Wednesday, April 29, 2015

CyPhaCon Happened, and I Was There

Unlike San Diego, Atlanta, or even New York, New Orleans isn't known for a particular convention, but the Gulf Coast is home to several conventions held throughout the year. It's my goal, here at She-Geeks, to showcase those smaller (but no less enthusiastic) conventions. If there is a convention in or around the Gulf Coast that you'd like to see me cover, please send the convention details to

Recently, I traveled to Lake Charles, La for the 5th anniversary of CyPhaCon, an anime, gaming and science fiction convention. This year boasted some pretty impressive guest names, a special screening of a Doctor Who fan series, and (my personal favorite) a legitimate sword-fighting class with the man who taught Arya Stark how to wield a blade, Miltos Yerolemou. So, follow along as I dive deeper into CyPhaCon:

This was a relatively small convention with a pretty young, and enthusiastic crowd, and the Civic Center it was held in was set up in such a way that even though it was split up between three floors, two of them were connected by a large, atrium-like space in the center so it felt like one big room. The whole atmosphere was less like a convention, and more like a giant sleep-over (especially since people were constantly calling out to each other over the balconies). Though everything was pretty close together, there was plenty of room to comfortably move around, and I did not hear of a single fight or harassment issue while I was there. 

View of the 2nd floor from a 3rd floor balcony.  Photo: Scott Wetmore
I will say that though the 2nd and 3rd floors felt like one, giant, connected space, the 1st floor was so disconnected it felt like a completely different event. All of the gaming, and several of the panel rooms were housed on the first floor but (to be honest), once I made it to the second floor I kept forgetting that there even was a first floor. Obviously those at the con for the gaming probably didn't even notice, but I can't help but feel for anyone trying to hold a panel on The Floor That Time Forgot.

The second floor was mostly fan tables, and is where I came across the Doctor Who: The Soldier Stories Fan Series table. This lovely group is actively fundraising to produce their vision of Doctor Who spinoff featuring The Soldier, and engineered Time Lord assassin traveling throughout the universe in his own TARDIS carrying out missions that he should have stopped receiving when Gallifrey was lost. They held a special screening of their first episode Saturday night, and I must say that the production value was surprisingly good given their budget, and the story is certainly interesting. The episode ended on a shocking cliff-hanger (of course), that left one audience member unable to stop herself from exclaiming, "You bastard!" In addition to the screening, the guys brought with them what is apparently one of the most screen accurate replicas of the 11th Doctor's TARDIS in the States:

Yes, there's even a phone inside the door panel.
The screening was held in the same large room where just hours earlier, a group of excited con-goers gathered to embrace their inner Stark child as Miltos Yerolemou (Game of Thrones, Wolf Hall) and instructor Dakao Do of Sword to Sword patiently taught them the basics of sword fighting. Dakao started everyone off with the basic moves, then Miltos added some flourish and "heart" to what they had learned. The class was about as comprehensive as a two hour class at a convention could be, and was full of great humor and plenty of smiles:
CyPhaCon Sword Fighting


The dealer's room was pretty small, but I was still able to find a few handcrafted gems in there. As always, these are in no particular order:
CyPhaCon Vendors


There were lots of younger cosplayers in attendance, in varying levels of costuming. It was great seeing so many enthusiastic cosplayers trading tips with each other!
CyPhaCon Cosplay

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