***First off I would like to apologize to my readers. I have been so busy with wedding travels, fighting off migraines and allergies that I have neglected the blog for too long! Here is a post that should have been posted weeks ago!!***
On August 9th, my fiance and I took an hour long trip up to Stockton California to attend his first convention. Needless to say it was quite the adventure! Not knowing what to expect from a young (only 3 years old) and newly expanded convention I thought it was the best place to start my venture into media coverage for this blog!
The doors opened at 10:00 am, they mentioned a limited number of Swag Bags in a tweet…so, the logical solution we get there at 9!
Mathew quickly learned the importance of of sparingly using the word “free” at a convention, the line wrapped all the way around the convention center. and it was Hot!
Thankfully with my press pass I could get in a bit early, so I did! The silence and calm of the mostly empty Stockton arena was a little creepy but it was buzzing with the anticipation of a crazy two days of action!
This was the 3rd Stockton con and the best part was the affordability! Ticket prices for the two-day event were $15 for a two-day pass and $10 each day if purchased separately in advance. At the door, the price was$12 for each day, or $20 for both days.
Last August, Stockton-Con 2013 drew over 7,500 fans to Stockton Arena. The first event, in 2012, had over 4,000 fans at University of the Pacific’s Spanos Center with an array of artists, vendors, and special guests in attendance. In the past two years, Stockton-Con fans and vendors have helped raise over $30,000 for St. Mary’s Dining Room and the United Way and donated over 3,000 pounds of clothing. Proceeds from Stockton-Con once again benefited St. Mary’s Dining Room and United Way, which provides meals and medical assistance to the homeless and to working families living at or near the poverty level. With a record smashing attendance of 13,500 attendees there final donation is expecting to be through the roof. (actual numbers have yet to be announced).
For the size of the Con the guest list was really great! Featuring single day guests Danny Glover (Saturday) and WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley (Sunday). There were also celebs that signed on for the entire two-day event are Denise Crosby (Walking Dead and Star Trek), Nicholas Brendon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and WWE Legends “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Jake “The Snake” Roberts. As well as other celebrities not on a which included Todd Bridges, C. Thomas Howell, Kathy Garver, Kristy McNichol, Marty Cove, Richard Kiel, Billy Zabka, C. Andrew Nelson and Charlene Tilton. Among the Comic Book artist greats are Dan Brereton, Ron Lim, Chris Marrinan, Mark Bode (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Bill Morrison (Simpsons, Futurama) and Tony Fleecs (My Little Pony).
I had the opportuniy to meet up with the cosplay group Bird’s of Play to talk about the industry as well as Chunky Girls Comics to talk a bit about nerd girl body image. Both of those interviews will be featured next week. There were a TON of great cosplayers here are a few of my favs!
There were a lot of great panels, I stuck to my own interests of cosplay and creating a “Nerd business. ” Both of the panels I attended on Saturday were very informative and helpful for those just starting their Nerdy career. Most importantly touching on the new anti-harassment policies in regards to cosplay that many events and conventions are implementing.
The event, also featured panels at the Arena and the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel from artists, celebrities and other presenters. The Chase Chevrolet Costume Contest on both days will award cash and prizes totaling over $3000. Jagged Lines of Imagination will host an all-ages drawing area where visitors can show off their own skills and meet other budding artists.
There were over 200 exhibitors offering collectible comic books, original drawings and prints, models, movie and television memorabilia, and toys. Don’t you worry, I spent my fair share! Let us not forget the gamers! The Arena’s Record Club on the 3rd floor offered tournaments for Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Vanguard card games.
Also there was a ton of great SWAG! I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a Funko Loki that I’ve been eyeing for quite some time as well and stickers, comics I will feature in our upcoming book club and some unique cat-art for a friend.
All in all this convention was a great starting block for my soon to be husband to get acquainted with the world of Cons. While he enjoyed the panels, the vendors and watching his lady flip out over the nerdiness, his only complaint was that the aisles on the vendor floor were to crowded with not enough room for wheelchairs or any type of flow in traffic. I’ve attended bigger shows like Dragon Con and Emerald City in Seattle where crowds are much larger and they have worked out a system for crowd flow and control. We have to rememberStockton Con is young, they are still working out some of the kinks, but with each year bringing record breaking crowds, they will be developing a strategy over the next few years.
If you are in the area I highly recommend Stockton Con, it s an excellent venue for trying cosplay, getting information on your favorite shows and topics and the vendors have an amazing inventory of goodies!!
I’ll be going back next year!
Let me know where your favorite convention is or feel free to ask me questions about being an attenedee!!
Love Rockets and Corgi Cuddles!
PS: Stay tuned for more from stockton con this week!