Grab a free comic book, meet artists and buy merch at the Beaverton library's 'Mini-Con' starting at 11 a.m. on May 7.

COURTESY PHOTO: BEAVERTON CITY LIBRARY - Attendees at the Beaverton City Library's Free Comic Book Day can get choose one free comic book. The 2018 event had offereings for all ages, from 'Pokemon' to 'Berlin.'The Beaverton City Library's Free Comic Book Day returns this year after a pause due to the pandemic.

People of all ages can stop by the "Mini-Con" — as in a miniature convention — on Saturday, May 7, to get a free comic book and meet local artists, learn about their work, pick up merchandise or buy books.

Ian Duncanson, Beaverton's community engagement librarian, said the library has been holding the Mini-Con since 2015, except for the last couple years due to the pandemic.

"The pandemic has been a major drag on, I think, everybody," he said. "It's good to have it back this year."

Duncanson first ran the event in 2019, he said. He took it on because of his love for the medium.

Portland has a "vibrant" comic book and graphic novel community, Duncanson said. He invited artists from Portland and around the region to share their work at the Mini-Con.

The lineup so far includes Anina Bennet and Paul Guinan, Matthew Bogart, Aaron Brassea, Seamus Burke, Illya King, Sara Nutter, Brittany Long Olsen, and John Shalek.

"I think it's a good opportunity for local artists to kind of get their names out there and also meet some fans," Duncanson said, "and then introduce people to their work."

He said the library holds this event to recognize the strong comic community in the metro area, as well as recognize comic books and graphic novels being just as important as other types of books.

"Certainly, we have recognized the value of what comics and graphic novels have done to promote literacy," Duncanson said — just as other books have, too.

The Sherwood Public Library is also hosting a Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 7, for all ages with activities and a chance to win a $5 gift card to a local restaurant. That event goes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Beaverton event is shorter, running from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 7, which will be the first Saturday of May. One free comic book, provided by Bridge City Comics, will be available per person while supplies last.

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