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VPR's coverage of arts and culture in the region.

Imaginary Worlds Collide At Vermont Comic Con

Halloween is around the corner, but some comic fans dress up in costume year-round. And all manner of characters came out for the first annual Vermont Comic Con in Burlington this weekend. Folks dressed in elaborate costumes ranging from obscure comic characters to fairytale favorites.

For some, it’s a chance to be a hero – or a villain – for a day.  

Curtis Swafford won the “novice” category in the costume contest. He dressed as Edward Elric from “Fullmetal Alchemist,” a Japanese manga series.  

“I’ve always been a dork and geek my whole life. I like anything fantasy, sci-fi, anime,” said Swafford. “It’s all good.”

Credit Taylor Dobbs / VPR
Curtis Swafford, who won a prize for his costume as Edward Elric from "Fullmetal Alchemist," said the metalwork on his arm took 40 hours.

Katherine Chagnon came as Harley Quinn from the Batman comics. She says she has more than a little in common with the character.

“We’re both a little psychotic sometimes. She’s crazy and out there, she doesn’t really care. That’s why I love her.”

While Chagnon checked out some of the vendors downstairs, for her, it’s all about the costume … and maybe the attention.

“I love dressing up, that’s my favorite part,” said Chagnon. “They compliment you, they welcome you. They draw you in and you feed off of their emotions. It’s addicting.”

Credit Taylor Dobbs / VPR
Katherine Chagnon came as Harley Quinn from the Batman comics. She says the hammer was the most difficult part of the costume to create.

For Joshua Mitchell, it’s always the same costume: Superman.

“I like seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they see their favorite character, and when the little kids get a glow and everything. I just like being that character.”

He says it can be an escape.

“Real life is real life. Sometimes it’s kind of boring. Sometimes you need to do something to make it happier. Dressing up as Superman makes me happy.”

Credit Taylor Dobbs / VPR
Joshua Mitchell (right Superman) drove hours to Vermont Comic Con from upstate New York.

Annie Russell was VPR's Deputy News Director. She came to VPR from NPR's Weekends on All Things Considered and WNYC's On The Media. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School.
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