Kraken Conby Aly Runke, contributing writer

Kraken Con is this upcoming weekend, Saturday, October 4 and Sunday October 5, 2014, at the Oakland Convention Center and Marriott hotel. And we at are excited to tell you all about it!

Big comic cons from Wizard World to ALA to SDCC get a lot of press these days. However, not every con is a huge spectacle, and we kind of like it that way. Kraken Con is a pop culture convention in Oakland, California. It will be held at the Oakland Convention Center and should be a good size (about 1,000 attendees), without being overwhelming. The panels are fun and the guests are out of this world. Sometimes it seems our favorite anime voice actors love the smaller cons just as much as the rest of us.

Cons that don’t make the national or global radar are nice, because that is where geek communities are really formed. You won’t be overwhelmed by crowds or packed schedules, or standing in line for hours or days to get into a “super hall” where all the super-star guests appear. Instead, you just might talk to your favorite voice actor, get the girl who is cosplaying Misty’s number, or at least a picture. This is where you meet people who love geeky stuff just as much as you do. There is far less posturing and a lot more of what we love about our Geekdoms. Not to bash the big cons: I would have killed to be in Hall H when Loki came out at SDCC 2013, or to meet the cast of Supernatural, and I loved being in front row for Stan Lee and seeing cosplays of a caliber I can only dream of creating, however sometimes it’s nice to take a step back and go to these more down-to-earth cons.

Kraken Con does boast a few famous faces, at least in the anime world. Three voice actors will be hosting panels and doing signings this year at Kraken. Caitlin Glass, famous for her work as Haruhi Fujioka in Ouran High School Host Club, as well as Winry Rockbell from Full Metal Alchemist. Fans can also meet Eric Stuart, the voice behind Brock and James from Pokemon. And also gracing the con is voice actor Matthew Mercer well known for his talents in Attack on Titan as Captain Levi and Magi as Sinbad. Other attractions include a costume contest and talent show that all ages can enter and enjoy among other various panels on cosplaying, voice acting, drawing, and writing. Be sure also to check out the artist alley work and support fellow artists.

You can still register for Kraken Con: online full event passes are $20. At the door, passes will be $30. The con is two days long. For public transport, BART is always a great option for those in the Bay Area, there’s a station just across the street from the convention center. For those who wish to drive, take the 880 freeway to get smack into downtown. As far as parking is concerned, it is limited and expensive. On the Kraken Con website, they do have widget which lets you reserve parking for the whole weekend. Street parking will be available and free on Sundays. Parking at the Marriott, will cost you about $18 a day.

As always, when going to a convention bring money (most vendors have the means to accept cards, but sometimes, the WiFi and lack of indoor cell signal can cause issues, so it’s always safest to bring cash!) to buy souvenirs as well as food. Also bring water to keep you replenished, especially if you’re going to be in a costume all day. If you’re cosplaying, be mindful of your language and actions, as these smaller cons tend to attract many families, and those kids are looking up to you or the character you are portraying. And please leave your pets at home; service animals with proper documentation are, of course, welcome. Over all Kraken Con should be a good time had by all in an intimate setting welcoming all to geek out. We’ll be covering Kraken Con from bell to bell, so check back with us for photos and updates throughout the weekend! Hope to see you there!


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