BY VICTORIA TANNER
(Correction-the ValCon event is taking place Saturday, July 16, not July 18 as originally reported)
Comic book fans, art lovers and anime enthusiasts will be gathering at ValCon in July to celebrate their passion for art and fiction.
Rockland’s own version of a Comic Con, is set to take place on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at the Valley Cottage Library from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., featuring free events for the public.
“New York Comic Con, San Diego Comic Con, they’re all wonderful but they’re so expensive to attend,” Head of Teen Services at Valley Cottage Library and Director of ValCon, Jennifer Daddio, said. “The only thing people have to pay for is if they want to bring home a trinket or a print or buy some ice cream.”
Dennis “Denny” O’Neil, a Nyack resident and former writer and editor for Marvel Comics and DC Comics, will again be the key speaker. O’Neil is most well known for the Green Lantern/Green Arrow and Batman comics with Neal Adams.
“He’s a very approachable guy,” Daddio said.
A table will be set up for people to speak with O’Neil and Daddio explained there will be a signed Batman logo giveaway.
The New York Empire State Garrison chapter of the 501st Legion is coming back to have fun with fellow Star Wars fans. The 501st Legion is a costuming organization that spreads their passion for Star Wars. The members are dressed in proper Stormtrooper uniforms and last year Darth Vadar showed up.
The candy sushi rolling, and cape- and mask- making workshops are back for another year. A member of the Samurai Sword Soul theater group will perform a Japanese sword fighting routine before the cosplay parade.
Cosplay, according to Daddio, is when a person is a fan of a video game, film or book series and dresses up like one of the characters from the fandom.
“We encourage people to come dressed up in their cosplay costumes,” she said.
The 2016 ValCon features new presentations from Jennifer Cihi, the original English dub singer of Sailor Moon and Stefanie DeLeo, a published fanfiction writer. Cihi will be performing a mini concert in the library and DeLeo will talk to workshop attendees about writing and publishing fanfiction, which are fictional stories written about characters often from other pieces of fiction.
New vendors have signed up to show their craft and sell prints, stickers and buttons to guests. The characters featured throughout the workshops and vendor’s items are not just from anime books and the DC and Marvel universes. Daddio explained that during the Misako Rocks! Manga drawing workshop, guests will learn how to draw cartoons including Snoopy and Mighty Mouse.
“It’s characters everyone knows,” she said.
Daddio believes ValCon is for anyone who appreciates art. It’s not just for superhero nerds and anime fans. Around 300 people including young children and grandparents went to ValCon last year, and Daddio has no reason to think less than that will show up again. “It’s very festive,” she said. “And it’s very loud.”