Hot Dog Man. Speedo Man. The Amazing Wonder Chicken.

Who are these mysterious mercenaries? They’re characters created by kids during past Superheroes of History Day events at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML). This popular (and free!) family workshop is in its third year at the museum, and helps kids find connections between their favorite superheroes and amazing people in our world’s history. This year, the NCSML is proud to present this program in affiliation with Cedar Rapids Comic Con.

Freedom is important to everyone. Like superheroes, who protect others by intervening in times of trouble, many people in history have spoken up for freedom in different ways. Harriet Tubman (1820 – 1913) was an abolitionist, humanitarian, suffragist, and United States Army veteran. Nicholas Winton (1909 – 2015) organized the rescue of 669 children, mostly Jewish, from Czechoslovakia just before the outbreak of World War II; the children were sent to safety in Great Britain. Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1850 – 1937) advocated for Czechoslovak independence during World War I, and later became the first president of Czechoslovakia (present day Czech Republic and Slovak Republic). Susan B. Anthony (1820 – 1906) was a women’s rights activist who played an important role in gaining women the right to vote in the United States. Malala Yousafzai (born 1997) is a young Pakistani woman, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, who is an advocate of education for women. These are only a few examples of extraordinary people who succeeded in making a difference in the lives of many.

During Superheroes of History Day, kids will think about what makes someone a hero. Does a person need to have super powers to be a hero? How can each of us be a hero in everyday life? Even Hot Dog Man has potential!

Iowa City artist Jonathan Sims, an illustrator and the creator of Floating BunnyHead (“an independently published comic book about four weirdos who battle robots and draculas and time toads”), will lead the workshop portion of Superheroes of History Day. Kids will use their imaginations to create unique superheroes, and Jonathan will give expert tips on how to develop and draw those characters. Participants of all ages and abilities are welcome to join in; this workshop is very family-friendly.

[su_pullquote]Bonus! Cedar Rapids Comic Con badge holders receive free admission to the museum’s galleries from 12:00pm – 4:00pm on Sunday, February 5. Just show your badge at the ticket station when you arrive! [/su_pullquote]

Later in the afternoon, after the conclusion of Superheroes of History Day activities, adults are invited to join Corey K. Creekmur for Comics & Beer. This program is also affiliated with Cedar Rapids Comic Con, and has been an
annual event at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library since 2015. This year’s theme is “Where in the World?: Space, Location, and Virtual Travel in Comics,”  inspired by the stunning Czech Travel Posters from the Lowry Collection exhibit at the NCSML. (Closing on March 5.) Corey, an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa, will lead a workshop focusing on space, location, and virtual travel in comics. Those who take part in this workshop will enjoy a pleasant afternoon of tasty beer, comics history, and drawing. No prior comic-drawing experience is required for this event – just a sense of humor and an interest in graphic art!

Preston Moore, Chief Organizer/Founder of Cedar Rapids Comic Con, is happy the NCSML has joined the list of official affiliates. “I am very excited to be working with organizations throughout the area for this year’s Cedar Rapids Comic Con Affiliate Events, especially our city’s cultural institutions. I believe it’s important for an organization like the NCSML to embrace its nerdy side to not only help add to Comic Con as an event, but also to introduce new audiences to their own offerings.”

Whether you wear your cape to Superheroes of History Day, or sip on a Pilsner Urquell during Comics & Beer, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library would love to see you during these Cedar Rapids Comic Con Affiliate Events! (But when you’re finished with your beer, resist the urge to throw your glass to the floor and shout, “Another!” Unless you’re actually Thor.)

Good to Know:

Superheroes of History Day
Sunday, February 5 at 1:00pm
Cost: Free!
RSVP strongly encouraged due to limited seating.
Capes optional!

Comics & Beer: Space, Location, and Virtual Travel in Comics
Sunday, February 5 at 4:00pm
Cost: $8 per person, includes one beverage and the workshop. (21+ to buy/be served alcohol.)
Buy tickets using the link below!

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