5 things I’m looking forward to at Kraken Con 2014

kraken con

Fresh off of the high from Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con, the Videogame BANG! Crew caught wind of another convention that will grace Northern California on April 6th in the Oakland Convention Center called Kraken Con. We viewed the website, read up on the reputation of its past shows, and unanimously decided we wanted to attend this event. To be honest if you isolate Kraken Con based solely on star power of the guests, you may be disappointed when compared to some of the major cons across the country. It’s digging a little deeper, beyond the bells and whistles, where you see the true ethos of this event. Kraken Con being roughly 5 days away, I felt compelled to share 5 things we are looking forward to at Kraken Con.

Creative Cosplay: Kraken Con bills itself as being a convention that features ‘anime, cartoons, and comics’. I believe the order in which a convention promotes the fandoms it is catering to is very important, and telling to what style of cosplay to expect. Your San Diego Comic-Cons are promoted as more of a pop culture con. I am in no way questioning the quality or creativity of the cosplayers at these mainstream events, but personally I am a fan of cosplay from some of the more obscure variety. Rather than seeing 50 different DeadPool or Harley Quinn costumes, I’m hoping to only see 25 or so. Highlighting the cosplay community, Kraken Con does have a costume contest on the schedule. This is definitely going to be one of the highlights of the event that we will not miss out on.

Affordable Con Fun: One thing about cons is that they are expensive to create and run. Sure they make money from vendors and tickets, but in reality most of that money is just to cover the costs to the scale of the event. What this means to you and me, as the attendees, is that everything is expensive! In pricing out the things we would like to see and do at Kraken Con, we quickly realized that we were not going to spend an incredible amount of money. For starters the tickets for Kraken Con are only $15. There is a free professional photo booth, where the package to get your pictures online is only $5. There is going to be a Maid Café at the event, where again, entry is only $5. By the time I priced everything out, I came to the stark realization that I was going end up paying way less at this event than I did for one day of parking at Sacramento Wizard World Comic Con.

The ARTS! : Kraken Con is loaded with artists this year. No offense to the vendors at these events, but I am a total cheap skate. I look at some of the toys and collectibles and know in my heart I can find many of the trinkets and tchotchkes on Amazon for cheaper. Unlike many of the more manufactured souvenirs, there is something special about going to these shows and purchasing someone’s art. From handcrafted jewelry to hand drawn pieces of artwork, there is something unique about admiring a piece of art, shaking the artist’s hand, and walking away with something they put a lot of time carefully crafting. Based on the layout I’m impressed with the amount of real estate in the showroom that has been dedicated to artists.

Creativity is King: Investigating the program schedule, I quickly noticed a trend. Many of the panels and Q&As are focused on how to channel creativity. The theme of the event is almost more of a storytelling and writing workshop than your average con. Some of the scheduled events that piqued my interest were ones like: Career Brainstorming for Geeks, Dealing with Artistic Depression, and Creating Villains that Readers Love to Hate. Kraken Con at its core is a shared experience for geeks to not only celebrate their fandom, but more so be encouraged to expand their own creativity. Whether you are interested in animation, filmmaking, creative writing or cosplay, there is a show at this con that wants to try and make you better. In my opinion it’s a noble plight that I look very much forward to indulging in.

Get out of the Basement: My final point of excitement has to do with just getting out of the basement, or in my case studio, and experiencing something unique. Don’t let the fact that this conference doesn’t have ‘Comic-Con’ in the title hold you back from giving it a chance. A smaller con like this gives you a more intimate feel, and could be a show that can supplement your con thirst in between more high profile shows. The VGB crew and I waited way too long before getting involved in the Con scene, don’t make our mistake. There is nothing like carpooling with a group of your closest friends to one of these shows and having a great time. So heed the call Northern California nerds, let’s get out of the house, risk our lives by travelling to Oakland, and party down geek style.

For more info, visit the Kraken Con site.

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Cory Vincent
Cory Vincent 434 posts

Forged in the crucible of awkwardness and self loathing, Cory somehow manages to get himself out of bed each day and make it a priority to spend life killing Beef and going H.A.M.