Heroes of all ages came to Dalton on Saturday, May the 4th (be with you) to celebrate our 2nd annual HeroCon and Free Comic Book Day!
Over 500 participants enjoyed activities that ranged from the rock star kick-off with our Middle School student (Grade 4-6) band, LAZ-E, who wrote and performed an original HeroCon theme song. Back by popular demand, our opening panel of authors and illustrators did not disappoint as they talked about art as a form of activism. After the panel, each creative hosted their own workshop that engaged participants in how to craft their own narratives. Some workshops even taught young artists tips and tricks on how to illustrate challenging images such as movement or facial expressions.
For this year’s HeroCon, we wanted to expand the offerings even more and find new and engaging ways to celebrate and build community. This year, we brought in Archery by Hidden Gems Archery. Participants of all sizes, ages, and experiences tried out the sport, and after about 5-6 minutes of instruction, we witnessed first-time archers scream out in excitement as their arrows landed on the targets.
We also added a video game pavilion hosted by the Microsoft Store here in NYC. In the pavilion, the competitive nature of games like DragonBall Z Fighters, and NBA 2K stayed fun and festive. Friend versus friend, dad vs. son, teacher vs. student; the atmosphere was electric. Usually, video game playing can be a point of contention with families, but the Microsoft Store team brought with them not only amazing games, but also a wealth of knowledge around electronics, streaming, and new products to make all those involved more relaxed and comfortable.
The J.E.D.I. (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) Cafe provided attendees beverages, sweet and savory snacks, and chances to play Board Games. Proceeds from the Cafe will go to six charitable organizations decided upon by Con attendees.
A huge hit of the day was the incredible cohort of professional cosplayers who helped add to the atmosphere. The cosplayers participated in a panel facilitated by clinical psychologist Dr. Ali Mattu, who questioned the cosplayers on a range of topics including their passion for cosplay, representation, and consent in cosplay. From all backgrounds, social identities, and professions, these “heroes” made us all feel welcomed and heroic! The day ended with our cosplay contest. Costume interpretations ranged from Anime to Harry Potter to Wonder Woman and characters from Into the Spiderverse -- there was something for everyone!
HeroCon attendees received free books at registration that were donated by several of our visiting authors. Free comic books, swag from publishers, and goodies from the many club activism booths filled their HeroCon tote bags! Once again, we had an incredible Artists Row with an Art Wall and Harry Potter Zone where heroes could escape from Azkaban, practice their spells with wands, and have their fortunes told in the Divination room.
We want to thank the dozens of the volunteer: parents, staff, faculty, and students who put in so much time and effort to make this year’s HeroCon the best yet. And, thank you to all who attended! We are already looking forward to next year -- mark your calendars for Saturday, May 2nd!
Story submitted by Director of Library and Information Services Christy Payne, Middle School Librarian Roxanne Feldman, and Middle School Grade 8 Math Teacher & House Advisor, and Grade 7-8 Math Preceptor Alex Bertrand