The famed pop culture event, Comic-Con, has been recreated once again for youth in the Pittsburgh area. On August 6th, all kinds of teenagers coming from the different Carnegie libraries gathered in the Main location for games, challenges, movies, and more. Meeting familiar faces, making new friends, debating about your favorite fandoms, and many other classic convention customs were all experienced at Carnegie Library’s CONtact ’16.
Comic-Con is a convention that celebrates the popular icons, franchises, and media of today, and CONtact ’16 was the library’s version of it for teenagers. There was something there for everybody and that was a definite reason for its popularity. It included a bracket challenge, where participators debated over their favorite fandoms, a Pokemon tournament, and a costume contest where people wore anything from Luigi to a Pokemon professor. It also had two movies played, one of which was the Marvel movie, Ant-Man. In addition to these events, teens also engaged in computer gaming, tabletop gaming, and arts & crafts.
CONtact ’16 was made in order to give those who were not able to attend the real Comic-Con a chance to have the experience. Sure, Pittsburgh has its own Comic-Con, but there might be some who do not attend but still wish to know the feeling of being there. It accomplished this spectacularly, but it accomplished something else as well. It was able to bring the teenagers of Pittsburgh closer together and unite them under common interests. Teenagers who might have never met outside of this event were introduced to each other and given an opportunity to talk about their hobbies and interests, whether it be anime, comics, trading card games, or anything else.
I sat down with one of the participators, sixth-grader Danielle, and asked her some questions about the event and the library in general. When asked about her thoughts about the library, she said she liked the amount of variety there is, including books, manga, and magazines. She said something similar when speaking about the event, saying she was interested in the variety of fandoms presented. She also participated in some of the festivities, wearing a headband from the anime, Naruto, making a Golden Snitch from the book series, Harry Potter, and voting for different fandoms in a competition.
All in all, CONtact ’16 was a success and had a great turnout. There was something there for everyone, and no matter what genre or franchise you were into, there was bound to be someone there who was interested in the same thing. So, if you are looking for a fun media convention like Comic-Con, but you are unable to attend, look no further than the Carnegie Library, and have a great time knowing there are people who care about your interests and hobbies.