October 12th, 2015
Fans of “weird stuff” are no longer outcasts. By and large, the sub-culture once considered “underground” is now accepted pop culture. The Big Bang Theory on CBS name drops Tolkien and Doctor Who, you can find Pinterest crochet crafts of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu, and Harry Potter is still being plastered on every back-to-school item imaginable. This stuff isn’t just for kids or adolescents either. In fact, once could argue that several generations of people love this stuff precisely because it makes them feel young again. It was nice when we didn’t have to pay bills and we just absorbed imaginative, made-up worlds. I know many adults who clamor over new episodes of Game of Thrones, while others are obsessed over the handsome demon-killing brothers on Supernatural. In part, you could blame reality, which hasn’t been all sunshine and butterflies lately. Can you blame a little escapism now and then?
Every year at CCPL’s “Magic, Space, and Swords!” event, I meet enthusiastic people. When I started this event in 2012, I never imagined it would still be going this strongly. There was a desire in the voices of certain patrons, hungry for a bigger SF/F collection and a book group. But I also thought, why not a mini-convention? The library is uniquely positioned in the community to offer more than just ebooks and internet. We offer resume help, dozens of children’s programs, and extraordinary small business information—all reasons for our recent National Medal win. But the library is also a place to meet others face-to-face in a safe, welcoming environment. We can’t hold Comic Conventions like Baltimore does for 30,000 people, but I promise that the full room of people at “Magic, Space, and Swords!” harnesses that same sense of wonder, community, and excitement.
So dress in a costume—or not. And it doesn’t matter how you feel about Firefly or Star Trek. Nor does it matter if you are “anime” ignorant. You will find warm people who believe in magic and galaxies far, far away. Elkton’s Special Event, “Magic, Space, and Swords!” is Saturday, October 17th from 1:30-4:30pm and will feature trivia, themed food, free books, and board game/card game demonstrations for kids, teens, and adults. This year we also have a live Q and A with special guests from a board game hobby store and a comic book shop. Plus, we will be raffling off life-sized cardboard cut-outs of the Avengers superheroes. See you then!