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After Universal FanCon abruptly postponed, community members rally to host Baltimore pop-up convention

Community members, fan organizations, media companies and con enthusiasts have banded together to show support and host a pop-up convention Saturday in lieu of the Universal FanCon, which was abruptly postponed last weekend, just a week before its planned debut.

The one-day event Wicomicon, to be hosted in a historic building at 1100 Wicomico St., is scheduled to feature comic creators, cosplayers, artists, music and many of the vendors that were “left homeless” after Universal FanCon’s announcement, according to a release by Hard NOC Media.

Universal FanCon, originally scheduled to take place Friday through Sunday, was billed to be the first 24-hour, three-day convention dedicated to multi-fandoms and the championing of diversity and inclusion. It was set to feature a star-studded lineup.

Groups and fans, including The Nerds of Color, Black Heroes Matter, the host of The New Release Wednesday Show, theblerdgurl, André Robinson of Carbon-Fibre Media, and Elijah Kelley of the Be A Boss App, have stepped in to replace some of the excitement that was expected this weekend.

Some of the guests who were lined up for Wicomicon included Cheo Hodari Coker, creator and showrunner of Netflix’s “Luke Cage;” April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite; and Sergio Osuna and Hannah Levien from SYFY’s “The Magicians.”

“We knew there were a lot of people in and out of Baltimore hurting when FanCon was postponed, and we wanted to provide some relief,” Keith Chow, founder of Hard NOC Media and The Nerds of Color, said in a statement. “Fortunately, we were able to come together as a community and find a place to celebrate the things we love in the city we love.”

Local artist Meagan “Ducky Dynamo” Buster, who was scheduled to be a guest and DJ at Universal FanCon, is hosting a “Universal FanCon Redemption Function” and dance party at The Depot Baltimore Monday night — inviting artists, vendors and contributors to sell their gear and products. Buster stated in a Facebook event post that she might also have special guests performing in hopes of lifting the spirits of those who have lost money and an experience they were anticipating.

“A lot of us are really poor and really angry. Never mind the loss of what looked like the opportunity to have what was probably about to be one of the best of times for black and brown folx [folks] in love with pop culture. So, I'm giving this floor back to us!” Buster wrote.

Fans online are also offering support. Twitter user Jordan Clark (@jrsosa18) put together a thorough thread of places to “eat, hang, shop, drink, dance” for those coming to the area to experience Wicomicon. His post has received around 85 retweets, and additional suggestions.


If you go

Wicomicon will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at 1100 Wicomico St., featuring dozens of exhibitors, panels, cosplay contests, food vendors and special guests, including actors Jade Tailor, Sergio Osuna, Rizwan Manji and Hannah Levien of SYFY show “The Magicians,” and Tamsen McDonough and Sean Baek of the TV series “Killjoys.” TV personality Yael Tygiel will moderate and host some programming. $10, $5 for FanCon ticket holders, or free for children under 12. For more information, visit hardnocmedia.com/wicomicon.

Meet and greets with actors from “The Magicians,” and “Killjoys” will take place 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday, while photo opps and a panel will be held noon-6 p.m. Sunday at Protean Books and Records, 836 Leadenhall St. $5. Free for FanCon ticketholders.

A karaoke party with cast members of “The Magicians” is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday. $10. Power Plant Live, Mex Tequila Bar, 26 Market Place.


bbritto@baltsun.com

twitter.com/brittanybritto

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