Events & Programs

MoComCon 2022 Essay Contest Winners

First Place

Chess: My Life Changing Game, by Joseph Mathew

In my early years of education, especially in the first three years of elementary school, I was always reprimanded for my bad behavior in the form of a color-coded behavior chart. Every time I made silly mistakes the teacher would move my name on the chart down a color. This chart constantly reminded me that I wasn’t worthy enough to be in my teachers’ class and that I was at a lower disposition compared to my peers. Seeing my actions reflected in bright color on the wall
that all my peers stared at, caused devastating blows to my self-esteem.

However, after I discovered chess, it changed everything. Chess is the game that impacted my life because it improved my intellectual abilities and my mental state. During the summer break of first grade, I visited my grandmother. The summer heat was unbearable. There was nothing to do but watch TV, and even that was boring. I would lay on the ground, hoping that the marble tiles would cool my body. One day, my grandmother gave me a puzzle to do. I got interested in them, spending days solving puzzles. Recognizing my puzzle solving skills, she registered me in a nearby chess club which was the starting of my interest in chess.

After that, I played chess continually with a passion. It improved all my intellectual abilities including problem-solving, creative thinking, and memory skills. All these benefits can be seen as proof of my new academic achievement. In the following school year, I took a national cognitive test and scored very high. Chess also helped me to solve the nonverbal batteries and the other three batteries in the CogAT test. This allowed me to get into the gifted and talented programs.

After discovering chess, my behavior on the color chart was always good. I strongly believe that playing chess helped me to think ahead, calculate, and solve problems. Winning in many chess competitions changed my attitude. Mentally, I became strong and confident. I felt like I was worthy in front of others because of my chess skills. My higher interest in chess left me no free time for horseplay. My teacher more often recognized my good behavior and reflected it on the color chart. This higher self-esteem acquired because of playing chess,
helped me to develop leadership qualities that helped me throughout my life. Overall, my mental state was much better after discovering chess.

I am always grateful to my grandma for finding my hidden talent in chess. She made me respectable among my peers. The game chess made my brain think versatile and solve harder challenges

Second Place

How Cards Became my Happiness, by Eliana Kim

My game is yet so simple, but so powerful that it can bring a whole family together in a time of global crisis. My game is still so ordinary, but you don’t know what it could do to a person in times of struggle. My game is cards.

Now, I know you all know about “go fish” and “Uno,” or any other card game. And you’re probably thinking I’m out of my mind. Well I’m not, because simple card games have changed my life. It all started on an ordinary day in the middle of a not-so-ordinary pandemic. My family and I decided to gather and play cards as a way to make time pass. I mean, what else are you supposed to do in the middle of a global pandemic when you can’t leave your house? We started playing go fish, and then a round of Uno. At first when we played, we didn’t realize it, but the more we played, the more our joy grew. Our worries faded from our heads during the 10 minutes we played cards. Also, the more we spent time together, the more we bonded as a family, and it was all because of this simple game. We played and played that night, and when we were finished, my family and I decided to do this the next night too so we could have some good ol’ family fun. That one night led to countless other nights of card games with my family, and doing so continued our joy and love as a family, and strengthened the bond we had.

Fast forward to an entire year later. I am still playing cards every night with my family. I know that whenever I have a bad day or I feel so sad, I can play cards at the and of the day with my family. When I play cards with my family, my whole entire body loosens because I know that I can be together with my family, and just be myself. Just because of a standard deck of 54 cards, my entire life loosened up and became happier every single night and day, because I could have a countless number of problems, but those problems fade away from my head as soon as a deck of cards hit my hand. My family and I also grew so happy and together, for almost the first time in my life since our Disney trip in 2016. Before cards, I felt like my life was empty. Now, playing cards is my happy place. No matter where I am, if I am with my family and a deck of cards, I will have fun.

How about you play some card games with your family? All you need is a deck of cards and it will guarantee a good 10 minutes of unfiltered joy. Now this is why the game that changed my life is cards.

Third Place

Friendship Across Time Zones by Bailey McFadden

Minecraft is a game that is often categorized as a ‘sandbox game’. This means that it’s a virtual land where users can create their own worlds and experiences, using building blocks that come with the main game and others that are created by users to add to the game. Users can also create multiplayer servers, which are worlds specifically designed for mass player use.

When I was 10, I downloaded the Minecraft desktop version. A couple months prior, I had moved to a new state and the only people I knew were the family that lived there and a few family friends. I was
lonely. Around that time, I had discovered (and subsequently gotten obsessed with) the gaming side of Youtube, particularly Minecraft. My favorite was a Youtuber who owned his own Minecraft server and
made videos on it. The first thing I did, when I had the chance, was join his server. The server, Skycade, had its own microculture built around the server’s capabilities and add-ons. For instance, you could claim land and then switch that claimed land over into somebody else’s control, so many people would build houses in groups and then sell them to people using the in-game currency, creating mini-towns. It’s through this process that I met my first ever internet friend – Anna.
She was 2 years older than me and one of the smartest people I had ever talked to. She was eloquent, kind, and she played like somebody who had played for years. I still remember the day she told me her real name; It felt like a huge honor. Internet safety had been drilled into both of us – it was like she was telling me “I trust you”. Over time, she stopped playing and we lost contact. Through her, I met another friend. She never told me her real name, I knew her as Husky. She and I would talk for hours almost everyday. She was Icelandic, and the two of us would play a game where I would run something through Google Translate, then change it into Icelandic and make her guess what it said. It was always funny, since apparently the translations were very far from correct. She had named herself Husky because her family
bred huskies. She had an older brother who was off at college and her grandmother lived with her family. Even though the two of us stopped talking years ago, I still know a million facts about her.

Minecraft provided an escape from a world that seemed out of my control most of the time, as well as provided a way for me to make deep friendships with people I never would have met otherwise. Minecraft is a conduit of friendship and deep bonds for so many people and has been since its creation. Playing Minecraft changed how I interact with people on and offline, as well as provided connection in a time when I needed it, and through this changed my life.

Events & Programs

MoComCon 2022 Art Contest Winners

Thanks to all who joined us for January’s virtual MoComCon 2022!, our virtual celebration of all things comics, graphic novels. and fandoms. We’re proud to announce the winners of this year’s art contest. Thank you to all who entered and participated!


Children’s Competition — Winners
Children’s Competition — Honorable Mention


Teen Competition — Winners
Teen Competition — Honorable Mention


Adult Competition — Winners
Adult Competition — Honorable Mention

Congratulations to all MoComCon 2022 Art Contest winners!

Did You Know Events & Programs

Join MoComCon 2022 this January 15

MoComCon 2022, MCPL’s annual celebration of all things comics, graphic novels and fandoms, returns on Saturday, January 15.

Check out our schedule of virtual events and join in all day long. Click on each event link below in the schedule to learn more. We will update with direct Zoom links on Saturday morning.

MoComCon Event Schedule

Super Hero Storytime
10:30 – 11:00am
Craft Demos11:00 – 11:45am
Toy Design: From Screen to Shelf with Jen Tan of Pixar12:00 – 1:00pm
Gaming Trivia1:15 – 2:15pm
Board Games: The Creative Process2:30 – 3:30pm
Art Contest Slideshow3:45 – 4:00pm

Stay tuned to the blog for MoComCon 2022 art and essay contest winners.

Events & Programs Library Branches

Enter the MoComCon 2022 Art & Essay Contests!

MoComCon Returns to MCPL in January!

MoComCon happens January 15, 2022, this year at the Germantown Library! MoComCon 2022 Art & Essay contests also return as part of the celebration of all things comics, graphic novels and fandoms. The deadline to enter both contests is December 15.

What are the MoComCon Art & Essay Contests?

Do you like to draw or write? Then our Art and Essay contests are for you. You can enter art, essay, or both, just make sure to read the entry form directions and submit a separate form for each contest. Completed Art and Essay entries will be accepted electronically Monday, November 1 – Wednesday, December 15. Art contest is open to ages 5 years – adult. Essay contest is open to ages 8-14 years.

Cosplay Contest Happens at MoComCon 2022

Is Cosplay or dressing up more your style? Then our Cosplay contest is for you! Open to all ages, the day of MoComCon Saturday, January 15, 2022. Print and fill out your entry to bring with you to MoComCon 2022 at Germantown Library. Limited to the first 20 entries in each age group. Parent signature required for ages 17 & under.



Learn more about MoComCon 2022, including the events schedule, at the event website. And join us at Germantown Library on January 15th!

Did You Know Events & Programs

MoComCon 2021 Art & Essay Contest Winners

January’s virtual MoComCon 2021 drew over 1,000 attendees to our virtual celebration of all things comics, graphic novels. and fandoms. We’re proud to announce the winners of this year’s art and essay contests. Thank you to all who entered and participated, helping to make this year’s MoComConline a success!

Art Contest Winners



Honorable Mention



Honorable Mention



Honorable Mention

Cosplay Contest Winners




Essay Contest Winners

First Place

“Ode to Pua”

Who said pigs can’t be charming and inspiring? I completely adore a pig named Pua from the Disney movie Moana. Pua is a small piglet with soft white fur, cute light gray spots, black hooves with tiny little toes, and a pink circle-shaped snout. His cute, innocent big brown eyes ask you silently to rub his soft rosy belly. He is extremely cute, and I am the ultimate fan of him.

As all ultimate fans do, I collect all kinds of Pua souvenirs, from big collectibles like stuffed animals, pillows, to small articles like necklaces and erasers. Sometimes, I make my own Pua collections from clay and other materials! My computer background in Pua theme is also created by myself.

In the movie, Moana, Pua is a loyal and brave character, but he isn’t given that much spotlight. I want to give him a brand-new life, so I wrote many adventurous mini stories where Pua is the leading character! Sure, I changed a few things, but my inspiration all came from the adorable little piggy from Moana. In my stories, I depict Pua as a young pig who stands up for the common good, a young adventurer without the cape! One of the stories I wrote about Pua going to the “Cloud City” to save a friend from danger. I took all the attributes of Pua from the movie, such as Pua’s loyalty, determination, and bravery, and created a series of exciting short stories. When I read my stories to my little sister, she always giggles and wants more.

I talk about when Pua stayed with Moana, and all those crazy yet heart-touching stories about Pua in my own fantasies, like saving friends and defeating the evil pigs in the “pig-a-planet”. I make up tales of Pua and her brother (one of my own characters!) did, and the adventures they went on. My sister now loves Pua as much as I do. My friends all start liking this cute little pig and always ask me when the next adventure story will be available for reading.!

My passion for Pua brings me stronger connections with my friends who share the same fondness for this cute little creature. I became more willing to share my feelings with family and friends, and I am never shy again to speak in front of the public about my own stories. My desire of sharing Pua with the world inspired me to create artworks and to write stories about him. Perhaps one day I’ll compose a piece of music about him, called “Ode to Pua”.

2nd Place

Ultimate Reading Fan”

You guys wanted to know why I was the ULTIMATE FAN, so I am going to tell you why I am the ULTIMATE FAN! I didn’t know how much I enjoyed reading until one day when I was in the library and my friend suggested I read The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. At that moment I knew I was the ULTIMATE FAN. I have read the entire series, but my most favorite one would have to be “Wrecking Ball”. I like Wrecking Ball best because it has parts in the story that people will relate to like when Greg Hefley was moving away from his home his best friend Rowley Jefferson was sad and so was Greg Hefley.

So first, I just love how the story is told in first person by the main character Greg Hefley. It just really shows us how Greg Hefley is thinking. I would find the story less interesting if it was told by a narrator. Another reason why I am the ULTIMATE FAN is because I have read all 16 Diary of a Wimpy kid books and personally I think if you want to be an ULTIMATE FAN of a certain book series, you have to at least read more than 4 of the books in the series. In addition, I am super excited to start reading the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book “The Deep End”!!!.

Also, Diary of a Wimpy Kid made a life changing impact on my life. Sometimes I ask people if they can relate to the situations I am in, but they could not connect to me at all. But when I read Diary of a Wimpy Kid I laughed and started to say to myself “wow I can relate to all of the stuff in this book. I didn’t think other people thought this way but I guess they did”. So before I felt like no one understands me, but after reading this I felt like the author understood me.That’s why I will always be a fan of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

My last reason I am the ULTIMATE FAN is because it inspired me to be a better friend, to be closer to my family, and it inspired me to read more. That’s why today I am 11 years old with a 9th grade reading level and I love to read. And these books definitely had an impact on my life. When I first started to read the book, I started to read bigger words and I started to read faster. My parents and my teachers were impressed. That’s why I love Diary of a Wimpy Kid and how it made a big impact on my life.


3rd Place

Magical Whatever After

My first reason that I am an ultimate fan is that it has a portal in it. At 12:00 am when they knock on the mirror 3 times, it turns into a portal that leads them into fairy tales. They go into fairy tales so that they can free the fairy in their mirror, Maryrose.

My second reason why I am a number 1 fan is because It has lots of dialogue. The author uses dialogue to show the reader what the characters are thinking. She also shows the reader the characters’ interests, for example, Abby wants to be a lawyer when she is older.

My last reason is that throughout the story Abby and Jonah fracture the fairy tale by accident, (sometimes on purpose to give the story a happy ending).

The Whatever After books have made an impact in my life because it makes me make time in my day to read. The Whatever After series is about a pair of siblings, Abby and Jonah, who go into fairy tales. They go in fairy tales to free the fairy in their mirror, Maryrose.

I am the #1 fan because I do not mind re-reading Sarah’s books over and over again. No matter how many times I read it, I am always interested. Another reason that I am an ultimate fan is because I really like how she expresses the characters feelings.

I am a big fan of the Whatever After books, they are fun to read and they make pictures in your mind.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter our MoComCon 2021 Art, Essay & Cosplay contest! We hope to see you back at MoComCon 2022!

Events & Programs From the Collection

Celebrate MoComCon 2021 with Graphic Novel Book Talks

MoComCONline, Montgomery County Public Libraries’ first all-virtual MoComCon, happens this Saturday, January 16. To celebrate, our librarians present a series of Book Talks, discussing the graphic novels they love. Enjoy talks from Librarians Beth Chandler, Camille Robinson and David Zelonka.

Some of these graphic novels are “old school,” and others are newer releases. Watch each librarian’s Book Talk on our YouTube channel, then reserve your copy of the book at your local branch. They’re all available.

Old School Graphic Novels

Adult Books/Series

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

Maus by Art Spiegelman

Teen Books/Series

Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa

Cardcaptor Sakura by CLAMP

New Graphic Novels

Adult Books/Series

LaGuardia by Nnedi Okorafor

Beastars by Paru Itagaki, Book Talker Librarian Camille Robinson

Teen Books/Series

Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama

Juvenile Books/Series

Lucy & Andy Neanderthal by Jeffrey Brown

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill  

Now pick your favorites from the graphic novels above and reserve your copies through Holds-to-Go! Saga, LaGuardia, and The Tea Dragon Society are also available on Hoopla, with your MCPL card.

Then come celebrate the graphic novel and all things comics and fandoms on Saturday, January 16th at MoComCONline! We have events for everyone, so find yours at the MoComCon site.

Events & Programs

MoComCOnline 2021 Craft Events

MoComCOnline 2021 is this Saturday, and our annual event is all-virtual this year.

The lineup is amazing, and that includes two crafting opportunities. Virtual Create a Creature starts at 12:30pm, followed up with Pipe Cleaner Superhero at 1pm.

Virtual Create-a-Creature

Use sculpting clay to make your own fantastical creature!

To pickup a prepared kit, please call one of the following branches:

Little Falls Library 240-773-9520

Maggie Nightingale Library 240-773-9550

Kits are limited, and last day for pick up is January 15, 2021. Want to join without having the kit? You’ll need modeling clay or dough. More information and Zoom log-in at

Pipe Cleaner Superhero

Pick up a kit with all the supplies you need to make your own superhero, then join us on Zoom for step-by-step instructions on how to make your superhero.

To pick up a prepared kit, please call one of the following branches:

Gaithersburg Library: 240-773-9490

Marilyn Praisner Library: 240-773-9460

Silver Spring Library: 240-773-9420

Kits are limited, and last day for pick up is January 15, 2021. Want to join without the kit? You’ll need three pipe cleaners, two paper or plastic straws, seven large plastic “pony” beads, one 1/2 inch round wooden bead, felt, and glue. Visit for Zoom links.

MoComCon is MCPL’s very own comic convention. This year it’s completely virtual. To view more information and events, check out the MoComCon website at!

Did You Know

MoComCon Art, Cosplay & Essay Contest Open!

Today is the first day for entries to the MoComCon 2021 Art, Cosplay and Essay Contest. You have three options to participate in this year’s competition:

  • Create artwork of your favorite character from any fandom, book, television show, or movie, or invent your own original character!
  • Create and dress up in a costume of your favorite character from any fandom, book, television show, or movie, or invent your own original character!
  • Write an essay, 300–500 words, about the following prompt: In a world of countless fandoms, what makes you THE ULTIMATE FAN? Tell us what you’re the fan of, why you’re the #1 fan, and what impact it’s made on you and your life.

Three age groups can enter the Art and Cosplay contest: Child (ages 0–12), Teen (ages 13–17), and Adult (ages 18+). The Essay Contest is for ages 8–14. Find the entry form and many more details here.

MoComCon Online 2021 is an all day, all ages event celebrating all things comics, graphic novels, and fandoms! Join us on Saturday, January 16 for this year’s completely virtual con, and stay tuned for all of the ways you can participate.

Visit for all the details!

Events & Programs

MoComCon 2020 Art Contest Winners!

Winners for MoComCon’s 2020 art contest have been selected, and we’ve got lots of great art to show you. Take a look below. And don’t forget, if you’re interested in participating next year’s contest, check out our website in late 2020 for more details.

And The Winners Are…

Honorable Mention!

If you’d like to see all of this year’s submissions, head on over to our Flickr album. Until next year!