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Convention-goers enjoy immersing themselves in world of make believe

Mohegan — Those entering Mohegan Sun's Expo Center this weekend were greeted with storm troopers and immediately immersed into another world, one where people of all ages can dress up as their favorite movie, TV, and comic book characters.

Mitch Hallock, the owner and producer of "Terrificon," said it felt good to be back after last year's event was canceled due to the pandemic, adding that he took organizing this year's event "day by day." Masks were optional at the convention.

Hallock has organized conventions since 2012, and Terrificon has been at Mohegan since 2015.

"I've loved comic books since I was a kid and had a talent for organizing and event planning, so I combined the two," he said.

Doug Smith from Keene, N.H., was experiencing the convention world for the first time as a seller rather than a spectator, helping the owner of Enterprize Comics, Etc. sell comic books.

Smith said he was amazed at the networking and the connections made between people with common interests. People go to the booth looking for a specific book and end up sharing their stories.

"You make a new friend," said Smith. "It might be a five-minute friend, but it's still a friend."

People traveled from in and out of the state to make new friends and see some of the many celebrity lineups and products the convention has to offer.

Stefania Sassano from Milford was at her first comic book convention. She was cosplaying as Rogue from X-men.

For Sassano, dressing up as Rogue was not a once-a-year occassion. She dresses up often, gaining close to 10,000 followers on Tik-Tok.

At the convention, Sassano got the opportunity to meet Michael Golden, the co-creator of Rogue. She said he complimented her on her costume and signed her comic book.

Big fans of conventions, Jason and Anna Ruiz traveled from Long Island. The two were gazing at a wall of Funko Pop figures. Jason said he has been collecting these figures since 2015, owning about a thousand of them and has collected comics since he was a boy. Anytime there is an actor or comic book creator associated with one of his Pop figures or comics, he brings them to get signed.

Brothers James and Jack Pham visited the convention from Medford, Mass. James was dressed as the Mandalorian and Jack as Bennett from Genshin Impact. The two described being happy to be back out in the convention setting, meeting new and old friends.

James said he dressed up as the Mandalorian because he liked giving joy to people who saw him, taking pictures with them, and bringing the characters to life.


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