Williamsport's first-ever comic book convention, the Wildcat Comic Con, begins Friday.
The events start at 8:15 a.m. and will continue until midnight, resuming at 9 a.m. Saturday morning and wrapping up at 5:30 p.m. that night.
The convention will be held at Pennsylvania College of Technology, 1 College Ave., and is open to the public.
Wildcat Comic Con organizer John Shableski gets arrested by Garrison Carida 501st Legion Storm Troopers.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. both days in the Field House.
John Shableski has worked tirelessly for months to bring a roster of more than 50 presenters, including Tom Woodruff Jr., Walter Koenig, Frank Beddor, Tracy White, Dean Haspiel, 'yuumei, Josh Neufeld, David Small, John Gallagher and Joan Hilty.
Shableski said, "The Wildcat Comic Con is designed to bring all the forces together: creators, publishers, editors, students, fans and educators. Teachers will learn why the comics medium is such a fantastic tool for literacy and librarians will learn how best to select and promote graphic novels to their students and-or patrons. Would-be creators will learn about how to develop and promote their stories ... and the fans will get to listen to their heroes talk about the craft."
Tom Woodruff Jr., who graduated from Loyalsock High School, will give a presentation about creature effects in Hollywood. Woodruff won an academy award for his work on the early '90s cult classic, "Death Becomes Her," starring Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn. He has also done creature effects for the "Spiderman" franchise, the 2011 remake of "The Thing," and "Aliens" with Sigourney Weaver, among many others.
Walter Koenig, who played Lieutenant Pavel Checkov in the original "Star Trek" television series, will discuss his upcoming graphic novel, "Things to Come." Koenig also played Alfred Bester on the TV series "Babylon 5."
Frank Beddor's series of novels, "The Looking Glass Wars," spurred a series of graphic novels called "The Looking Glass Wars: Hatter M." Beddor, who has been interviewed on "Good Morning America," used to be a professional skier and also was a film producer on "There's Something About Mary."
Tracy White's first autobiographical graphic novel, "How I Made It To Eighteen," came out in 2011 after she established a following with her online comic strip, which she started in 1996. The strip's tag line is, "lived, written, and drawn by me. Guaranteed to be at least 95 percent true." White will discuss presenting comics in digital media and will participate in a panel about the essential role of comics editors.
Alex Simmons' involvement in the world of book publishing runs the gamut from youth adult novels to writing for Archie Comics. His own series, "BlackJack," is critically acclaimed and he's won awards for his work with Archie. Simmons is also an independent educator and gives presentations on science in comics. His panels and presentations will speak to his multiple interests, from teaching to creating to representing minorities.
Dean Haspiel is an illustrator whose portfolio includes a pylon of successes, not the least of which are collaborations with Harvey Pekar - about whom the film "American Splendor" was made in 2003 - Jonathan Ames and Inverna Lockpez. Haspiel's work with Lockpez on "CUBA: My Revolution," was nominated for a Harvey award. Haspiel also illustrates for SyFy's "Warehouse 13" and HBO's "Bored to Death." His presentation at WCC will be about approaches to comics storytelling.
'yuumei is a very young artist who has become one of DeviantART.com's most successful creators - with more than a million page views. She wrote a short graphic text using Flash called "1,000 Words," and accepts commissions for digital pieces. She will give a presentation about being a digital storyteller.
Dave Elliot is also active on DeviantART and boasts more than 25 years in the comics industry. He currently works on the comics editing-and-publishing side of things. His presentations will be about digital storytelling and comics publishing. He'll also be available to sign his work.
Josh Neufeld is a graphic novel author and illustrator who worked on the nonfiction graphic novel "AD: New Orleans After the Deluge," which was a New York Times bestseller. His presentation will be about drawing nonfiction comics.
David Small is a beloved children's book illustrator who has drawn more than forty titles for children and whose art has appeared in such adult publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The New Yorker. His graphic memoir, "Stitches" came out in 2009, and has been met with vast critical acclaim. Small will be the guest of honor at the event, "An Evening with David Small," and will discuss graphic storytelling.
John Gallagher grew up in Selinsgrove, but has been working in comics since 1990. He's written the graphic novel series "Buzzboy" since 1998 and has also worked as a designer for such companies as NASCAR, Warner Brothers and The Washington Redskins. Gallagher will sit on two panels, one about self-publishing comics and one about building a comics team.
Joan Hilty has written and drawn a syndicated comic called "Bitter Girl" since 2001. She boasts fifteen years as an editor with DC Comics and now works as an independent comics editor and book packager. She will sit on a panel about representations of race and gender in comics.
For more information, visit wildcatcomiccon.pct.edu.
The cost to attend is $30 for two days. Rates for individual events or single-day passes range from $10 to $35.