Written by Chris Kwock (@kwock)
My local Hawaii con, Kawaii Kon’s (KK) 10th year had an initial attendance estimate of around 8,500! It is hard to believe it has been 10 years since my first foray into conventions and costuming…and that it’s taken almost 10 years to see other conventions outside of my home state. To celebrate its 10th year KK expanded by taking up another floor of the convention center. The bottom floor held all the vendors and artists as well as the autographs in the back of the room.
Having the autographs changed to this location was very welcoming. Previously, the autograph section used to be outside and boy does it get hot out in the sun! Also having the vendors and artists in the big ball room gave a lot more room to walk around without feeling that you were constantly bumping into everyone.
With it encompassing an additional floor than before, it did feel a lot more spread out and clustered with people, which is a good thing! There are shots (like this Supergirl shot I did above) that I don’t think I would have been able to do in previous years because there were just so many people around that I’d never get a clean empty background like that.
Since we’re talking about cosplays, while it felt that there wasn’t a whole lot or that I missed a bunch (missing a bunch is a typical con thing regardless), there were a bunch of really stunning ones. The one that was the talk of the con seemed to be Manu’s Warhammer outfit. It took him over a year to make and the thing weighed 100lbs!!!
Some things that were an issue this year…mainly the escalators!! This isn’t the con’s fault but it seemed like there was constantly an escalator being fixed and you had to go the long way around to get down. Thankfully this was only between the top floor and the 3rd floor and the bigger gap had all 3 of them working the whole time. There were some panels that started late, and several rooms were switched and not updated in the events guide. With some rooms farther away it is kind of a pain in the butt to locate the new room especially since information desk seemed to have the same information as congoers, which was no help at all.
Over all I enjoyed seeing friends and hanging out with them. Interestingly enough I made more new friends that were photographers that I knew of than cosplayers. One really nice thing about going to a local con is that it isn’t hard to set up photoshoots later with those I do meet. I have a couple lined up for when I come back from Sakura-con!
Check out some more photos below! You can view the rest of my photos on my Facebook page, Chris Kwock Photography