Librarian to talk about collecting graphic novels at Wildcat Comic Con

April 05, 2012

Graphic novel fans and cosplay enthusiasts will not want to miss the first Wildcat Comic Con, on April 13 and 14, at Penn State's Pennsylvania College of Technology (Penn College) in Williamsport, Pa. This event will be a great opportunity to meet writers and artists in person, get books signed and learn more about the world of graphic novels, comic books, manga, animation and videogames.

Actor Walter Koenig (a.k.a Commander Pavel Chekov from the TV show "Star Trek"); women comic writers Tania Del Rio, Tracy White and Yuumei; and Barry Lyga (creator of “The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl”) are among the many celebrities and writers who will be attending.

Penn State Science Librarian John Meier, who will be presenting, said the event is unique, as it melds the fan-based culture of a regular comic convention with information that you would find at a conference.

"While there is a comic con aspect -- you'll see artists, have the opportunity to purchase books and maybe even dress up -- it will be bundled with lots of information for students, faculty and librarians," Meier said.

Meier, who has a strong interest in graphic novels in the sciences, will be presenting at three sessions. In one, he will focus on how libraries handle graphic novels and will draw on his experience at Penn State. The Libraries' holdings in graphic novels continue to grow in size and scope, in large part due to the enthusiasm of Meier and many other librarians.

"We have graphic novels in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library, there are some in the Pattee Library stacks, in the Education and Behavioral Sciences' juvenile collection as well as strong collections at Penn State campuses," he said. "We also have a great selection in the Leisure Reading Collection, which gets all the titles from the New York Times bestseller list of graphic novels."

In addition to this session, Meier will also be part of a panel discussion with a public librarian and a school librarian. The panel will discuss how to find, buy and build a graphic novel collection.

For his third session, Meier will talk about the Lynd Ward Prize for Graphic Novel of the Year. This prize, awarded by Penn State University Libraries to honor the legacy of Lynd Ward, the "grandfather of graphic novels," is the only award of its kind.

"I love talking about the Lynd Ward Prize because before this, there were only industry awards for graphic novels. Imagine the publishing industry without the Pulitzer, and only bestseller lists," said Meier.

This year's Lynd Ward Prize will be presented on April 12, in Foster Auditorium, at University Park, following a talk by graphic novelist Jim Ottaviani (writer of the New York Times bestseller "Feynman"). For more on that event, see

Wildcat Comic Con is open to the public and includes programs for adults and children. Registration can be done on-site or online. For more information, including a program of events for both days, admission fees and driving directions, go to For information about how to find graphic novels in Penn State's collections and the resources available, see

  • Librarian John Meier holds a book from Penn State Libraries graphic novel collection.

    IMAGE: Lana Munip
Last Updated April 06, 2012