2016 Mana-Con Comics Convention Makes Art Its Focus

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (October 6, 2016) – This year’s Mana-Con Comic Convention—Manatee County Public Libraries’ biggest annual event—will be a celebration of art. The event, now in its seventh year, will be held on Saturday, October 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Downtown Central Library.


Ericka Dow, Event Lead and Information Services Supervisor, decided on an Art and Color! theme as a way to make the event more interactive by inviting local artists to display various pieces and offering an Art Challenge.


This year’s logo (shown below) was designed by local graffiti and mural artist, Richie Brasil. Dow asked him to put together a design that others could contribute to by painting and coloring.


Mana-Con will feature many art forms, including masking tape modern art, balloon pop painting, Keeton's Free Wall graffiti, face and body painting, green screen photography studio, origami, and artists and crafters.


Mana-Con promises fan favorites Cosplay Runway, Go! Go! Robot Lounge, Kids’ Cantina, Star Wars Reads Day, culture and food of Japan, TARDIS, Ghostbusters, superheroes, anime, food trucks, free comics, goodie bags to the first 250 kids and teens through the door, dance DJ and prizes.


New this year will be a gaming lab, courtesy of Microsoft, in the Zombie Safe House, along with maker and zine areas.


Keeton’s Art and Office Supply will have a “Free Wall,” a plastic canvas stretched up to 30 feet long, in the riverside parking lot where Jordan Hoopingarner and his brother Caleb will teach people how to spray paint on the canvas.

Also new this year is the Art Challenge. Contestants in three age categories (8-12; 13-19; 20 and up) are still invited until the October 8 deadline to take the Mana-Con poster and color it, paint it, add characters to it, embellish it, make a zine or comic out of it, 3D it, or even create an entirely new design inspired by the poster. Finalists will be chosen by judges, and voting by the public will occur between Oct 13 and 20. Winners will be announced during Mana-Con.


“We are always motivated to incorporate new, exciting things into Mana-Con each year, like the Free Wall graffiti and the Art Challenge based on Richie’s poster art, while bringing back so many of the most beloved aspects like Cosplay Runway,” said Dow.  “Art, creativity, and imagination are so important to Manatee Libraries and to our community, so we are pleased to offer many opportunities for it at this event, which is enjoyed by kids of all ages.”


Prizes for the Art Challenge will be a signed print of the art by Richie Brasil, as well as a collector’s edition t-shirt. Prizes for Cosplay Runway for teens will include an Amazon Echo, $100 Amazon gift card, $50 Fratello’s Pizza gift card, art supply basket provided by Keeton’s, Kindle Fire and several LootCrates. Other teen prizes will be given out raffle style in other areas at the event.


Collector’s edition Mana-Con T-shirts and tote bags will be available for sale to the public. Proceeds will go to the Friends of the Central Library to be earmarked for Mana-Con funding.


Manatee Libraries will be at the Bradenton Farmer’s Market on Saturday, October 8, and Saturday, October 15, selling t-shirts. T-shirts and tote bags will also be on sale at Mana-Con and can be ordered from any library location in advance.


Downtown Central Library is located at 1301 Barcarrota Blvd. West 34205. For complete details, go to mymanatee.org/library or call 941-748-5555, x6311.


About the Manatee County Public  Library System: The Florida Library Association’s 2016 Library of Year and 2013 “Library Innovation” winner, the Manatee County Public Library System supports the County’s growing community and visitors through a wide range of educational and technological resources and programs at six facilities in downtown Bradenton (Riverwalk), the east county region, the south county area, Holmes Beach, Palmetto and Ellenton. Last year, the Library System was visited by nearly 850,000 customers who made use of its resources over 3.7 million times (a record high) and provided 2,000 informational and educational programs which served an estimated 47,000 customers. For more information, call Downtown Library at (941) 748-5555, ext. 6307. For more information on Manatee County Public Library System, visit mymanatee.org/library, follow them at facebook.com/MCPLS or twitter @manalibraries. For more information about Manatee County Government, call 941-748-4501 or visit mymanatee.org, facebook.com/manatee.county.fl or twitter @ManateeGov