An estimated 7,000 people of all ages—many who came in cosplay or costumes—immersed themselves in the world of comics at the Oct. 7 Santa Clara City Library Comic Con where crafts, activities, panels, drawing demonstrations, signings and photo opportunities filled Central Park Library.
In the morning, librarians Angela Ocana and Kelly Quinn Chiu sat on a panel and revealed their top picks for graphic novel reads, which included but were not limited to “Newsprints” by Ru Xu (for kids); “The Adventures of Super Hero Girl” by Faith Erin Hicks (for teens); and “Rick and Morty: Tiny Rick” by Marc Ellerby, Kyle Starks and Katy Farina (for adults).
At noon, Marvel Comics artist Ron Lim gave drawing demonstrations of characters, such as Doctor Strange and Iron Man. As he worked, Lim gave tips on how to shape a character’s face and hair.
“Ron Lim has worked for Marvel Comics for more than two decades,” Chiu said. “He worked on the Infinity War comics and Silver Surfer comics. The cosmic Marvel Universe that Ron has worked on has been shown more and more in movies.”
In the early afternoon, graphic novelist Svetlana Chmakova gave a talk. The Russia-born artist moved to Canada at 16-years-old and had once aspired to be a computer programmer. However, Chmakova ended up at Sheridan College where she studied Classical Animation. Chmakova went on to produce numerous books and win awards for her work. Many younger readers are familiar with “Awkward” and “Brave,” Chmakova’s graphic novels exploring adolescent angst.
Chmakova observed that economic downturns can affect an artist’s career. She recalled a time when she did extensive work for a company that later filed for bankruptcy. She didn’t get paid until two years later.
“Have a really good relationship with your parents in case you need to move back in,” Chmakova advised aspiring artists.