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BookFest 2017: Comics to Cozies

Schlow Centre Region Library

Since its founding in 2009, BookFest has grown into an important community event that celebrates something many of us take for granted – the book!

In 2015 event organizers began a grand experiment to harness the power and excitement of a particular fan base and celebrate the often-overlooked comic book. For the last two years the event has been a wonderful, miniature comic book convention.

While the love for comics remains strong and organizers feel a uniting theme is as important as ever, State College now has Nittany Con coming in September. For this reason, BookFest is again experimenting with a new and different theme– genre fiction!

BookFest will celebrate those diehard fiction fans of mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, comics, graphic novels, children’s fiction, and more! Meet authors and artists who work for large publishing houses, as well as independents who design their own path.

Don’t miss the BookFest pop-culture costume contest!

BookFest will take place on Saturday, July 15, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the BookFest tent in Schlow Centre Region Library’s parking lot.

Many thanks to this year’s sponsors Comic Swap, Nittany Con, and The Pennsylvania Centre for the Book!!

BookFest Authors

As a freelance and contract artist, areyoshi has been drawing comics since high school, and has self- published several books, such as Optical Disarray and Third Kingdom. Currently living in Greene County, Pennsylvania, areyoshi is still trying to adjust to “Southern life,” (as opposed to Cambria County, Pennsylvania). Her recent work includes. Third Kingdom. Vol. 1. Although much of areyoshi’s comics focus on plot-driven fantasy, a major component of their work is inclusion and diversity, specifically regarding gender and sexuality. Their comics are drawn in a stylized manner; not quite Western, not quite manga, but with the influence of both visible and accounted for.

Maureen grew up on a farm, moved to military bases, spent college in France, decorates wreaths, yet she isn’t a complicated person. She loves nothing more than curling up with a book and a grandchild. After a career as a French teacher, Maureen retired to State College. However, her mind was populated by animals and stories that needed to be told. Soon the computer was clicking and her grandchildren were helping with ideas. Even the nonagenarian mother got in on the action. Most of the books come from family tales that just needed a tweak to jump onto the page. Her books include Sheldon Gets A Collar; Great Idea, Franny; Why Not, Franny?; My Name Isn’t “How Are You!” and Nana’s Wish.

Judy Ann Davis began her career in writing as a copy and continuity writer for radio and TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She holds a degree in Journalism and Communications and has written for industry and education. Over a dozen of her short stories have appeared in various literary and small magazines, and anthologies, and have received numerous awards. When she is not behind a computer, you can find her looking for anything humorous to make her laugh or swinging a golf club where the chuckles are few. She is a member of Pennwriters, Inc. and Romance Writers of America, and divides her time between central Pennsylvania and New Smyrna Beach, FL. Her books include Red Fox Woman; Under Starry Skies; Key to Love; Up on the Roof and Other Stories; Sweet Kiss; Four White Roses.

Lindsay Detwiler is a contemporary romance author with Hot Tree Publishing and has released six novels. Her titles include Voice of Innocence, Without You, Then Comes Love, Where Love Went, To Say Goodbye, and Who We Were. Remember When, her seventh novel, is set for release in April of 2017.

In addition to writing romance, she is a high school English teacher at the Hollidaysburg Area Senior High and a contributing blogger for The Huffington Post.

Robert Hack is a local Pennsylvania artist, comic book/sketchcard illustrator and eloquent hillbilly. He’s the artist for Archie Comics’ Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. His credits also include cover artist for IDW’s Doctor Who, and X-Files comics.

J.M. Hackman received a degree in Elementary Education from The Pennsylvania State University. After graduation, she held many positions: assistant librarian, office assistant, office manager, substitute teacher, writer, wife, and mother. She still holds three jobs, and loves it.

In 2015, her award winning story, The Escort was published in RealmScapes: A science Fiction and Fantasy Anthology. Spark (Book One of the Firebrand Chronicles) was published in May 2017. She spends her days writing stories, consuming massive quantities of chocolate, and looking for portals to other worlds.

Denise L. (O’Bremski) Kaminsky of State College, was a Reading Specialist for many years. She is still working to help children read and had published a beginning to read book and a series starring the Nittany Lion. She received her bachelor’s degree in 1973 EKED from Penn State. She earned her master’s degree in reading from State University of New York-Cortland. Denise is married to another Penn Stater, John Kaminsky ‘72, ‘74, and has two grown children. Their daughter, Jessie Kaminsky, ‘06 EKED has illustrated three of the Nittany Lion books. The books starring the Nittany Lion are lighthearted and entertaining. They encourage young readers to develop their skills and see the Nittany Lion as a positive role model.

Gayle C. Krause is a member of SCBWI, KIDLIT, INK, KSRA, and a past member of the Historical Novel Society and the Poet’s Garage. She’s served on the Rhyming Revolution Selection Committee, choosing the “best” rhyming picture book for 2015/2016. A master educator, she’s taught children’s literature to prospective teachers at the secondary and post-secondary levels. Gayle writes fantasy, contemporary, and historical fiction for young adults, middle grade, and picture books. Her new picture book, Daddy, Can You See the Moon? will be available November 7, 2017.

Jason Lenox has contributed to Dark Horse Comic’s King Conan as well as several independent comics and is a graduate of The Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts. His current project is the Sci-Fi Fantasy adventure comic Lords of the Cosmos which will appear in his ongoing anthology comic book series – UGLI STUDIOS PRESENTS. His artwork is also featured in role playing game modules such as Classic D&D: The Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen.

Jodi Moore is author of the award-winning When a Dragon Moves In, When a Dragon Moves in Again (Flashlight Press), and Good News Nelson (Story Pie Press). She writes picture books and young adult novels, hoping to challenge and inspire her readers by opening new worlds and encouraging unique ways of thinking. Jodi is the proud, (admittedly) neurotic mother of two talented young adults and never ceases to be amazed at how far the umbilical cord will stretch. She lives in Boalsburg with her husband, Larry, their dove “Bake,” and an ever-changing bunch of characters in her head.

Carrie Anne Noble is the author of the highly acclaimed novel The Mermaid’s Sister, winner of the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult Fiction and the 2016 Realm Award for Speculative Novel of the Year. In the aftermath of her thrilling past as a theatre student, restaurant, hostess, certified nurse aide, and newspaper reporter, Carrie Anne now devotes her days to fabricating fanciful tales. She lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania with her tolerant husband, charming children, naughty cats, and not-so-bright dog, and some cute but dim-witted chickens. Her new novel The Gold-Son contains leprechauns.

John Kelly Poorman wouldn’t be a writer today if it weren’t for a librarian at State College’s Schlow Centre Region Library. Pat Griffith, former head of Adult Services, heard his stories about always wanting to write and she told him to get off his duff and do it. John Kelly Poorman published his first book, Roman and Jules in 2000. He has since published four more books and a Christmas short story called So, A Preacher and Santa Walk into a Bar that is a fund raiser for the United Church of Christ’s Retired Pastors Fund. Birth of a Mermaid is his latest work.

Lenore Poyer, aka Lenore Hart, is the author of nine books, including Waterwoman, Ordinary Springs, Becky, The Raven’s Bride, and the editor of a critically-acclaimed dark fantasy anthology. Writing as Elisabeth Graves, she is also the author of two supernatural thrillers, Black River and Devil’s Key, in English and foreign-language editions. Two of her novels have been optioned for film. Her children’s and young adult books are T. Rex at Swan Lake, The Treasure of Savage Island, and the forthcoming Still Life, With Dragons. Her most recent book-length work is The Night Bazaar: Eleven Haunting Tales of Forbidden Wishes and Dangerous Desires.

She has also published short stories, memoirs, articles, poetry, and lyrics, and has received grants, awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and various state arts councils and commissions. She’s been featured on “Voice of America” radio and the PBS-TV syndicated series Writer to Writer. She teaches on the faculty of Wilkes University’s graduate creative writing program, and at The Ossabaw Island Writers Retreat in Georgia.

Jim Rugg is an Eisner and Ignatz award­ winning cartoonist and designer. His art has been exhibited and published around the world. His books include Street Angel, and Afrodisiac with Brian Maruca, The Plain Janes and Janes in Love with Cecil Castellucci, The Guild with Felicia Day, and Notebook Drawings. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and cats, teaches at New York’s School of Visual Arts, and makes comics at streetangelcomic.com.

Sarah K. Stephens is a developmental psychologist and a senior lecturer at Penn State. Although fall and spring find her in the classroom, she remains a writer year-round. Her short stories and essays have appeared in LitHub, Critical Mass, ROAR, Five on the Fifth, The Indianola Review, and (parenthetical).

Her debut psychological thriller, A Flash of Red, was released in December 2016 by Pandamoon Publishing.

As returning adult student, Finch Vandivier earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University. Owning Finch Vandivier Writing Services for twenty years in San Diego, Indianapolis, and on the internet provided constant practice with her craft and honed her ability to see beyond the obvious.

Having raised eight children, Finch has a first-hand understanding of susceptibilities of teenagers and vulnerabilities of parenting, At eighty-two The Fathers is her debut novel.

Brooke Welsh is a central Pennsylvania native. She is delighted to share Benito to the Rescue, a children’s story based on unconditional love for her rescue dog, Napoleon. Brooke hopes it will teach children the importance of acceptance, embracing differences, and building self-esteem. Brooke holds a bachelor’s degrees in music and psychology from Susquehanna University and a masters degree in music from Temple University. She is currently division director of the American Heart Association for Blair, Cambria, and Centre Counties and teaches children’s classes and piano at the State College Music Academy. Brooke is an author, pianist, and lover of all things creative.

Dr. David J. Wimer is a psychologist and award winning university professor who served as an officer in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps. All of these experiences show up in his writing.

Dr. Wimer is a roller coaster enthusiast, an avid music fan who has attended more than 350 rock concerts, and the proud inventor of the inflatable dart board and helicopter ejection seat. He was born in Pennsauken, New Jersey, grew up in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, and now lives in State College, Pennsylvania with a fat, lazy cat. David’s recent books include Seatopia, Book 1 and 2 and Cemetery Moon.

BookFest Activities and Vendors

Local artist Seth Young will be on hand all day to draw your likeness and capture your personality on paper. Prices will vary.

Where: Schlow Library Parking lot
When: 12pm-4pm

In honor of BookFest’s 2017 fiction theme, make an original character with the help of experienced creators. Learn how to design a character from scratch, or introduce a character you’ve previously created. Receive feedback on traits and design!

Where: Schlow Library Parking lot
When: 12pm-2pm

Compete with other book lovers for prizes!

  • Best Overall Costume (handmade): $50 Gift Card to Comic Swap
  • Most Accurate Representation: $50 Gift Card to Comic Swap
  • Best Duo Costume: $25 to Jakes Cards and Games for each person
  • Best Children’s Costume: $50 Gift Card to Michael’s

Costume Contest Rules:

  1. Register from 10:00 am to 10:20 am at the BookFest Pa Costume Contest Tent in the Schlow parking lot to receive your number. Any acceptable prop weapons* will be checked. Please do not bring functional or realistic weapons.
  2. Remain in the Schlow Library parking lot with your number displayed so judges can see you.
  3. Meet at the costume tent at 10:40 am where winners will be announced!

Where: Schlow Library Parking Lot
When: 10:00am-11:00am

Costume Weapons Policy

*For everyone’s comfort and safety, no functional or realistic weapons are allowed! Projectiles and weapons that are realistic enough to be mistaken as real are not permitted. All costume weapons must be inspected when you register for the contest. You will be asked to leave your weapon elsewhere if it does not meet these standards. You may not carry weapons through the rest of the Festival.

Isle of Comics
A Collector’s Paradise! Isle of Comics carries a wide selection of comics, comic collecting supplies, TP’s, HC’s, toys, and other collectibles. Located in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Penn State Press
While this year’s theme may be fiction, the event wouldn’t be complete without some true stories. Don’t miss Penn State Press’ newest publication Lair of the Lion: a History of Beaver Stadium by Lee Stout and Harry H. West.

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