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La Crosse, WI – Comic books are more popular than ever, engaging audiences of all ages, spurring a billion-dollar industry, and serving as the source material for hit movies and TV shows. The La Crosse Public Library is excited to celebrate this cultural phenomenon with their second annual La Crosse Comic Con (LC3), which will be held from Friday, September 16-Sunday, September 18 at the Main Library. This free, public event is a great opportunity for fans and newcomers alike to share their passion for all things ‘geek’- comics, movies, fantasy novels, video games, and more- as well as to connect with local artists, authors, vendors, and fellow fans from throughout the community.

Lindsay Schmitt, Technology Librarian for the La Crosse Public Library and a co-organizer of LC3, reflects on how the event came about and what the comic con means to her. “Growing up, I had a hard time finding other people who liked comic books and sci-fi as much as I did. I love that our event is a fun, safe place for people of all ages to come together, share their favorite characters and stories with each other and discover new interests.” Schmitt continues, “The library’s always been a place to read about your favorite characters and discover new stories. I love that our con takes this to a whole new level, encouraging people of all ages to come together, geek out, learn more about their favorites and even find new ones.” According to Brendan Hubbs, Programming Librarian for the La Crosse Public Library and co-organizer of LC3, this event is an example of how the role of libraries is expanding and changing within the community. “People often only think of a library as a place to get books but it’s really also a place for communities to meet and grow,” say Hubbs. “That’s what the comic con is really about. We want to create a place where like minded people can come and meet and celebrate their interests.”

Schmitt and Hubbs hope that the La Crosse Public Library can build on the success of last year’s inaugural con, which attracted over 400 people to the library, with a more dynamic and diverse schedule of events and an even larger convention floor of collectors and vendors.

There’s something for everybody at this year’s LC3. The schedule of events includes a costume contest featuring the best of local cosplayers, a ‘Geek Trivia’ contest, and a fan-fiction workshop. LC3 will also host ‘Vader’s Fist,’ a nationally recognized charity organization dedicated to the creation and preservation of lore-and-screen accurate ‘Star Wars’ costumes. This year, LC3 is holding a ‘Star Wars’ themed ‘Jedi Stage Combat Workshop’ scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, September 18 at the Dahl Family YMCA, where registrants will work with a professional stage-combat instructor to learn how to wield a ‘lightsaber’ like a true Jedi Knight. Professional writers and artists, including Jai Nitz, creator of the popular ‘Suicide Squad’ character ‘El Diablo,’ will be joining the con via Skype to share their insights and experiences working within the industry. Library Youth Services will be providing family-friendly comic-con activity all weekend long with ‘Superhero Storytime,’ a ‘Make Your Own Comic!’ workshop, and special arts and crafts projects.

All events are free and open to the public. Advanced registration is required for the ‘Jedi Stage Combat Workshop’ event. To register for the ‘Jedi Stage Combat Workshop’ or for general information about LC3, please contact the La Crosse Public Library Reference Desk at (608)789-7122 or refdesk@lacrosselibrary.org. For full details on LC3, including information of participating vendors and guests, please check out their Facebook page at facebook.com/YourLC3/.

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For more information on this strategic plan and the public review process, and to schedule interviews with LC3 organizers and participants, please contact Joe Hammes, La Crosse Public Library Public Relations and Communications Coordinator, at jhammes@lacrosselibrary.org or (608) 789-7443.