More than 30 years ago, the Sacramento Comic, Toy and Anime Show (SAC-CON) started as a way to connect fans and collectors of comic books and Japanese animation (anime) with their professional counterparts.
A little over a decade ago, organizers spun off the comic book and anime into separate events (Sac-Con and SacAnime) to better focus on programming. The original Sac-Con actually predates the nationwide Wizard World Comic Con convention tours, and with Wizard World skipping Sacramento and California entirely in 2018, residents can only turn to Sac-Con for their local fix.
This fall’s Sac-Con welcomed more than 3,000 attendees at its new home in the Sacramento Convention Center, many wearing cosplay attire, possibly to enter the costume contest. Perhaps, some were also testing out a future Halloween costume.
A smaller event than Wizard World’s earlier summer event in Sacramento, and decidedly more casual, Sac-Con’s cosplayers dressed for a more relaxed atmosphere, with nothing too revealing. My favorites were Chef Boyardee, and a trio dressed as Indiana Jones, his father, and Dr. Elsa Schneider (the latter two from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).
Native American actress Irene Bedard (Pocahontas, The New World) was one of the many guests of honor. Bedard spoke about her previous work, such as Disney’s 1995 animated feature Pocahontas, and current and future work, including the upcoming Wreck-It Ralph 2, as well as for her many activist efforts on the rights of indigenous people and other underrepresented minorities.
Actress Chase Masterson flew into town after her recent appearance at the concurrent New York Comic-Con to also chat. Most attendees would recognize Masterson as Leeta from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; she told an interesting story about auditioning and getting to know the show’s casting director who ended up helping to write Leeta as a specific character for her. Masterson spoke mostly about helping to create the nonprofit Pop Culture Hero Coalition with its mission to end bullying, which has been a big topic this year throughout cons around the country.
Former Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter spoke about his history in the comic book industry, including stints at DC Comics and a few independent companies such as Valiant and Defiant. When asked about the best series he ever oversaw with the editor-in-chief, Shooter immediately replied “Heroes for Hope” which was a benefit comic book to help raise awareness and money for hunger relief in Africa during the mid-eighties. Conversely, when asked about the worst series he ever oversaw, Shooter replied, “I don’t know [there were] too many.”
The final panel was a mini-Night of the Living Dead reunion with actresses Judith O’Dea and Kyra Schon before the end-of-show costume contest. Sac-Con featured more than a dozen vendors wanting to sell their wares and artists wanting to showcase their works. There was also a film room that featured many short films including a few Blade Runner 2049 prequel shorts and a documentary on Watchmen.