Batman gets his day to shine at the Crandall Public Library!
Although it’s Liefeld Week here on evilgeeks.com, we have a big celebration to look forward to this Wednesday, July 23rd as the world officially celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Caped Crusader himself on Batman Day! If you haven’t been listening to me throughout 2014 or if you’ve been living under a rock then maybe you haven’t heard that DC is throwing a party and you’re all invited as local comic shops, book stores, and libraries celebrate the Dark Knight.
Now readers, I hope that you’ve caught on since we started this little evil empire that Batman is kinda my thing, so when I heard about Batman Day I was stoked until reality checked in and I realized that there isn’t a local comic shop or even a book store in my town. I originally planned to travel an hour or so back to where I grew up to celebrate this event just like I have to for Free Comic Book Day. Then out of the blue something hit me like the bat signal in the night sky… my local library was hosting Batman Day!!! Really???
OK, so here’s some context: I live in Glens Falls, NY where we have a gem known as the Crandall Public Library. It’s such a great place, it’s really community minded and my family and I are in there at least two or three times a week as are many folks around the region. Crandall regularly has movies, guest speakers, children’s activities and more, so although I was initially surprised that they were getting in on the celebration, when I saw their plans I was floored! Again, Crandall always has a ton of stuff going on, but those activities are usually limited to an hour or at most two, but Batman is taking over the library for the whole day with 8 hours of activities for both young and old fans of our favorite detective including the following:
• Batman Costume Contest •
Come dressed up and be eligible to enter a drawing for prizes.
• Batman Film Series •
Running all day starting at 10:30 including Batman TAS, The Dark Knight, and more!
• Batman Arkham Series and Injustice Gaming Events •
• Suit up with Batman •
A workshop to build your own masks, capes, and emblems!
• Lego Gotham •
Everything is awesome as you get to build Batman’s city!
• Batman Imagined •
A community art and collectible show based on everyones favorite Dark Knight Detective
• Hunt Down the Villains •
Search the library and hunt down The Joker, The Penguin, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, and The Riddler for your chance to get DC’s Batman at 75 limited edition comic
• Bat-Marketplace •
The folks from the Northshire Bookstore and Devious Dons Comics will be selling comics, graphic novels, and collectibles
And much more including a visit from Batman himself!
Now thats what I call a celebration! So when I realized how big of an event that Crandall was throwing for Bats I had to find the person who set this into motion. I was lucky to pop in and meet Todd Degarmo who heads up the Folklife Center at the library and he was gracious enough to chat with this Evil Geek…
Todd, how did you decide to pursue Batman Day at the Crandall Library?
We’re joining in with what’s happening nationwide as DC Comics put out an initiative to celebrate Batman’s 75th Anniversary. I sent them an email right away and they sent me a kit and said go for it. I run the folklife center which is more traditional culture kind of stuff versus pop culture, but I’m an old Batman fan so I got in touch with my colleagues and thought this might be a fun thing to do over the summer to get people to come into the building and talk about reading and use a pop icon to do those things. I found out that there were a lot of other Batman fans in the management team at the library and it mushroomed from there with ideas to get people to explore the library and celebrate the event.
It helped that after some conversations with DC about the libraries plan, they increased the amount of free comics that we could give away but still we thought that we may be overwhelmed with fans. We put together activities of what would Batman do to save the library, so we’ll have stations around the library with games to defeat different villains with various staff members dressed like famous Bat-villains and their henchmen too! After you defeat six villains you’ll be eligible to get your comic. It exploded from there with a plan to run a film series and even one of our board members is coming in to help folks who didn’t come in costume to make their own capes and cowls! along with that there is a costume contest, gaming tournaments and more. Most of the events are from 11-7 and we shifted it to get people who are working the opportunity to come in and join the celebration.
One of the cool things that you have is Batman Imagined, a community based art exhibit. What can you say about that?
Again, there’s a lot of fans who work in the library so we planned to use the folk life gallery to show off professional Batman Art and collectibles that we had, but we decided to also put out a call out for original Batman art from people of any age, which we plan to judge and give out prizes in different age categories. It ended up being another way for people to participate in the celebration and we’re getting tons of submissions!
That sounds great! Now here’s a personal one, who is your Batman?
Haha…I used to steal my older brothers comics in the early 60’s because in many ways it helped me when I was learning to read. A few years later I started collecting when the drug store in my town sold 12¢ and 15¢ books when Batman was just coming out of that goofy stage from the show.
Neal Adams Batman?
Yeah, Neal Adams, Marshall Rogers..the darker stuff, but not so much Frank Miller (but I was collecting then too) Robin was still there, but he was morphing into Nightwing. It was different, there was still the tights, but more cape…hahaha… Always at night, and not a lot of science fiction like the 50’s and 60’s Batman. I liked when Joker got kinda crazy, the Laughing Fish was one story I really remember liking. I collected into Graduate School then I stopped, so the 70’s and 80’s were my era. But then the animated series came on when I had kids in the early 90’s and I liked that quite a bit, I thought that was really cool!
Who is your favorite villain?
I’ve got to go with Joker. I really liked it when he became a lunatic because there was method to it. Again, stories like the Laughing Fish were just crazed enough and he wasn’t just a laughing clown anymore.
Thanks again to Todd and the folks at the Crandall Public Library! I expected to see things like this at a comic shop so I think that it’s great that the library, which is the cultural hub of our region, is getting in on Batman’s celebration and that they’re honoring him with so many events that day.
Remember Evil Geeks, this Wednesday, July 23rd is Batman Day and you can pop into the Crandall Library from 11am – 7pm to have some fun and help celebrate this cultural icon. Visit the libraries website for more info about the event right here! If you can’t make it Batman Day, make sure you stop into the library any time this week 7/21–7/26 to check out Batman Imagined!
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