Popular convention returns March 30

Published 10:18 pm Thursday, March 14, 2019

Fans will soon put on their best outfits for Suffolk Public Library’s IconiCon, the largest free gathering for fans of sci-fi, fantasy, comics and anime in the area.

The fourth annual, multi-fandom event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 30 at the North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road. This event has grown with more visitors and activities for all ages each year since it started in 2016, and this year is no exception.

“We listened to the feedback that everyone gave us,” said Asa Heyward, teen services senior librarian. “We wanted to make sure that there was something new for everyone to experience, as well as keep some of the elements that people liked the most about past IconiCons.”

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More than 20 vendors will have merchandise for fans of all ages, and the “Got Fish?” food truck and One Girl Desserts will have tasty treats for sale.

Children will enjoy making crafts and facing challenges in the “Superhero Training Academy” course. Younger children can listen in on one of two story time sessions, and elementary-aged kids will try out the Mario-themed Sphero Circuit robotics course.

The Actor’s Place Inc. will offer two voice workshops to show fans how to manipulate their voices so they can sound like their favorite characters.

“They will also have an opportunity to go up to the mic and look at a piece of video that they will have the opportunity to voice over,” Heyward said. “Then they’ll get some feedback from the facilitator of that particular workshop.”

There will be a panel covering fandom in the United States and another Q&A panel for all things cosplay. Adult cosplayers can also branch out in the cosplay speed-dating session, which will focus on making connections with others that have similar interests.

The twist, however, is that they have to stay in whichever character they’re cosplaying while answering designated questions.

“It’s something that’s going to be fun, particularly for the older crowd,” Heyward said.

Throughout the day there will be table-top gaming, karaoke and video gaming, along with a trivia contest and a Super Smash Bros. tournament. The gaming will be in a casino-themed section of the library made to look like the planet Canto Bight from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

The “Star Wars” fever will keep up with the 501st Legion — an international, fan-based organization dedicated to building and wearing screen-accurate replicas of armor and outfits worn by villains from the series. They will be joined by the Rebel Legion, another organization of “Star Wars” fans.

“Doctor Who” fans will enjoy expertly-crafted Daleks made by the Old Dominion Daleks organization and take photos with an impressive TARDIS provided by the Tidewater Cosplay Association.

“We’re going to have a little more ‘Doctor Who’ this year,” Heyward said.

Red Dragon Martial Arts will have a lively demonstration that will lead into the cosplay contest. People can enter the contest on site and while judges are deciding on their favorites, the library’s annual Attack of the Fan Art contest will be announced.

Submissions will be accepted through March 25 for age categories 0 to 11, 12 to 18 and 19 and older. There will be one winner from each category plus a fan favorite. Participants can submit physical copies of their artwork at any Suffolk Public Library branch, or email them with the online entry form to cbland@suffolkva.us.

Visit suffolkpubliclibrary.com/IconiCon for the full event schedule.