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Upcoming Pop Culture Events at Barnes & Noble in Oakbrook Center, Part I

A spokeswoman for the Barnes & Noble store at Oakbrook Center in west suburban Oak Brook, Illinois informed me about various upcoming events later this month and next month. The events are part of Barnes & Noble Retail Group’s nationwide Get Pop-Cultured, which the Retail Group is describing as “a nationwide celebration of popular entertainment with themed events.”

Batman Day (Wednesday, July 23, 2014) is part of DC Comics Spectacular (July 23-27, 2014).  Comic Convention Collectibles Weekend runs from Thursday, July 24, 2014 to Sunday, July 27, 2014.
David A. O'Connor

Across the U.S.A., the Preview Weekend stretches from Friday, July 18, 2014 to Sunday, July 20, 2014. Between Friday, July 18, 2014 and Sunday, August 10, 2014, one can enter The Get Pop Cultured Sweepstakes to win a Behind the Scenes Studio Tour and $1,000 Barnes & Noble gift card by visiting any Barnes & Noble store, stopping by the NOOK counter, opening the Get Pop Cultured with Barnes & Noble App on any NOOK HD or NOOK HD+ demo device, and filling out the sweepstakes entry form., LLC is the sponsor of The Get Pop Cultured Sweepstakes. The Official Rules are online.

The opening event at the Barnes & Noble store in Oakbrook Center is “Get Pop Cultured!” The store spokeswoman wrote, “Stop by today as we unveil Barnes & Noble's newest program: Get Pop-Cultured. We'll be featuring all things newsy in our world's pop-culture, from television to movies to music to books. There's tons of giveaways, too!”

The spokeswoman for the Barnes & Noble store at Oakbrook Center wrote, “Visit Barnes & Noble Oakbrook on Saturday, July 19, at any time, dressed as your favorite icon from movies, television, music, books, graphic novels, comics or manga. Snap a selfie and post it to your Twitter or Instagram using #Get Pop Cultured AND #Contest, and you'll be automatically entered to win a Barnes & Noble gift card!”

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 is Batman Day. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Bob Kane (1915-1998) and Bill Finger (1914-1974) creating the character Batman, the store will have trivia contests, NOOK contests, and giveaways (including a special edition of Detective Comics #27).

The inaugural storytime session for Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble (at Oakbrook Center) is “Hooray for Superheroes!” with the books The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo and Ninja! by Arree Chung. The spokeswoman wrote, “As our Get Pop-Cultured Program kicks off today with a salute to Batman, we're reading about our very own superheroes…Storytime will also include a themed activity.”

Thursday, July 24, 2014 is dedicated to “Comic Convention Collectibles!” The spokeswoman wrote, “Be the first one on your block to own one of the new FUNKO vinyl collectibles! We’ll have a limited number of POP’s, Legacy Figures and Blind Box collectible figures. We also have POP Posters for the first 25 lucky purchasers!”

There will be a DC Comics Costume Contest starting at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 25, 2014. “Join us for some serious cosplay for our fabulous celebration of DC Comics! Wear your favorite costume and mingle with other cosplayers, and we’ll announce a winner at 9:00pm. All participants will get some terrific giveaways!”

Cuetacuentos: Storytime in Espanol” will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday July 26, 2014. This event will be held again at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 30, 2014. “Find out what a special train is carrying as we read Que duermas bien, pequeno tren (Sleep Well, Little Train) [(I.S.B.N. 9788415579687)] by Sherry Duskey. Storytime will also include a themed activity.”

There is a Frozen (2013)-related event at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 1, 2014. The spokeswoman for the store wrote, “Get out of the heat and join us for some fun Frozen activities. Bring your cameras for a photo-op with Olaf! Turn on your creative juices to build a sand castle and make snow clouds and snowflakes to keep Olaf from melting! We’ll cap off our Frozen Friday with a storytime and sing-along!”

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Martin Goodman (1908-1992) founding Marvel Comics as Timely Publications, Saturday, August 2, 2014 is Marvel Day. The spokeswoman wrote, “We’re having a trivia contest and tons of giveaways. Wear your favorite Marvel character costume for some serious cosplay! Whether you’re a Marvel superfan or just an occasional fan, there’s something for everyone!”

Marvel Superheroes Storytime will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Marvel Day. “Wear your favorite Marvel Superhero costume and join us as we read Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket and Groot Fight Back [(I.S.B.N. 9780316293235)], and Spiderman Versus The Vulture [(I.S.B.N. 9781435126527)]. Storytime will also include a themed activity.”

This seems like an opportune place to point out when these events are occurring at Barnes & Noble relative to Chicago’s two comic book conventions. Wizard World Chicago Comic Con will be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont from Thursday, August 21, 2014 to Sunday, August 24, 2014. The younger Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), which started at McCormick Place in 2010, was last held April 25-27, 2014.

Ed Benedyk, a former resident of Clarendon Hills, will stop by Barnes & Noble at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 2, 2014 to sign copies of his novel Mr. Consequence (I.S.B.N. 9781937668853). The spokeswoman wrote, “Vigilante justice is the name of the game and Mr. Consequence is the game master as he walks the streets of Chicago taking down criminals. Stop by and meet Ed Benedyk as he signs copies of his novel depicting the gritty back streets of Chicago.”

Sunday, August 3, 2014 is James Patterson Day. The spokeswoman wrote, “He’s a Guinness world record-holder for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author! We think that rates a special day in our Get Pop Cultured Campaign! Stop in for a one-day-only special that will blow the mind of any Patterson fan!” According to, there will be sales on Patterson’s books for adults, teenagers, and children, as well as trivia and discussions at all Barnes & Noble stores in the chain.

Kawaabunga” story time will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 6, 2014. “Grab a slice of pizza and join us as we read Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” books Saved by the Bell (I.S.B.N. 9780307980717) and Monkey Business (I.S.B.N. 9780449818527). “Storytime will also include a turtlicious activity!”

There will be a NOOK Class for Seniors at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 7, 2014 and Thursday, August 21, 2014. The spokeswoman wrote, “Does your NOOK have you perplexed? Join us for a new NOOK class where you can learn at your own pace in a relaxed atmosphere. Our Digital Lead, Dave, will help you to explore all the things your NOOK can do for you! Please have your NOOK registered at prior to attending this class.”

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