In Santa Monica, Free Comic Book Day Provides A Little Comic Relief

    During Comic Book day at the Santa Monica Public Library (SMPL) the main entrance and courtyard hosted an array of activities that drew an excited crowd. Saturday May 5, marked the second year that SMPL participated in the nationwide celebration of comic books.

    For the librarians and library patrons the day is a celebration of a more animated form of literacy.

    Jennifer Ullrich, the librarian who coordinated the event celebrates that fact that “Free Comic Book Day always falls on the first Saturday of May!”


    As a teenager, Ulrich gravitated to Marvel’s “X-Men” comics, however as an adult, “Bryan K. Vaughn’s ‘Saga’” is what she enjoys reading.

    “I love comic books,” she said.

    In addition to organizing craft tables, free comics and activities for the event, Ullrich also designed a series of “Post-it murals.”

    After selecting an image, “we create a grid [in Excel] with 3×3 squares (the size of post-its)” she explained; then the cells are filled by color, a copy of the colored grid is made and a number and color key are used to identify where each post-it will be placed. “It’s a lot of work, but also a lot of fun, and totally worth it!” she said joyfully.

    At the craft and activity tables, mother and daughter Holly and Amelia Troutan created masks and “wonder-ful wearables” with librarian Judith Graham; who started working at SMPL at the dawn of the new millennium. Holly stated that Amelia visits Judith and checks out books every Saturday because it is a “safe place.”

    “We don’t always check the calendar, but there is always something going on” she added.

    Graham, who was dressed as “Wonder Woman,” told The Mirror, “my goal is to get people involved, not just the parents with kids but adults too.” She was dressed as Wonder Woman because she felt that the character is a “good mentor” and someone that “could help you through the hardest things in life.”

    Library patrons also played “Light Blade” using Oculus Rift. The virtual reality equipment was purchased through a grant from the California State Library. The VR experience was popular among all attendees.

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