Fandoms invade Suffolk

Published 9:37 pm Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dr. Who, Darth Vader and Spock may be invading Suffolk next month.

Fans dressed up as such popular sci-fi characters may show up at the Suffolk Public Library’s debut IconiCon, a gathering of science-fiction and fantasy fans. The free event is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 7.

The library and Tidewater Alliance, a local organization of Star Wars and fantasy fans, have teamed up to unite multiple fandoms at the North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road.

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“We wanted something that would bring the community together,” said Ardith Ohka, the library’s teen service supervisor.

There will be something for people of all ages: lightsaber duels, a bounce house, superhero training, computer gaming, a costume contest and a fan art contest. People have until April 30 to drop off two-dimensional fan art submissions at any Suffolk library. Contest details are on the library’s website.

There will be panels on costuming, steampunk, comic book lettering and more, Ohka said.

There will also be a craft table where people can make comic-book wallets, buttons and make-your-own superheroes, anime characters and video game characters. Kids will be able to make crafts, including superhero masks and popsicle-stick superheroes.

The library will also be giving out free comic books in honor of National Comic Book Day, Ohka said.

Fandom is becoming more mainstream because the influx of superhero television show and movies recently, said Jason Tuttle, president of Tidewater Alliance.

“I think this is a way for people to take time out their lives and be a kid again … by becoming their favorite characters from when they were children,” Tuttle said. “Fandom events also help get kids and parents involved in fun activities as a family.”

IconiCon will feature 16 fandom-themed vendors, including Starfleet Atlantic, a Star Trek fan club; Steampunk Alliance of Eastern Virginia; and Tidewater Comic Con.