As a comic book sociopathic-obsessive, I can tell you that graphic novels have become a gateway drug of choice for readers of all ages at libraries, not least because they're smart stories that still have pictures. Durham County Library has decided to embrace the wave with Comics Fest, a two-day event featuring some superlative creators. On Saturday at 1 p.m., Mark Crilley, known for such series as Akiko and Brody's Ghost, will do drawing demonstrations, read from his works and offer advice to aspiring creators. At 3 p.m., children 6–12 can visit with Willow Dawson (No Girls Allowed) about creating their own reality-based characters.
Sunday's events include a discussion with prolific graphic novelist Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole) and a panel discussion on the academic consideration of comics and graphic novels at Duke and UNC. The event runs from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. —Zack Smith