When the Campus Activities Board announced National Comic Book Day would be held on the South Quad on Wednesday, some students expected a miniature version of ComicCon, however all they got was what looked like a child’s 8th birthday party.
The single booth had a mask-making station where students were encouraged to create a secret identity using glitter and feathers.
A photo booth was available for attendees to dress up as their favorite superheroes such as the Hulk, Ironman, and a pink Superman.
“We have a whole bunch of props for the photo booth,” CAB organizer Tyler Bertao said. “You can dress up as your favorite comic book hero and take a picture.”
Although the theme of the event was on key, there was one crucial item missing from an event commemorating all things comic books – comic books!
“We have a certain budget from CAB to maintain,” CAB member Susie Camacho said. “That’s why we don’t have comic books.”
Bertao remained optimistic for the event as he engaged with the students.
“11 a.m. to 12 p.m. is kind of like a dead period,” Bertao said. “There’s a lot of classes during those hours but it should pick up soon.”
This was the first year for the University of La Verne to have an event like National Comic Book Day.
“La Verne has never done a National Comic Book Day so I thought students would love to have an event like this,” Bertao said.
“Everyone has a little nerd in them so why not celebrate it. Celebrate all the stuff we grew up with like comic books and superheroes as they become the highest grossing movie sales.”
Female comic book fans were in high attendance for the event. Comic books and superheroes that were once known to be a male dominated hobby have transitioned to female fans.
More females are getting involved with comic books thanks to the recent popularity through film. Movies like “The Dark Knight” and “The Avengers” which have each grossed $1 billion are drawing in a lot of female attention.
“Superheroes for girls are starting to become a lot more popular thanks to the popularity of comic book movies,” Camacho said.
Even with few activities available to comic book fans and no comic books, students were having a good time.
“I think National Comic Book Day is really cool,” sophomore psychology and child development major Nina Doyle said as she made her own personal secret identity mask. “It’s something that we haven’t done before in La Verne. A lot of people are starting to get back into comics.”
Green and blue Powerade representing iconic superheroes the Hulk and Captain America were available to students attending the event as well as free ice cream and popsicles in the shape of Iron Man and Spiderman.
Raffle tickets were handed out to anyone joining the event who wore comic book related apparel to win one of three baskets containing soda, candy and a superhero DVD.
“Anyone who wears a comic book related t-shirt gets a free raffle ticket however due to our poor location we decided to give out free raffle tickets to anyone who came to participate in the event even if they weren’t wearing a superhero shirt,” Bertao said.
National Comic Book Day in La Verne did not bring a ComicCon affect to any students attending however with Bertao’s optimism and passion for comic books, next year can.
Just don’t forget the comic books next time.
Michael Saakyan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.