The East End is finally getting its own comic book convention.
The inaugural Pop-Up Comic Con—hosted by Archie Comics Co-CEO Nancy Silberkleit—will take place Sunday, August 7, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 111 Cove Hollow Road in East Hampton.
This free event will host many professional comic book creators and vendors, allowing visitors to speak with writers and artists and to have the opportunity to purchase original works of art and collectibles.
“Comic books run through everybody’s blood, and this event is something East Hampton has never had,” Ms. Silberkleit said. “It seems as though no matter what age you are, you can connect to this form of graphic literacy.”
Ms. Silberkleit, a former elementary school teacher and 21-year resident of East Hampton, took over as Co-CEO of Archie Comics after the passing of her husband, Michael Silberkleit, in 2008, and uses her teaching style at conventions throughout the country.
As part of her 3 p.m. speech at the East Hampton event, Ms. Silberkleit will speak on her career as one of the few women CEOs in the comic book industry and on the “unacceptable behavior” of bullying.
To that effect, she encourages attendees to come dressed in costume, or cosplay, to enjoy vendors from Archie Comics, Atomic Comics, Bronx Heroes and more, which will all be sporting information at their booths on ways to combat bullying and on how to be a good bystander.
“Under that tent, it is an opportunity for people to take in a lot of good information, not just comics,” she said. “I believe that every moment should be an educational moment. Today, we are seeing attacks on humanity based on opinions. Why not be compassionate?”
She went further and created an anti-bullying foundation, Rise Above! and an accompanying comic book—one of the last projects comic book artist legend Stan Goldberg penciled.
As a sought-after speaker at conventions, Ms. Silberkleit often encourages audiences to block out negative noise and take steps that let their dreams be as big as they want.
She described her difficulty learning how to read at a young age and said graphic novels allowed her to find pleasure in reading again at age 54—she hopes comics can do the same for others.
“I believe someone can be handed a comic book and it brings the reader in, to read the story through pictures—enticing them to match the words to the graphics,” she said.
Ms. Silberkleit said, depending on the success of this pop-up comic con, she hopes to host more on the East End in the future, with panels and a wider range of vendors.
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