Hemet Library’s ‘Get Your Comics On’ brings cartoon artists and superhero actors together for a day of fun

Hemet Mayor Pro Tem Linda Krupa and Hemet senior librarian Kathye Caines insist to this reporter they are from the planet they are pointing to at the “Get Your Comics On” event at the Hemet Public Library, Saturday, Jan. 11. Valley News/Tony Ault photos

The unusual appearance of some Star Wars characters showed up at Hemet Public Library’s “Get Your Comics On” event Saturday, Jan. 11, much to the delight of science fiction fans and aspiring cartoon artists.

Stealing the show that featured many local comic cartoonists and Flintstones cartoonist Scott Shaw was Star Wars robot R2D2 which rolled around the second floor of the library seemingly looking for his hero Luke Skywalker. Instead he found visitors dressed as Darth Vader, Princess Lela, Obi-Wan Kenobi and a Stormtrooper. There were other smaller Star Wars cosplay characters and superheroes who looked, wide-eyed at the hundreds of comic books on display at the special event.

Many comic book artists sat at the tables in the upstairs library meeting room happy to greet the visitors, young and old, attending the event for free with a Hemet Library card or for a $3 donation.

Cartoonist Scott Shaw started out as a teenager, drawing evil creatures seen in underground cartoons, and later became a lead cartoonist for the Flintstones, the Simpsons and other cartoons. He shared tips on how other aspiring cartoonists could be successful in the craft in a special seminar.

Kathye Caines, senior librarian at the Hemet Public Library, spoke about “Get Your Comic on Volume 3.”

“The idea is to celebrate comics, superheroes and fantasies and educate. We have artists here just celebrating the art and the culture. We have artists, cosplay heroes here and all kinds of stuff and interesting people. People need to remember that reading doesn’t have to be just reading (a book in the library), it can be a comic and you are still reading,” Caines said.

This year’s event saw about 500 people attend, which is more than the previous two Get Your Comics On events. Each visitor received a gift bag filled with some comics and other souvenirs of the event.

Hemet Mayor Pro Tem Linda Krupa serves on the city library board. Krupa said they hoped the event will continue each year as one of the library’s signature events.

“This is amazing. The talent up here is awesome. I just hope it just grows and grows,” she said.

Robotics students from the Western Science Academy attended, displaying some of their creations and helping children create their own electronic gadgets. The Western Science Museum had a display of some of the ice age mastodon fossils found during the excavation of the Diamond Valley Reservoir in Hemet.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at tault@reedermedia.com.