An annual show for comic book authors, illustrators and enthusiasts will return to the Pickerington Public Library this weekend.

The library, 201 Opportunity Way, will hold its fourth annual Big Comic Show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 6. It is free and open to the public.

The show originally was established as an event to help connect comic book authors and illustrators with fans of the genre.

The show not only has grown to attract around 200 people and feature two dozen comic book creators, but this year will offer a multitude of opportunities for visitors to develop their own writing and art skills.

"Over the past four years, the show has grown into something more than just a standard comic show," said Kenton Daniels, the assistant director of the library.

"It's an event for learning, teaching, sharing and more," Daniels said.

"Each year, our goal is to broaden the scope of the event. This year, we're offering writing and art workshops for aspiring comic creators, author talks, gaming and cosplay."

Daniels said Big Comic Show organizers also are excited to host Grace Ellis, co-creator and co-writer of the popular comic, "Lumberjanes."

"She'll be giving a talk about her work and meeting with fans," Daniels said.

"Also, we are super excited to be a participating site for Free Comic Book Day this year.

"We'll be handing out free comics to people who show up during the day."

The library has continued to host the Big Comic Show, Daniels said, because of its popularity and because central Ohio has become a hotbed for independent comic creators.

"Central Ohio represents a rich and growing resource for comics and graphic novels," he said. "There is a vibrant community of creators and fans."

Comic creators, with Ohio comic artists and writers being the primary focus, will set up tables to sell and share their work with fans throughout the day.

Additionally, visitors who wish to take part in creator workshops can register for them in advance.

A full list of this year's exhibitors, as well as scheduled activities and workshops, is available on the library's website: pickeringtonlibrary.org.

"Most of the workshops require registration," Daniels said.

New to this year's Big Comic Show is a superhero costume contest for kids ages 3-12.

"There will be prizes for winning costumes," Daniels said.

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@ThisWeekNate