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PHOTOS: Scenes from BlerDCon 2018 or “Yes, black folks DO superhero cosplay!”

Photos by Alex Chung for The Undefeated

BlerDCon 2018 is the second installment of the annual comic and cosplay convention specifically organized for people of color. Black nerds (or “blerds”) and other people of color from across the country converged at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, from July 27 through July 29 dressed as their favorite characters from the worlds of anime, comic books and science fiction.

There were plenty of homages to the Black Panther comics and blockbuster movie (of course), as well as a healthy mix of characters from DC Comics, Steven Universe, classic Looney Tunes cartoons and more. While comic and cosplay conventions have moved from niche to mainstream, BlerDCon is unique for its insistence on creating a safe space for traditionally marginalized communities. We can’t wait to see what 2019 brings.

Lizzette Lewis, 39, of Brooklyn, New York, as Cotton Candy Garnet from the cartoon Steven Universe.

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Jabarr Lasley, 46, of Atlanta, as DC’s The Riddler.

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Brian Gregory, 49, of Camden, New Jersey, as DC Comics’ Batman.

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Michael Wilson, 39, of Youngstown, Ohio (top), and Mel Pellerano, 27, of New York, as Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl from the Pixar movie The Incredibles.

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Alexis Huffman, 22, of Reston, Virginia, as Marvel’s Storm, one of the X-Men.

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From left: Tony Ray, 32, of New York City, as T’Challa and Wendell Smith, 47, of Washington, D.C., as T’Chaka from Marvel’s Black Panther.

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Shemika Berry, 41, of Maryland, as Marvel’s Madam Slay, one of Black Panther’s nemeses.

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Ashley Alexander, 31, of Washington, D.C. (left), as DC Comics’ Poison Ivy and Jamal Sealey, 42, of Alexandria, Virginia, as DC Comics’ Aquaman.

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Ashlie Hollis, 29, of Maryland, as Sho’nuff from the 1985 film The Last Dragon.

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Bree Hill, 37, of Baltimore, as Sailor Moon from the anime series of the same name.

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The Berry family from Richmond, Virginia, as Jedi from the Star Wars saga. Front row, from left: Taylor Berry, 12, Ashanie Berry, 25; back row, from left: Christian Berry, 14, Tyler Berry, 17, and Phillip Berry, 27.

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Nigel Lum-Cox, 30, of Philadelphia, sports a homemade mask as Marvel’s Black Panther.

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Deidre McClellan, 34, of Virginia Beach, as Warner Brothers’ Marvin the Martian.

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Andrew T. Martin, 30, of Maryland, as Static Shock from the DC Animated Universe.

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Robert Folton, 31, of Laurel, Maryland, as Marvel’s Deadpool.

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Simone Lott, 25, of Dallas, as Cotton Candy Garnet from the cartoon Steven Universe.

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Audra Hogan, 25, of Oklahoma City, as Gwendolyn, from the graphic novel Saga, published by Image Comics.

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Carlton Sampson II, 28, of Maryland, as Marvel’s T’Challa.

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Bill Johnson, 45, of Harlem, New York, as DC Comics’ The Joker. BlerDCon 2018 is the second installment of the annual comic and cosplay convention specifically organized for people of color. Participants show their unique style or come as their favorite character from the worlds of anime, comics and science fiction. André Chung for The Undefeated

André Chung for The Undefeated

Jonathan Williams, 28, of Bowie, Maryland, as Nintendo’s Luigi, one of the Super Mario Bros.

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Tim Pisani, 36, of Silver Spring, Maryland, as Marvel’s Spider-Man Noir.

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Maureen Truxton, 29, of Oakton, Virginia, as Marvel’s Carnage.

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Ron Walls, 33, of Waldorf, Maryland, as the White Power Ranger.

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Danielle A. Scruggs is a photo editor for The Undefeated. She is a Chicago native and firmly believes no sports team will ever be as great as the Chicago Bulls during their three-peat eras.

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