Sac-Con fans pack Sacramento’s Scottish Rite Center
Sac-Con continues to be a popular attraction and the Sunday, Dec. 9 show once again packed the Scottish Rite Center.
The gathering was one of the largest and Sac-Con announced that nearly 2,000 fans attended the event.
Artists, authors, vendors and special guests talked to the many fans who stopped at their booths. In the spirit of the event, actor Ernie Hudson wore his Winston Zeddemore Ghostbusters costume. Long lines formed at Hudson’s station as fans waited to obtain autographs and pose for photos with the popular actor.
Occupying the same area was Robin Shelby, who is known for her performance as Slimer in “Ghostbusters II.”
Long lines also formed at Steve Blum‘s autograph station. Blum might be best known as the voice of Spike Spiegel from “Cowboy Bebop.” Blum also does the voice for Wolverine in animated movies, games and the “Wolverine” and “X-Men” TV series.
Blum also participated in a Q&A session in the Back Panel Room of the Scottish Rite Center. The room full of fans asked questions related to Blum and his career as a voice actor.
Questions about other topics were also posed. One fan asked a question about prank calling people and asked if the actor had ever done that. Blum’s answer was quite amusing.
“You know I used to do that before I became a professional voice actor,” he said. “I was always able to do a lot of different voices and what really ended up happening was I did, back when they had tape answering machines.”
Blum had a message recorded in a goofy sounding voice on his answering machine. He continued with the story saying that someone called the wrong number and got his answering machine.
“I heard them laughing in the background saying to someone else, ‘you got to hear this,’ and then click. Minutes later somebody else called and I could hear them laughing and so I guess they told their friends to call this number because they would call every week. Then this group of people started calling saying, ‘change your message; I want to hear something else.’ So I would change it to something else and so it kind of became a thing and I never thought I would get paid for that. I started doing something where I would aim the messages at different numbers.”
Using voices that sounded like Donald Duck and others, he finished that question saying, “That’s as far as it went; I never really made prank calls.”
Someone else asked how many tattoos he had and Blum indicated he had three. One of them, on his left forearm brought forth other questions.
“Oh, yes this tattoo is my voice. That’s the last thing that Spike says in the series,” said Blum, drawing oohs and aahs from the audience. The clever voice-inspired tattoo is a snapshot of the last words of the Spike Spiegel character.
Fans enjoyed a nice sunny day which allowed them to mingle with each other outdoors. Many attendees spend countless hours making their own cosplay outfits. Elaborate work showcases talent from cosplay costume makers, and many are worthy of being cinema costumes.
Other artists and vendors returned to showcase their newer creations in art, crafts and fashion. Carlyfornia Love had one of her latest creations on hand. A comic book-print dress attracted customers for a close-up view.
Anthony Leano occupied the space next to his longtime girlfriend, Carlyfornia. Leano, who books and promotes guests for Sac-Con, SacAnime and other events, sold movie poster prints and avant-garde DVDs as well as other items. Leano, like other artists, is more than happy to share expertise and talk about similar events around California.
Many other guests lined the main halls where a Christmas tree offered a festive mood amid the organized chaos. Vendors filled the stage areas and offered comic book-related items that included action figures, posters, swords, clothing and other collectables.
The stage itself served as a place to hold card tournaments that transpired throughout the day.
A room straight across from the main entrance housed the Small Press Zone. The artist-themed zone featured several comic book creators, writers and artists who showcased new works. The zone included amateur and professional artists.
Many of the artists lining the walls of the Small Press Zone have attended other Sac-Con events and understand the importance of meeting with their ever-growing audience. Fans, in turn, are appreciative of being able to talk to these artists about their talent and how they got started.
Jason Dube‘s Scattered Comics booth included a Shadow Hunters signing session. The Shadow Hunters #2 (Cosplay Edition) premiered at Sac-Con. I had spotted Dube earlier waiting in line to get Hudson’s autograph; it was great to witness one artist appreciating the work of another.
Winning cosplayers from a Shadow Hunters contest were also on hand to sign copies of the new edition. Characters included Victoria Augusto as Firewire, Tina Bird as Eileen, Maria Crawdad as Kala and Iris Elvirus as Jessika. The cosplayers posed for photos and signed copies of the Shadow Hunters release.
The Shadow Hunters Cosplay Edition includes photos of the cosplay contest winners as well as a double-page centerfold suitable for decorating any wall.
Comic book writer Peter Quinones hosted a “Writing for Comics” workshop where he shared his expertise on how to develop a storyline and work with other artists to create a comic book.
Quinones’ credits include: G.I. Joe, Phantom 2040, Quantum Leap and others. He is also the co-creator of the Epic/Marvel series, Dragon Lines.
Future writers and artists attended the workshop and were treated to valuable insights in creating a superhero comic book story from beginning to end. Quinones covered story development, plot, themes and touching on emotions such as fear, loss, love, laughter and loneliness. Touching on these emotions brings in the reader, as we all have these feelings. Quinones emphasized that loneliness is one aspect that touches most superheroes – as well as villains – and allows the audience to be drawn into and relate to this powerful emotion.
The Sacramento Ghostbusters were quite visible around the convention and their Ghostbusters vehicle was parked in front of the auditorium. The group participated in the Toys for Tots Drive along with the Bay Area Ghostbusters.
Hudson and Shelby co-hosted another Q&A session and many attended. Hudson is a likeable, laid-back guy who enjoyed the session and answered questions about his Ghostbusters experience, how he got started in the movie business and what he’s been up to.
One of the recurring questions asked was regarding when and if a third “Ghostbusters” would come out and if he would be in the movie.
“Everybody says they would like to see it happen, but nothing yet,” Hudson said. “When I see the money, then I know it’s for real, but until then….” Laughter from the audience erupted as he shared his insight.
When someone asked if he’d heard about what the next “Ghostbusters” movie might be about, Hudson stated, “I’ve heard Bill Murray is going to be a ghost and things are floating around. There’s also a lot of fans who write scripts. My son wrote a script – you’d be amazed and it would be a great fan movie… Do I know anything about seeing a script? No, not really.”
Hudson’s insights were quite revealing. He shared, to the amazement of many, that he’s not a big movie fan and can not recite his roles line by line like some actors and fans do.
Hudson and Shelby answered many questions and then returned to the autograph tables to continue to talk to fans.
A charity auction was also held to benefit local charities such as Loaves & Fishes and the Mustard Seed School.
The ever-popular Cosplay Costume Contest took placed in a room full of guests, and again, the talent of the fans who attended was quite impressive.
Craftsmanship judging results were announced after cosplayers showed their talent in creating costumes or performing on stage.
Stephanie Rector, organizer of Sacramento Geeks, set the stage and introduced the presentation host for the Best of Geeky Sacramento awards.
The guest host was writer and comedian Robert Berry who announced and presented the winners for each category.
Poll award winners were the Sacramento Ghostbusters for Best Local Geeky Club or Social Organization, Seeker for Best Local Geeky Band or Live Entertainment Group, Chris Wisnia for Best Local Comic Book Writer or Graphic Artist, Best local Weekly or Monthly Event or Meetup went to the Sacramento Comic Creators Group, Best Local Comic Book Store or Anime Shop was won by Empire’s Comics Vault, and Best Local Sci-Fi Fantasy or Horror Author was Nicholas Grabowsky.
Evangeline’s took the Best Place to Find Costuming Supplies in the Sacramento Area award, the Best Semi-Regular or Annual Local Event winner was Sac-Con, the Best Local Gaming or Hobby Shop was Great Escape Games, the Best local Maker/Inventor/Techie went to Fred Jeska, and the award for Best Place for a Geeky Date winner were the Sac-Anime and Sac-Con Conventions.
Sunday’s Sac-Con was once again a fun-filled family-oriented event. Sac-Con will return to Sacramento’s Scottish Rite Center on Sunday, March 3, 2013. Log on to the Sac-Con website to view who the invited special guests will be for the event or to find out more about participating as a vendor or artist.
Several artists from this year’s Sac-Con will also be participating at the Drawing for Toys event on Dec. 15 from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. at Empire’s Comics Vault. Artists will create original works of art, as well as commission work, to benefit Toys for Tots. Empire’s Comics Vault is located at 1120 Fulton Ave.