East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention celebrates African American comics

The Sinfonia Youth Orchestra will perform at Philadelphia on Parade.
The Sinfonia Youth Orchestra will perform at Philadelphia on Parade.
Posted: May 18, 2012

The 11th annual East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention celebrates the African American experience in comic books Friday and Saturday.

The convention will offer an awards ceremony, film screenings, youth workshops, a parade, a comic-book marketplace, and other events at the African American Museum in Philadelphia and the Enterprise Center in West Philadelphia.

Convention activities begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the museum, with a free reception and ceremonies for the Pioneer and Glyph comic awards. This year's Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Morrie Turner, the nation's first African American syndicated cartoonist. The Glyph Awards will honor artistic works from the preceding year that are the best in comics and science fiction made by, for, and about African Americans.

The fun continues 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Enterprise Center. In the Kids' Library Zone from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., children can use their ideas and learn how to create superheroes and comic books. The zone will have free comic books.

At 1:15 p.m., convention participants (both young and young at heart) can come dressed as their favorite superhero or heroine for the Parade of Heroes and Black Cosplay exhibition, competing for prizes. The day's activities also will include film screenings and panel discussions. Several guests will appear throughout the day, including Emmy award-winning artist and illustrator Dawud Anyabwile; William H. Foster III, editor of the Black Superhero Encyclopedia; Color of Comics founder Alex Simmons; local author and illustrator Eric Battle, who has worked for DC and Marvel comics; the Baba Sisters from North Carolina; Philadelphia artist and illustrator Kamau Mshale; and filmmaker Shannon Newby.

The East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday with a free reception and the Pioneer and Glyph comics awards at the African American Museum, 701 Arch St. It continues 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Enterprise Center, 4548 Market St. Tickets can be purchased Saturday only at the Enterprise Center for $10, free for children ages 12 and younger with a paying adult. Information: 267-536-9847 or www.ecbacc.com.

Philadelphia on Parade at the Mann Center

On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., enjoy a day of performances, dance workshops, and other activities during the second annual Philadelphia on Parade at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, a free family arts festival presented by PNC Arts Alive.

The celebration begins with an opening parade led by the 130-member marching band from the Girard Academic Music Program. The festival will have five stages with more than 100 performers, including the Rock School for Dance Education, Sinfonia Youth Orchestra, Sharon Katz and the Peace Train, and the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble.

Inside the CIGNA Children's Pavilion, families can hear storytellers, watch jugglers, have their faces painted, exercise, enjoy a mini-circus and arts, and do crafts activities. At the festival's Health Pavilion, presented by Independence Blue Cross in cooperation with the Parkside Association, guests can try yoga and zumba, have their blood pressure checked, and receive information about maintaining a healthy diet. The day will feature an artists and crafters marketplace, and area community groups will share information about their organizations. Rain date is Sunday.

Philadelphia on Parade, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Ave. at Fairmount Park. Event is free. For information and to reserve tickets, go to www. manncenter.org.

'Sleeping Beauty' at Media Theatre

The stage production of Sleeping Beauty will be presented this weekend through May 26 at Media Theatre for the Performing Arts.

A humorous twist based on the classic fairy tale, this new musical version tells the story of a princess who is being used as a token between good and evil. Sent into a deep slumber, the princess can be awakened only by a kiss from a prince. Performance starts at 11 a.m.

"Sleeping Beauty," 11 a.m. Saturday at Media Theatre for the Performing Arts, 104 E. State St., Media. Tickets are $12, $10 for children; they may be purchased at the box office or online at www.mediatheatre.org. Information: 610-891-0100.

Contact Monica Peters at mpeters@phillynews.com.

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