Out and About: Dover Comic Con 2021

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It’s quite possible that Dover Comic Con 2021 had everything a person could want in a fandom convention: endless opportunities to geek out. On every street, people were gasping with delight to see a favorite character nearby or running over to request a photo.

Nearly 10,000 people are believed to have visited the free festival on Aug. 14, where artists, authors and actors shared their creative spirit. After a break in 2020, the family-friendly, indoor/outdoor pop-culture festival returned to downtown Dover.

Attendees of all ages showed off their pop culture pride — whether decked out in a stunning costume or just wearing their favorite video game shirt. The streets were filled with comic book heroes (and villains), fairies, steampunk contraptions, Middle Ages knights, cartoon characters and more.

It’s the kind of place where someone could yell “Hey, Link!” and five people would turn around, each portraying a completely different version of the same videogame hero from The Legend of Zelda. Or a person could dress as her favorite, niche anime character and meet another super-fan around the corner.

Local cosplay superstar Kati Coe hosted the Red Bandana cosplay contest, interviewing each entrant about the outfits they lovingly created for this day.

Biggs Museum of American Art played a large role as a venue for children’s crafts; Mike Boyd’s scholarly comic book lectures; classic illustrations of centuries-old fiction heroes; and crafts and college talks with the Delaware College of Art & Design (DCAD).

Meanwhile, people flocked to Dover Public Library all day to watch anime, hang with Star Wars reenactors and more. Even the First State Heritage Park got in the spirit, offering “Caped Crusader” historical tours and more.

Popular food and drink trucks fed people all day long, and by the time Middle 8 completed their evening live show on The Green, many folks were already planning their costumes for next year.

The event was presented by the Delaware State News with the support of many local businesses including Dover Federal Credit Union, Dover Electric, P&G, T-Mobile, the Dover Public Library and the City of Dover. It has quickly grown into one of Dover’s best-loved community events.