Cosplayers converge on Samicon

Samicon-goers, from left, Whitney Waller of Browntown, Charis Jacobs of Front Royal, Youssef Ouakil of Middletown and Caleb Homes of Front Royal , receive their Starfleet pins after completion of a Star Trek course. Ashley Miller/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – Samicon returned to Samuels Public Library on Saturday, bringing with it a parade of bright and colorful cosplayers.

This year’s theme was “Read Long and Prosper,” a pun on “live long and prosper” from the Star Trek TV show.

Event organizer Kitti McKean said Samicon was essentially started to bring awareness to the library’s  adult graphic novel collection and to bring in a younger crowd. Traditionally, libraries have a large following, but she said they tend to be on two opposite spectrums: younger and older.

“We’re just trying to bring in another demographic,” she said.

Samicon was held during library card sign-up month when the American Library Association, along with libraries nationwide,  promotes the value of a library card by hosting various events and seminars to get parents and children excited about reading.

Loakum Stafford-Waller, of Browntown, reads comics during Samicon. Ashley Miller/Daily 

Samicon-goers dressed in cosplay resembling their favorite comic book heroes and villains including Batman, the Flash, Hogwarts students and the Scarecrow. Sci-fi, fantasy and tech fans participated in a wide variety of activities including  Star Trek-themed games, rock painting, and a costume contest. Local musician Sally Mae Foster serenaded fans, while Ghostbusters Tri-State Division was out in full force raising money for local charities. Mr. D’s Hot Dogs and C & C Frozen Treats provided food during the event.

A vendor fair gave fans the opportunity to learn more about comic books and more. Vendors included Pagemaster Books, Warren County Emcomm and World Beyond Comics.

Lisa Weaver and her children were thrilled about this year’s event. “We’re a household full of geeks,” Weaver explained. As a family they participated in the scavenger hunt, which included searching for a rock, certain books and magazines,and an astronaut mask.  Weavers’ daughter Lauren volunteers at the library.  Lauren, like other participates, found excitement in the various activities, but said that dressing up was her favorite part.

“Our circulation staff is really young” McKean explained. “They got really psyched and all of a sudden it just morphed into this huge event.”

Over 1,200 participates were recorded by 1 p.m.for the event which was sponsored by Friends of Samuels Library and Penguin Random House

Cosplayers dressed up as fictional characters during Samicon at the Samuels Public Library in Front Royal on Saturday. Shown here are, from left, Patrick Bell, 19, of Front Royal, as Peter Pan; Namoia McGrew, 17, of Front Royal, as Hermione Granfer from Harry Potter; Lucas Bennett, 3 1/2, of Front Royal, as The Flash.  Ashley Miller/Daily

“We’re hoping to see about 1,800 patrons by the end of the day,” McKean said.

Correction, this story has been updated with the correct spelling of Loakum Stafford-Waller’s name.

Accidents happen. When the glass broke on a display class, cosplayer Anneliese Mielke, 22, of Front Royal, used it as an opportune moment to get into character. She is dressed up as super-villain Harley Quinn.  Ashley Miller/Daily