Fandom primed for April convention

Published 10:23 pm Friday, April 6, 2018

Suffolk’s biggest, free show for sci-fi, fantasy, comic and anime fans of all ages is coming back for its third year this April, and artists can sharpen their pencils for contest submissions ahead of the show.

The third annual IconiCon will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 28 at the North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road. Last year’s show drew about 1,000 attendees for the costume contest, gaming tournament, panels and plenty of vendors.

New activities are planned for this year, along with returning favorites.

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“We always look to go bigger and better every year we do it,” said Marketing and Community Relations Coordinator Angie Sumner.

The Barony of Marinus, a local chapter of the international Society for Creative Anachronism, will bring something new to this year’s outdoor cantina with battle recreations and meet-and-greets straight from the Middle Ages. The parking lot will also offer Chick-fil-A food and beverages and anime karaoke at the Library2Go van.

“There will be some popular songs so folks that aren’t really into anime can participate,” said Asa Heyward, teen services librarian and lead organizer for the show.

The lobby will be a packed bazaar filled with dozens of vendors such as Atlantis Games & Comics, Bella Books Comics and Toys and Whimsical Wonderhaven.

Children will enjoy the superhero academy section, where they’ll make their own superhero masks and capes. There will also be a 3D printing demonstration, a lesson in LEGO stop-motion video and Superhero Storytime at 10:30 a.m.

The Oasis — one of many nerdy references of the day — will hold the return of the Brawl for All Tournament, in which brackets of players will compete against each other in the “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” video game.

There will also be a Family Feud-style trivia competition for genre fans. Both competitions will require advanced registration online.

“We’ll test their knowledge of sci-fi, superheroes and comics,” Heyward said.

Star Wars fans will have the opportunity to meet the 501st Legion, an international charity organization known for their impeccably crafted villain costumes ranging from Stormtroopers to bounty hunters.

“Our costumes are the result of careful research, fabrication and a lot of hard work,” according to 501st.com. “The majority of our costume components are hand built and assembled in our spare time.”

The Old Dominion Daleks will return with their handmade Doctor Who villain costumes that attendees will see roll around the show.

There will be panels of speakers and a non-stop marathon of anime entertainment. Tidewater Area Gaming Society will have tabletop games like Settlers of Catan, Codenames and Ticket to Ride for both seasoned players and rookies.

“If you know how to play you can just jump in, and if not, then someone will walk you through it,” Sumner said.

Artists from 8 years old to adults may submit two-dimensional art pieces by April 14 for this year’s Fan Art contest. Submissions can be made at the North Suffolk, Morgan Memorial and Chuckatuck libraries along with a completed registration form.

The categories will be ages 8 to 12, 13 to 18 and 19 and older; there will be one prize winner for each category, plus a fan favorite pick. Artwork will be displayed at the North Suffolk Library from April 21 to 28, and artwork must be collected by 3 p.m. on April 28.

The Tidewater Community College Chesapeake Anime Club will host this year’s cosplay contest. Both attendees and staff will express their fandoms with creative costumes.

“I’m going to do something Mighty Morphin Power Rangers-related, but I won’t be squeezing into a suit,” Heyward laughed.

Visit suffolkpubliclibrary.com/171/IconiCon for contest rules, event schedule and vendor list. More information can be found on the “IconiCon 2018” Facebook page or by calling 514-7323.