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Crocker-Con celebrates Asian pop culture

Asian pop culture makes its presence throughout the year in various venues in Sacramento. Most popular are Sac-Con and SacAnime that schedule two conventions each year. Kintoki-Con schedules a summer convention and even the Sacramento Crocker Art Museum has decided to participate with their own convention.

The Crocker Art Museum brings world renown art for Sacramento visitors to experience. Exhibits throughout the year are geared for all age groups and a social mixer that runs every second Thursday night known as the Art Mix brought by the inaugural Crocker-Con in November.

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Crocker-Con cosplayer
Crocker-Con cosplayer
Rika Nelson of the Crocker Art Museum addressing the audience
Rika Nelson of the Crocker Art Museum addressing the audience

Featured artists at the event included Eben E. B. Burgoon from Eben07 and B-Squad, illustrator John Cottrell from Dark Horse Comics; illustrator Timothy Green who’s done with Marvel and DC, illustrator Chris Wisnia from SLG Publishing, cartoonist Eric Decetis and painter/illustrator Jared Konopitski.

Artists and special guests at the Crocker-Con
Artists and special guests at the Crocker-Con
Artists and special guests at the Crocker-Con
Artists and special guests at the Crocker-Con

Other vendors and sponsors at Crocker-Con included members of the 501st Legion, pop up comic shops representing A-1 Comics Inc, Empire’s Comics Vault, River City Comics and Games, Metropolis Comix and others. Exhibit S and Little Relics also occupied tables that showcased part of their current art exhibitions.

Vendor and artist tables at the Crocker-Con
Vendor and artist tables at the Crocker-Con
Vendor and artist tables at the Crocker-Con
Vendor and artist tables at the Crocker-Con
Cartoonist Eric Decetis at the Crocker-Con
Cartoonist Eric Decetis at the Crocker-Con
Vendor and artist tables at the Crocker-Con
Vendor and artist tables at the Crocker-Con

What made the first Crocker-Con so popular was, of course, the fans who attended the event. The Crocker offered all cosplayers who attended free admission. Many guests, of all ages, came dressed as their favorite comic book superhero, movie or video game character.

Cosplayers at the Crocker-Con
Cosplayers at the Crocker-Con
Cosplayers at the Crocker-Con
Cosplayers at the Crocker-Con

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Music was provided by DJ Kwes the Bess of Sleeprockers. No activities were scheduled for the outside court but guests used the area to catch up on cosplayer events and gatherings scheduled in Sacramento.

DJ Kwes the Bess of Sleeprockers at the Crocker-Con
DJ Kwes the Bess of Sleeprockers at the Crocker-Con
Task 1NE with DJ Kwes the Bess of Sleeprockers at the Crocker-Con
Task 1NE with DJ Kwes the Bess of Sleeprockers at the Crocker-Con

The cosplay community is very supportive of events such as the Crocker-Con and plan well in advance to create costumes specially for each event. Cosplay involvement and attendance, I believe, was very impressive and the Crocker will hopefully bring back Crocker-Con next year.

The Crocker’s Cemo Meeting Center was filled with over 20 comic book artists, designers, authors and illustrators while the auditorium held a Super Smash Bothers Tournament on the big screen.

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During the Crocker-Con illustrator Eben E.B. Burgoon answered some of my questions.

Eben E. B. Burgoon station at the Crocker-Con displaying Eben07 and B-Squad art and information
Eben E. B. Burgoon station at the Crocker-Con displaying Eben07 and B-Squad art and information

“I am a writer/creator, I created Eben07 with my buddy Dan (D. Bethe) a long time ago. That’s the series that I’m kind of known for and my new series is B-Squad,” said Burgoon when asked about his current projects.

Burgoon expanded on the B-Squad series saying, “It sort of came out of  an idea that I really like making characters so I really wanted a way to use all these characters I was thinking about. The only way that I could do that was by starting to eliminate some of them. So with B-Squad one of the fundamental principles is that one character dies each issue and then I  can bring in new characters. This way I can use all these characters one at a time.”

When asked how this concept came about Burgoon answered, “I thought of this about two years ago. It’s been kind of a work in progress making all the characters work together.”

Burgoon’s vision was in the works for a while before the comic’s debut. “B-Squad printed in October after our kick-start where we raised $6,000. Once the funds were raised it went in production mode and was published,” said Burgoon.

When asked if he had a studio Burgoon said, “Well I used to work out of the Urban Hive for a while and then I partnered with Danny Schible of Tapigami and I’ll be turning him into a super villain in B-Squad so I wanted to be around his art a lot and really got familiar with his art form. So I worked out of his Exhibit S at the mall in downtown. I’m trying to figure out where I’m going to go next.”

Burgoon also mentioned that Lauren Monardo is the artist for B-Squad. At the moment Monardo works for Nickelodeon. Monardo was chosen for B-Squat because of her superior storyboard art and creative concepts. “I can basically write out a nice little character description and it’s like she reaches into my brain and pulls out exactly what I was thinking of and she can do that really fast,” said Burgoon.

The Crocker brought together a talented group of artists to the Crocker-Con event and guests were treated to a great venue full of music, art, video games, comic book art and an impressive gathering of cosplayers.

The next Art Mix at the Crocker is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2014. The Art Mix/Neon Nite will feature live music by ZuhG, neon-clad aerialists, abstract light artist John Sonderegger, neon face painting by Whimsy Body Art and featured Artist Lily Moon.

Crocker-Con photos

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