Graphic-Con is a not-for-profit event dedicated to celebrating the contributions made by comic books and related popular art forms to literacy, arts and culture, through the presentation of an annual fan convention for the communities of Greater Sudbury and Northern Ontario.
It all started in 2013. Graphic-Con was created by the Greater Sudbury Public Library as a one day event designed to promote reading through the celebration of graphic novels, comic books, film and other media. These have long been identified as effective means to promote literacy among "reluctant readers" and other demographics for whom reading represents a challenge. Promoting these forms of literature and film both helps legitimize these often ignored and trivialized media while also making the connection that Greater Sudbury Public Library supports these media through its collections and other services.
Graphic-Con continued to grow with each passing year, attracting increasingly greater numbers of visitors, vendors, artists and special guests. In 2016 the event moved to the Sudbury Community Arena, a venue that allowed for a significant expansion in programming and a corresponding increase in participation. That year also saw the establishment of key partnerships, including marketing and promotional support from Launchpad Creative, and a financial partnership with Downtown Sudbury. The success in 2016 led to the creation of a Community Advisory Group to assist with planning and delivery for 2017 and 2018. Community group members representing a diverse range of interests, backgrounds, and skills helped Graphic-Con's continued evolution.
The overwhelming success of Graphic-Con inadvertently put a strain on the capacity of the Greater Sudbury Public Library which wanted to devote resources to other programs and events in service of the community. This led to the establishment in early 2019 of a not-for-profit organization and Board of Directors comprised of GSPL staff and Community Advisory Group members which would oversee and run the event into the future.