2021: return of Comic Gong

After a hiatus in 2020, Wollongong City Libraries are excited to bring the much-loved Comic Gong festival back to Wollongong on Saturday 15 May.

Since its first event in 2013, the pop and comic culture festival has grown in popularity each year, with more than 10,000 people attending – but this year it will look a little different.

Headlined ‘Comic Gong – The Pandemic Arc’, the festival will be a scaled-down version of the event with the day filled with workshops at Wollongong Library, Wollongong Youth Centre and Wollongong Art Gallery.

“The colourful energy, admiration and excitement the festival brings to our city was sorely missed last year, so I’m looking forward to its return, even though it’s on a smaller scale,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.

“Our libraries have done a wonderful job to host and deliver this event in the past showcasing the resources, programs and services they can provide.

“The comic world is about fantasy and imagination – a world of possibilities and fun. So, our library services are taking the initiative with Comic Gong to add another dimension to the world of literature, characters and adventure.

“To ensure the safety of those attending, Comic Gong will look different this year. But there are still so many opportunities to celebrate and appreciate pop culture, comics, pop art and everything in between.”

Drawing Pokémon characters, creating comic books, and learning the basics of pixel art animation are all on the agenda. There is also a call out for the little ones to take part in Superhero Training and a parkour masterclass for teenagers to try.

“Our libraries are excited to bring this festival back and can’t wait to see everyone once again. From our little fans dressed as their favourite superheros to our older enthusiasts sharing their extensive knowledge, there is something for everyone!” Cr Bradbery said.

One of the anticipated events on the day will be the panel discussion/draw off at the Wollongong Art Gallery. The panel of artists – Marcelo Baez, Queenie Chan, Matt Lin, Louie Joyce and Karen Beilharz – will sit down and chat about art, illustration, comic writing, manga and more. They will then go head-to-head in a live character draw-off.

Unfortunately, there will be no cosplay competition this year. We would still love to see your best costumes by sharing photos in the lead up to the day on the Comic Gong Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/comicgong.

Can’t wait until Saturday? Our libraries can’t either! There are a number of events taking place as part of the festival. Assemble your team for Marvel Murder Mystery, impress your friends with your pop knowledge at Pop Culture Trivia Night or watch Makoto Shinkal’s 2016 coming of age anime film.

For the full program visit https://wollongong.nsw.gov.au/comicgong.

Bookings are essential as numbers are limited for each event and workshop. Visit Eventbrite to book your spot.

All Wollongong City Council events are conducted in accordance with Public Health Order requirements following rigorous risk assessments and development of COVID Safe plans. We ask our attendees to use the QR code to sign-in on arrival and to maintain 1.5 metres social distancing. We also ask if you are not feeling well on the day to please do not attend.

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