The con runs from 10-5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 17.
There’s only one place in Kent County where you’ll find Deadpool, Wonder Woman and Disney princesses Saturday, and that’s Dover Comic Con.
The free gathering is a love letter to fans of nerd culture. It’ll feature more than 100 exhibitors, including artists and vendors, fan groups, activities, panels, entertainment, food trucks and more.
It will be in multiple locations downtown from Legislative Hall to Dover Public Library, the Biggs Museum of American Art, Old State House and John Bell House.
Special guests for the con include Deadpool lover T_Poolio and his girlfriend Emberarendelle (both at booth 71), Ally Blaze (booth 75) and Sharon Rose (booth 74).
Newark resident T_Poolio, whose real name is Topher Lawrence, dished on the new cosplays he and his girlfriend will debut, and more.
What cosplay will you wear?
Me and my girlfriend are working on one that’s a mash-up of Disney and “Assassin’s Creed.” I’m doing Aladdin, but as an assassin, and she’s doing Ariel from “The Little Mermaid,” except she’s going to be a pirate assassin. “Assassin’s Creed IV” had pirates in it, so she’s basing it off of that.
How did the idea for that cosplay mash-up come about?
It started off in my head. We went to see the new “Aladdin” movie. When I saw some of the stuff Aladdin was doing in the film, I thought he’d make an excellent assassin. Then I started thinking further back and out of most of the “Assassin’s Creed” games, I think only two of them star people of color, which would be “Assassin’s Creed III” (with Connor Kenway, Native American) and then “Assassin’s Creed Origins,” where the characters are Egyptian.
Does it take away from the experience when characters from comics and video games are portrayed by someone of a different race in a Hollywood film?
It more or less shocks people because you’re used to seeing the character in a certain light. You’re used to seeing Superman as a white male, country boy. I think part of the problem is when Hollywood changes something like that, some people can’t adjust to that change to see it as it is.
When Michael B. Jordan played the Human Torch in “Fantastic Four,” everyone was freaking out because they were saying, “He’s supposed to be Susan’s brother. How can they be siblings if they’re two different races?” They were like, “How can that be? That’s stupid.”
The movie wasn’t great, but it still worked as far as them changing the story to make that fit. I think that’s mainly what it is. People aren’t inherently being hateful towards it, they’re just having a hard time adjusting to it.
Let’s take “Spider-Man: Homecoming” for example. They cast Zendaya as an M.J. figure and people were freaking out, because she’s not white. It’s a completely different character [than Mary Jane], but I think it still works. Any time in nerd culture like this, whenever someone changes something slightly, everyone is like, “No!” and they forget the entertainment value of what is being produced, and they freak out about all the little stuff.
How did you get into cosplay?
One of my friends used to go to Wizard World in Philly every year. I went with him in 2014, saw all of these people dressed up and thought it was really cool. I talked to some people and they told me how they made their costumes. I said, “Wait, you made this?! You don’t do this for a living, you just made this to attend a comic con?” When I got home, I decided I’d look into it and I found all these cool cosplayers on Instagram.
I was looking through their pictures and said, “I want to do this next year.” My mom’s a seamstress and I told her, “I want to embody my favorite character,” which was Deadpool at the time. We started working stuff out. I made a pattern for it and she helped me sew together some of the stuff I was having trouble on. I made my first cosplay and went to Free Comic Book Day at Captain Blue Hen and it was pretty much a hit; everyone loved it. I made some little modifications then went to Wizard World Philly in 2015 and had the time of my life. It was so much fun being Deadpool, meeting other people and getting my picture taken.
Who are your three favorite characters to cosplay?
Deadpool is definitely the No. 1 cosplay I like to do. He has a lot of repairs I need to do and I haven’t had the time, because I’m working on other projects. The other cosplay I like is Edward Kenway from “Assassin’s Creed,” the one where everyone confuses me to be playing as Connor, Edward’s grandfather. My third favorite is Aizawa from “My Hero Academia.” Everyone says he’s their favorite sleepy boy, because he’s always tired. He’s a hero that trains and teaches in U.A. High School, a school for superheroes; and at night time he’s on patrol, so he’s always sleepy.
What are some of the perks of attending a smaller con like Dover Con?
A lot of times the smaller cons are more personal, I think. You see a lot more of your friends and spend more time with them. It’s easier to track down your friends, too. But when you go to a bigger con that’s more crowded, it’s harder to track people down. I’ve been going to New York Comic Con every year since 2015 and I gave up on trying to find friends there. If I run into you, then I run into you. But if I don’t, I’m sorry.