Thom and I were recently guests at Setsucon in State College, PA. Setsucon is an anime, manga, and Japanese Pop Culture Convention.
According to the site, “Setsucon is hosted by the Penn State Anime Organization (PSAO). Since September 2001, the PSAO has been bringing anime, manga and Japanese pop culture to the University Park campus.”
Their website explains how they got their name.
While planning the first Setsucon, we discussed several names. Our original name was to be “Daikon” like the radish and also “dai” (大) for “big”. It was decided that this might be confusing as there was a “Daicon” held in Japan previously. Our next choice was “Setsucon”. “Setsu” comes from the Chinese reading (on’yomi) of the Japanese word for “snow”, yuki (雪). Since the convention is held during the winter in a region where snow is not uncommon, we felt that the name was fitting.
I can’t say enough good things about this convention!
First of all, the staff were great. They were constantly checking on us and offering assistance. Everyone was helpful and nice.
Secondly, the turnout was strong. There were a lot of attendees and cosplayers there. The fandom is strong with this one!
Thirdly, the prices were great! You can go to cons and pay a lot for merchandise or food, but I was surprised with how reasonable the prices were. It’s quality merchandise too, both in the artist alley and in the dealer room.
So let’s talk about some of the great merch at Setsucon!
Let’s start off with my neighbor to my back, left. Nicole Fascetti of Sypral Eyed Studios.
She works in Polymer clay (one of my favorite mediums as well) and she has incredible creations! I can’t say enough about how cute her stuff was. She have a variety of items from dragons to cephalopods to steampunk. Her steampunk type stuff was great! My personal favorite was this locket. (share the pic) and it opened up to show the gears.
She also had charm bracelets, necklaces, and adorable charms. Her voodoo dolls, ninjas, dragons and Cthulhu ones were great. I especially loved the Cthulhu and the Lil’ Miss Cthulhu (which I just had to buy)…
Here are some images of her other pieces…
I grabbed her card and it says that she also does custom commissions.
I do work in polymer clay and I can tell you her stuff is well made and worth the money. Check her out!
Next up is The Faerie Garbmother. She had some adorable Steampunk hats. She will make custom ones upon request.
They were cute and they would be great for cosplaying or costuming. The lady who made them is very nice as well.
Here is the picture of the adorable Narwhal…
They also had some cute buttons and charms.
In the Dealer Room I saw some really cute stuff as well. Hip Hop Candy was a place selling lotions, body sprays, candles and the cutest charms and buttons. They were adorable!
I didn’t get to talk to them but I did get to grab their card. The card itself is absolutely adorable!
Now, let’s talk more about the trip itself.
The weather was not-so-good towards Pittsburgh and there were a couple of guest cancellations. But the staff made sure to set up some alternative panels and Skype sessions with the missing guests, so the con-goers didn’t miss out on their chance to talk to them. I thought that was a great solution given the situation. The staff was very invested in making sure the con attendees were happy!
We were originally scheduled to do just one panel — a “Webcomics 101” — on Saturday evening. But when the guest issues arose, Thom agreed to step in and do an impromptu panel on Manga Studio. Then, that evening, we did our Webcomics 101 panel and both panels went extremely well.
I also want to talk about some of the other great creators we met at the convention and give them a shout-out!
First up, we have Jason Lenox. Jason is an illustrator/artist from the State College area. This is not the first time we have been at a con with Jason–we run into each other often as we do a lot of the same shows. He has 2 books in his Painted Ladies of San Quentin series, as well as other projects.
I wanted to give him a shout-out. You can find more about him at his website.
Next up is Kevin Bolk and Sarah Martinez from Interrobang Studios. Again, we have known them for a couple of years. We first met at another anime con — Anime USA –back in 2011.
Kevins great sense of humor comes across in his work and Sarah is always so nice. They are a good time in a panel too! 😉
Next up is our neighbors at the con. They had a truly neat idea for a set-up. They brought in their prints (which are very well done) and their business cards, and cute statuettes of their characters. Their comic is called ReGrBl.com (red, green, and blue).
They set up a Pokemon challenge and each color represented one of the creators and their pokemon gym. If challengers beat them they would score a color coded pin representing that gym leader. It was a fantastic idea! I loved to see them thinking outside the “marketing box”. They handed out all of their cards and pins and they had no shortage of challengers.
They were also very friendly and their art is great. So check them out!
Finally, I want to give a shout out to the Gearbox Union. They weren’t exhibiting at the con, but we have been in a con with them before. Lee and Matt stopped by with a gal named Katie and her little brother. They are a blast and they have a site with blogs, drink mixing, and a great podcast. Plus, they do stuff for charity and had awesome steampunk items and Abe Lincoln at the Sci-fi Valley Con we attended with them.
They are definitely worth a look!
If you are in the area, you really should check this con out!
(The video below was shot on Saturday night. It was busy!)