The Hippo


May 29, 2020








ComicFest returns with a cosplay contest, games, escape rooms, costume design contests, presentations, panels and more. Courtesy photo.

Nashua Public Library ComicFest

Where: Nashua Public Library, 2 Court St., Nashua
When: Saturday, July 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Contact:; no pre-registration required, all welcome
10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Anime screening
10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Super Smash Bros. Video Game Tournament
10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Minecraft Open Play
10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.: Board Games
10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.: World-building using Legos and Duplos
10 a.m.-6 p.m.: Escape rooms set up by Key to Escape of Nashua with CSI and Harry Potter themes; use hints, clues to unlock the room and escape
10:30-11:30 a.m.: The Cosplay Dating Game, hosted by Doughrito Cosplay
11-11:30 a.m.: Comics Q&A, hosted by Alterna Comics founder/publisher Peter Simeti, who will talk about the comic book industry
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: ComicFest Accordion entertainment by Melody Burrows and Madison Ricard
Noon-12:30 p.m.: Future of Star Wars discussion hosted by Robin Vogt and Sean Michaud from Brick City Blockade podcast
Noon-1:30 p.m.: Project Cosplay; Project Runway for cosplayers; create a cosplay costume from unconventional materials
12:30-2 p.m.: Green Screen Photo Shoot; choose a background and snap a photo or video of you and a friend
12:30-2 p.m.: Spider-Man Homecoming, hosted by John Cimino, see rare valuable Spider-Man suit; viewing from 2 to 5 p.m.
1-2 p.m.: Superhero Trivia
2-2:30 p.m.: Skye Rocket, anime-style music
2-3:30 p.m.: Storytelling and World-Building in Westeros, hosted by Lady Gwyn, whose podcast Radio Westeros is inspired by the popular Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series
3-4 p.m.: Steampunk 101, hosted by Nathan Powell
3-5 p.m.: Chjolo: Video game, anime and “nerd culture” music and remixes
5-7 p.m.: Cosplay contest

ComicFest returns
Nashua library event has something for everyone

By Kelly Sennott

 After a one-year absence, Nashua ComicFest is back and has a new home in the Nashua Public Library’s newly renovated Chandler Memorial Wing, where the majority of the festival occurs Saturday, July 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“The fact that we have this new Chandler Wing with all the new meeting rooms [makes it] the perfect place to do something like this now,” said Linda Walker, a library page and festival coordinator.
She said the space features seven new rooms and a large middle space for concerts and large events.
The NPL held a ComicFest in 2015 to kick off that year’s summer reading initiative, themed “Heroes,” but held off in 2016 due to construction. It returns to complement the 2017 summer reading initiative: “Build a better world.” Activities are designed for kids and adults, ranging from cosplay contests and video game tournaments to escape rooms and presentations by pop culture podcasters.
“Part of it is about making everybody aware of everything the library has to offer,” Walker said. “The great thing about conventions is they’re really by fans for fans. … Basically we just put out an appeal asking anybody interested to come do a panel, and people volunteered.” 
Walker was particularly excited for a presentation on world-building by Jen Wilson, a.k.a. Lady Gwynhyfvar, who co-hosts Radio Westeros, a podcast inspired by the popular Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series by George R. R. Martin. To date, it boasts 32 episodes and about 20,000 to 25,000 subscribers. For Wilson, it was a no-brainer to make the trek to Nashua after Walker reached out to her.
“I worked in a bookstore for 15 years, and as such I worked with a lot of libraries,” Wilson said via phone. “I’m a big believer in the public library and the place [it plays] in the community.” 
Superhero comic nerds will be most interested in the visit by the 1964 Spider-Man costume owned by Roy Thomas, who was Stan Lee’s first successor as editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics. Its stop in Nashua is courtesy of Thomas’s friend and agent John Cimino, who will talk about the suit and its significance at 12:30 p.m.
“It was Marvel’s very first in-house promotional costume ever made,” Cimino said via phone. “It was originally made to be in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade back in 1964, but the actor that was supposed to wear it got drunk the night before and never ended up wearing it. … When Roy started working [for Marvel] in 1965, the costume was taking up room in his office and he asked Stan Lee [about it].”
Lee told Thomas he could have it, and Thomas gave the costume lots of love, wearing it at all kinds of comic events. It never left his side for 40 years. Cimino said it’s still in “impeccable” condition, steam cleaned and displayed on a mannequin. In addition, Cimino is bringing limited-edition kids’ Spider-Man costumes from the ’50s and ’60s. 
Visitors can check out two “escape rooms,” powered by Key to Escape in Nashua, and a green screen that will facilitate out-of-this-world photoshoots. Twenty-four artists display their work in the Image Gallery and outside under tents, and local DJs and musicians will perform music outside. MakeIt Labs is bringing a robot.
Other programming includes Project Cosplay, a spin on Project Runway for cosplayers, in which teams create costumes from unconventional materials within an hour, and The Cosplay Dating Game, inspired by the old TV show, except all bachelorettes will answer questions in character. There are also workshops, panels, a video game tournament and anime screenings, plus a costume contest at the end of the day.
“For people who think a library is only about books, they will be surprised,” Walker said. “I think this will help show all the things libraries have to offer and all the programming we do here.”

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