Darth Vader read “Ansible: Season Two” during last year's Comic Con at the Grand County Public Library. [Photo by Tom Haraden / Moab Sun News]

The comic book is an American cultural icon dating back to the late 1930s.

Superheroes and comic book characters delight, intrigue and inspire readers of all ages, and they are an increasingly influential trend among today’s young people.

On Saturday, May 6, some of these characters will once again make an appearance at the Grand County Public Library’s Third Annual Comic Con event.

The free, family-friendly event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes door prizes; photo opportunities with costumed characters; superhero-themed crafts and local artists; authors; and comic-themed vendors.

“We are going to have a ton of fun celebrating fandom and all things Comic Con,” Grand County Public Library Head of Adult Services Meg Flynn said.

The Comic Con event is funded through the support of the Friends of the Library group; last year’s event drew more than 700 attendees.

“We are hoping to attract just as many or more participants this year,” Flynn said.

This year’s event features special presentations by J.R.R. Tolkien expert Cynthia Smith; costuming expert artists from the Shadowfall Workshop; and the local chapter of the Alpine Garrison of the 501st Legion, the premier Star Wars costuming group in the world. The presentations are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

Henry Evans, a local member of the Alpine Garrison, said there will be over a dozen costumed members in attendance, along with members from the Mountain Garrison of Colorado and Wyoming.

“Darth Vader is always a favorite,” he said.

Members of the garrison will set up a backdrop where attendees can have their photos taken with various characters from the Empire, a table with information on the 501st and how to join, and some display items.

In addition, the panel will discuss the history of the 501st Legion and talk about many of the charitable foundations it supports. Panelists will also explain how people can become involved with the legion, share information about building a costume kit and answer attendees’ questions.

Costuming expert artists from the Shadowfall Workshop will give a presentation on foam armor and prop building.

Local participants will have the opportunity to participate in costume contests, which will be divided into three categories: 0 to 12 years old; 13 to 17 years old; and 18 and older. Prizes will be awarded to the contest winners of each category. Costume contests begin at 2 p.m.

The Grand County High School’s Native American Club will also have a food booth set up at the event, and the library will offer prize drawings at 3 p.m.

“The event is a great opportunity for the library to promote creativity, literacy and engagement with comic, sci-fi, fantasy, Manga and anime fans of all ages,” Flynn said.

Library hosts Comic Con on May 6

We are going to have a ton of fun celebrating fandom and all things Comic Con.

What: Third Annual Moab Library Comic Con

When: Saturday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Grand County Public Library, 257 E. Center Street

Cost: Free

Information: www.moablibrary.org/858/Library-Comic-Con

The Grand County Public Library is located at 257 E. Center St. For more information, go to: www.moablibrary.org/858/Library-Comic-Con.