A year ago the Dover Public Library decided it would attempt to host its very own Comic Con. Hoping to attract a crowd of 500 the library aimed to give the community a taste of what larger conventions are like, but for free. We were overwhelmed with the response we had from participants, as our attendance numbers exceeded 2,500 for the inaugural event.
In 2015 we decided to cater to the demand shown in the previous year by expanding the event to include outdoor space, introduce more artists, vendors, exhibits, food trucks and to work with a bunch of partners to ensure we had all of our your needs covered. This made the 2015 Dover Comic Con a first for us in many ways.
From the moment the doors opened, we were once again blown away by the amount of interest. We had a line through the library parking lot that extended the length of the building, filled with people eager to get their wristband and program for the day. Information desks were busy all day as the attendance continued to rise, with more and more people filling the library, the Biggs Museum, the Old State House, the Schwartz Center, and the streets in the downtown area. Being hopeful that we’d have 5,000 visitors this time around, we were thrilled and surprised that the actual attendance had topped 7,000!
The day went as smoothly as we could have hoped. Both artist alley 1 and 2 were swamped all day, in the library and at the Biggs Museum. Pokemon had large numbers of participants for the duration of the con, as did Minecraft on the library’s second floor. Over 200 people took photos in front of our green screen, which isn’t bad considering last we only had 26. The Delaware Anime Society’s Otaku Overlook on the third floor was a hit. People spent time watching some of their favorite anime, participating in an “Iron Cosplay” competition, scavenger hunt, or just making various crafts.
Doctor Who Meets Caesar Rodney at the Old State House was such a huge hit that they actually had to turn people away at each showing! The Schwartz Center was doing quite well, despite being located a little further away from the main drag. There were probably about 50+ people attending their Comically Comical improv comedy set at one of the times I had stopped by to check in.
The panel discussions being held at the Biggs and the library were also greeted with lots of enthusiasm. There is even a great interview with one of our panels, “Women in Comics” about their own experiences in the comic industry working for Marvel and DC that everyone should check out.
Having food trucks was a great addition this year and people really seemed to enjoy it. The area was crowded most of the day as people enjoyed the beautiful weather, eating food, and watching LARPing that was taking place on Legislative Mall.
The Costume contest left us thoroughly impressed by the amount of participants in all categories. The quality of the costumes far exceeded our expectations as well, and that goes for everyone who attended the event dressed up. Some of my personal favorites included the man dressed like a gnome, Emmet the Lego, and the Weeping Angel.
The level of respect everyone paid to their fellow patrons was remarkable for an event this size, considering the amount of props people were wielding. There was not a single security incident throughout the day, so kudos to all of you. All the creators of this event would like to thank you for your support. Without all of you, the day wouldn’t have been as successful as it was. We’re still getting our ducks in a row for next year, but as soon as we have a date we’ll announce it so you can start planning. We’re hopeful it will come within a week or two.
We’d also like to thank everyone who sent in photographs for us to share. We did our best to sort through the photos and select the best ones that demonstrated what the day was all about and featured as many of our cosplayers as possible. Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word in any way and we look forward to seeing all of you again next year!
Dover Comic Con Around the Web:
A huge thanks to John Ervin for volunteering to take photos all day for us. Be sure to check out James D Photography from Comic Con as well (some of his photos are included below). Thanks again to everyone who sent us images to display!