OSHKOSH, Wisc. – A new contest honoring a local comic book legend is challenging community members of all ages to embark on a creative quest where heroes are born and imagination thrives.
The Mark Gruenwald Comic Book Creation Challenge honors the late Oshkosh native who drew and edited numerous volumes for comic giant Marvel from 1978-1996, including Captain America, which he wrote for 10 years. Gruenwald was an expert on Marvel history and served as Marvel’s executive editor from 1987 until his death in 1996.
The comic book challenge tasks individuals and teams of all ages to create an original comic which will be judged on originality, artwork, story and character development. Participants receive a pizza box loaded with art supplies to help them bring their ideas to the page. Art kits and registration forms are available at Oshkosh Public Library.
The project is the brainchild of Jon Doemel, owner of Zaroni’s Pizza; Scott Dercks, owner of House of Heroes Comics + Games; and the Winnebago County Literacy Council. Other supporters include the Oshkosh Public Library, Bemis Company, Oshkosh Corporation, Pacon Corporation, and Dark Horse Comics.
According to organizers, the comic book challenge is designed to promote literacy through comic books and graphic novels by creating an event that works for all ages and abilities. Organizers also want to raise awareness about the free adult literacy services offered by the Winnebago County Literacy Council and bring more people to the library.
Comic book creators will compete in several age categories, with a separate category for families. Registration deadline is Aug. 1 and submissions must be turned in to the Oshkosh Public Library by Aug. 31. Join the Mark Gruenwald Comic Book Creation Challenge group on Facebook to find contest rules, age categories, contest rules and other announcements. Flyers are also available at the library.
Winners will be announced and comic books displayed in a community celebration at the Oshkosh Public Library on Sept. 28. Watch the Facebook group for information about prizes fit for a superhero.