The Kansas Humanities Council (KHC), Topeka, recently awarded the Hutchinson Public Library a grant in support of the “Graphic Novel & Comic Art Festival,” which will be held September 21, 2013. Project Director Annette Smith stated, “This Graphic Novel & Comic Art Festival will build upon and deepen an already popular movement within our community – Hutchinson as Smallville. The plan is to connect our patrons with each other, with area artists, and with scholars centered with Superman but also the literature and art of graphic novels and comics.”
The schedule of events begins at 11:30 a.m. with a book discussion of the graphic novel, Superman: Secret Identity lead by Joe Sutliff Sanders, Assistant English Professor at K-State. Since the discussion is over the lunch hour, a brown bag lunch option is available for purchase. At 1:30, Bryan Dietrich from Newman University in Wichita will present “Drawn to Marvel: Pop-Classicism and the Poetry of Comics”. Events continue at 2:30 with a behind the scenes look at the making of the graphic novel Capote in Kansas by author Ande Parks of Baldwin City, KS. Joe Sanders will return at 3:30 to give a more scholarly exploration of the topic entitled “A Gleeful Science of Comics”. To complete the Festival activities, a historical view of underground comics and how to create your own “comix” will be given by Hutchinson artist John Eberly at 4:30.
This month, an exhibit of graphic art by Hutchinson as Smallville advocate Christopher Wietrick is being exhibited in the 2nd floor auditorium to further promote the Graphic Novel & Comic Art Festival. Part of his collection of Superman memorabilia may be viewed in the cases on the mezzanine along with Batman items loaned by Jesse Juma, plus Marvel comics action figures from Austin Smith’s collection. Anyone who tries to reveal the identities of 16 mystery action figures from Austin’s collection will win a prize. The contest winner will be announced at the festival.
“KHC Humanities Grants support projects that connect people with ideas and engage audiences with the humanities,” said Julie Mulvihill, executive director of the Kansas Humanities Council. “The presentations invite participants to make connections between pop culture literature and their community. What a great event for Kansas’ ‘Superman city!’”The Kansas Humanities Council is a nonprofit organization that supports community-based cultural programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to engage in the civic and cultural life of their communities. For more information about KHC, visit www.kansashumanities.org.