For its fourth Graphic Novel Symposium, the Moraine Valley Community College Library is hosting speakers, discussions, a gaming day, and a comic shop fair on Wednesday, Sept. 27, and Thursday, Sept. 28. All events are free and open to the public and will take place in the Library Lounge on the main campus, 9000 W. College Pkwy, Palos Hills.

The symposium kicks off on Sept. 27, 1 to 1:50 p.m., with a panel discussion on “Talking About Things We Love: Finding Community in Fandom.” Faculty members from different disciplines will discuss the fan subcultures to which they belong (such as “Glee,” “Star Trek” or “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and describe how these subcultures explore ideas.

Local writer and artist Dan Dougherty is the featured speaker on Sept. 28, 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Dougherty is a Moraine Valley alumnus who has received several awards for his comics and graphic novels. He has written graphic novels, comic books, newspaper articles, and comic strips featured online and in print.

The final program will be a dual event. Faculty member Jason King will lecture on “Dungeons and Dragons: The Game, the Myth, the Legend,” focusing on the history and cultural impact of the game. After the presentation and coinciding with Gaming Day, he will teach and play Dungeons and Dragons. Anyone can play additional games such as Ticket to Ride, Carcassone or The Settlers of Catan between 12:30 and 4 p.m.

The comic shop fair will take place throughout both days.

“Our goal is to promote the growing intellectual and academic connections with pop culture. Comics, films, TV, books, etc., are the places where our society explores ideas and evaluates the world around us. Many of the scholarly ideas that exist in our college curriculum get translated and shared with the general public through popular culture,” said Dr. Troy Swanson, Moraine Valley teaching and learning librarian and department chair of Library Services.