CyPhaCon 2014!

Lake Charles, LA


Deep in southwest Louisiana, in the growing city of Lake Charles, there is a convention that takes place every year that is something of an anomaly.  It’s called CyPhaCon, and it has done something that very few fan-run cons in similar (and in some cases, larger) markets have achieved:  It’s thriving and growing each year.

CyPhaCon is in its fourth year now and has grown by leaps and bounds each year.  It caters heavily to the anime scene, but offers up plenty of things for fans of other genres to check out.  For instance, this year’s guests of honor included Battlestar Galactica and Hemlock Grove star Kandyse McClure, anime legend Tiffany Grant, and Chuck Huber, another anime voice artist who is also involved with Star Trek Continues, a project that is a labor of love for another anime titan, Vic Mignogna.  Fan groups included the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion, a number of other fan-run conventions, the Doctor Whooligans, the USS Lafitte, and many others, as well as a load of artists and vendors like Jessica Grundy, Paper Heroes, Icarus Wing, and Cosplay World.


Panels ranged from topics like self defense from Batman (yep, Batman) to Stargate SG-1 to cosplaying.  There were also panels featuring all of the guests and some great entertainment from Take One Improv and the brilliant Suzaku 7 band!


I attended the event for all three of its days, as well as the Wednesday night pre-party that included video games, a few episodes of BSG, and music at a club in Lake Charles called 3Topia.  When I arrived on Friday, the venue was packed.  There was quite a line to get into the convention, which is something that rarely happens at similar events in the lake area.  Saturday found even more people at the convention, and I squeezed in as many panels as I could between visiting with friends and making new friends as well.


I got to meet Kandyse McClure, who turned out to be a real delight.  I turned her on to Tabasco Ice Cream and was a bit surprised when she actually made a note about the ice cream so that she could get some later.  I also talked with Chuck Huber, who was exceptionally friendly and very, very excited the entire time he was at the convention.


Another treat was rocking out to the Suzaku 7, an anime party rock band that had everyone dancing as they sang hits from anime greats like Pokemon.  The band hung out with the fans after their set, and I snagged a copy of their CD, SuperEffective. 


One thing that I noticed happening more at this convention than at other fan-run events, was the amount of attention that the volunteer staff paid to the needs of fans, vendors, and guests.  They would routinely check up on people and would also pop in on panels to make sure everything was okay.  The registration process went smoothly as well, and any gripes or concerns were addressed immediately.


The quality of the costumes at this convention, especially considering the size of the event, was remarkable.  There were a lot of anime cosplayers at the event, as well as a few Star Wars, Star Trek, and superhero cosplayers as well.  All of them were kind enough to pose for photos, even with guys in bad costumes like myself.  I was dressed as the Discount Dark Knight (pictured above) and actually got in a couple of photos with people.


The event was a bit quieter on Sunday, but it was also the best day to hit the vendor area.  I picked up some magnets from Three Sisters, a Commander Appo figure from Paper Heroes, and quite a few pieces of artwork from Jessica Grundy.  Look her up on Facebook!  Her work is amazing!

I wasn’t able to stay until the very end of the event, so I can’t say how well the last panels and closing ceremonies went.  However, I can say that I’ve been to many other conventions in the Gulf South, and none of them come close to CyPhaCon.


I’ll be reviewing more conventions as the year progresses.  At the moment there are at least two others coming up pretty soon that I plan on attending.  There’s also another one coming up in June in Lake Charles.  I’ll be sure to review it as well.

Thanks for reading, peeps, and as always, much love!

Published by kenfontenot

I am a husband, a father, and a major nerd. I enjoy science fiction, fantasy, comics, cosplay, and attending conventions. I'm also a huge Disney fan. I am growing to enjoy working out, and hope to include that joy in some of my posts.

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