We spent last Saturday at Bayou Con 2016 in Sulphur Louisiana. Sulphur is about a 3-hour drive from the Nola Nerd Couple Headquarters.
Bayou Con was held at the West Cal Event Center. It was a perfect size for Bayou Con, which is a small growing convention. After being to Space City Comic Con and Wizard World Philadelphia in the past month, the smallness of this con was kind of a shock. However, I wouldn’t judge Yoda by his size, so I won’t judge a con by its size.
The main attraction for this year’s Bayou Con was Taylor Gray from Star Wars Rebels, who will feature it a separate blog. Bobby Clark, a veteran stuntman, was signing pictures of his most famous character Gorn from Star Trek. Robert Axelrod has done tons of work especially in voice-acting. Both men were funny and seemed to be enjoying themselves at the con.
There were plenty of authors at Bayou Con as well. We ended up purchasing books from two. Henry Melton mainly writes science fiction. He spends more time on the road than off which inspired his young adult fiction series, Small Towns, Big Ideas. The book we purchased, Emperor Dad, is part of this series. This book, which is set in the author’s hometown, has a few autobiographical moments according to the authors website. You can buy his books at his website.
The other author we bought a book from was Blake M. Petit. Blake is the host of one of the longest running comic book podcasts, All New Showcase, and often contributes to the website of our local comic book store, BSI Comics. The book we purchased was Opening Night of the Dead. The story takes place on Halloween night during a monster movie shoot when zombies start attacking. You can purchase Blake’s work here!
Bayou Con also had plenty of vendors for a con of its size. We bought some really nice magnets from The Inkling Girl, who has a ton of cool jewelry, magnets, and paintings, and superhero mask from a cool vendor whose name we unfortunately did not remember. There was tons of action figures, some fantasy weapons, steampunk accessories, and knitted goods. All of it was reasonably priced. There were also plenty of fan groups there willing to discuss their organizations including the 501st and a Live Action Role Playing group teaching people how to nerf sword fight.
We attended the Meet Aaron Roberts panel. Mr. Roberts is a voice actor who is most known for his work in Anime. The crowd asked some interesting questions including how he preps for roles, what does he eat before doing voice work (he sticks to protein shakes the day of recording), and his personal preference for software when recording himself. He was entertaining throughout and I look forward to keeping up with his career.
My old illness hampered some of our activities for the day. We did plan to spend the night and attend Sunday, but we decided against it due to me not feeling that great. Our only better-if about the con is that it was a little too small to stretch over three days, at least for us. There are only so many times you can walk through the vendor area. There were plenty of panels, however, and that’s mostly what we did during our time there. If we would have thought to bring one of our table top games we could have spent more time in the very crowded gaming area. Again, this is a small con, and hopefully it will grow and be able to have more things available.
For a small con, there were quite a few good cosplayers. Also, the audience ranged all ages. Bayou Con allowed for an audience who can’t find transportation to the bigger cons in New Orleans and Houston, namely teenagers. It reminded me of the Star Trek Conventions that used to be held in a convention room in a hotel in the early 90s. Those were some of the best cons I ever attended because it allowed me to be a nerd without judgment. It allowed me to find people with similar interests. It gave me a sense of community. Bayou Con provided that for its attendees. It allowed people to find others in their area who have similar interests who might not have known each otherwise. It provided a place for young people to learn that you can make a living from acting, writing, and drawing.
Bayou Con shouldn’t be judged by its size. It should be judged by how it brings people together. And by that measurement, it was a great con.