book fans from across Washington County are expected to descend on the Hillsboro Brookwood Library this weekend, for the library's first ever comic book convention.

Comic Fest 2018 is a two-day comic book event at the Brookwood Library, 2850 N.E. Brookwood Parkway.

It's the first of its kind for the Hillsboro library, but if organizers have their way, it won't be the last.

"It has been a busy three months for me," said Philip Delgado, neighborhood librarian supervisor at the Brookwood library.

Comic book writer Chris Roberson will give a keynote address at the event on Saturday, Feb. 24. Roberson is best known for creating "iZombie," which was turned into a television series on the CW television network.

Several other Portland-area comic writers and authors will be on hand, including artist Patrick Reynolds, who will give a lecture on Sunday, Feb. 25.

All told, Delgado expect more than 30 artists and writers to be on hand for the event.

The library is hosting several panel discussions as well, including talks on creating independent comics, writing for teenaged audiences, diversity in comics, and the legal hurdles comics have faced in recent years.

Across the country, comic book conventions have been drawing fans of capes and masks for years.

Portland is home to several comic book conventions each spring and fall. The two largest, the Wizard Convention and the Rose City Comic Con, both held at the Oregon Convention Center, draw tens of thousands of visitors each year, many arriving in costume as their favorite characters.

The Portland area has strong ties to the comic book industry. Several comic book authors and artists live in the metro area, and major comic book publishers Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics and Oni Press are based in the Portland area.

That gives Hillsboro a lot of room to grow, Delgado said.

Delgado said comic books connect with people in ways that other types of literature don't.

"It's a great way to escape into a storyline," he said.

Comics were once relegated to bargain bins, but the rise of graphic novels as a serious form of literature have broadened comic books beyond superheroes, Delgado said.

"For a long time the stories were about good versus bad and as people grew up with these stories and now, stories feel so much more nuanced," he said.

Delgado said he hopes to bring more comic book-inspired events to the library's programming, including its annual Hillsboro Reads event.

The nonprofit group Cosplay for Kindness will be on hand this weekend as well, showing off their elaborate costumes. Delgado said he'd love to see attendees show up as their dressed as their favorite comic book characters.

"I'll be dressed up as a librarian," he said.

Comic Fest begins at 10 a.m., Saturday and Sunday and runs through 5:30 p.m., both days.

By Geoff Pursinger
Editor, Hillsboro Tribune
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