Providence Community Libraries to Hold Alternative Comic Con


Growing up, I was discouraged from embracing my nerdy side and letting my geek flag fly. So when Comic Con became an actual viable thing I could attend as an adult (who had recently abandoned all geeky inhibitions and embraced geekdom fully and unconditionally), I was thrilled. Four years later, it’s not only going strong, but has become a major RI event. However, for those confident enough to have embraced their wonderfulness at a young age, sometimes the price of a day pass can be a bit of a hardship. Who can save these teens who want a chance to attend a comic con? Those youngest Whovins, Trekkies and Hobbits living among us? They needed a superhero, and not only were these superheroes not hard to find, they were found where superheroes have been for years: a local library. The Providence Community Libraries, to be exact. Our superheroes in this case are the youth services librarian at Mount Pleasant Library, Emily LeMay, and Olneyville Library’s manager, Sarah Gluck.

This dynamic duo has been planning an event for their community since last winter, and are about to watch all their hard work unfold at Providence Community Library’s  Alternative Comic ConAnd this isn’t just a half rate event with a few science project display boards; this is the real deal.

Co-organizer Emily explained, “We have been extremely lucky to have Walker Mettling of Providence Comics Consortium on board with the idea from the start.” Jeremy Ferris, who designed their flyer with Walker Mettling, was also on board, as were the ladies of Dirt Palace in Olneyville. This alternative comic con isn’t meant to be seen as a detractor from the official RI Comic Con, rather it was organized out of love and concern for the community.

“The idea is to create a FREE family- and teen-oriented event that builds community and gives teens access to local organizations that foster creativity,” said Emily. The Alternative Comic Con will feature Providence Roller Derby, Big Nazo and City Arts. Families in attendance will meet local artists, including jewelry makers and people who create GIFs. Anything that builds community in our capitol creative city is a positive event in my opinion. Of course events like cost money to run, and funding for underfunded libraries doesn’t fall from trees.

“We have very little funding, but we have big imaginations and are excited to bring a creative event like this to our teens and families.” Emily continued, “Attendees will have a chance to meet local artists who are making a living doing what they love, so that might inspire visitors to do the same.”

And who says that you can’t go to both comic cons? I know I will! For the smallest state in the country, we are stuffed with creativity, ingenuity and talent. There’s more than enough room for two fabulous events in one state. And by offering an alternative event, Emily LeMay and Sarah Gluck are teaching us a vital lesson: Not all superheroes wear capes — some of them read books.

In addition to the Alternative Comic Con taking place at Mount Pleasant Library on the 12th, the nine Providence Community Libraries will feature smaller events and activities throughout the week beginning on the 7th. For more information, go to

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