Aside from Halloween, a pop-culture convention is about the only place you’ll see the likes of Captain America rubbing shoulders with an entire family of Dragon Ball Z characters.
Such was the case early this month when the third annual StocktonCon was held at the Stockton Arena.
StocktonCon is a convention that spreads pop culture to attendees of all ages. As families made their way in, dedicated gamers and fans of comic books and anime showed off their cosplay costumes.
In the lobby were vendor tables, selling comic-book-based items such as board games and action figures. There also were tables set up for family members to sit and draw comics together.
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Inside the packed arena, artist booths displayed magnificent artwork, and items were sold throughout the arena. Comic-book collectors purchased comics and artwork from exhibitors. Anime fans got the chance to purchase merchandise from all of their favorite titles. “Attack On Titan” anime wall scrolls were popular, along with dolls and plushies of the character Hatsune Miku.
Enochs High School student Pier Kang said he was excited about seeing the cosplay. “I like to watch a lot of anime, and it was interesting to see all these cosplayers dressed up.” Pier cosplayed as a ninja from “Naruto.”
Outside the arena, StocktonCon hosted question-and-answer panels with speakers. Among them was the voice-acting crew of the world’s most-played video game, “League of Legends.” Voice actors included Erik Braa (Draven), Doug Boyd (Twitch), Gavin Hammon (Varus), Rashida Clendenin (Karma), Cia Court (Vi) and Adam Harrington (Shaco).
Held in the University Plaza Hotel Ballroom, the panel talked about life as voice actors and what it was like acting for “League of Legends.”
“It takes talent, persistence and time,” Boyd said. “It just takes time. If you have talent but you don’t wear out your shoes and knock on doors and market yourself, you won’t get anywhere.”
Braa shared similar advice. “It just takes time. If you want to do anything, do it for 10,000 hours – odds are by then, you’re a professional. Find a way to record, go in, and just record, record, record. Listen to yourself. Try different things, create new characters. Live and breathe as that character.”
Clendenin added: “I think that you have to decide. If you want to become a voice actor, decide and don’t let anything stand in your way.”
San Joaquin Delta College student Danielle Broadway was inspired by the “League of Legends” panel. “I’m interested in the professional voice-acting world. It a very private, closed-off career, so for people to share what they know is a huge opportunity,” she said
StocktonCon was a fantastic family event. Specialists shared their stories and experiences, and friends and family got to experience the pop-culture world firsthand. It’s definitely something to look forward to next year.