By Adam Sibille
It’s con time again and this time we hit our local Bayoucon to check it out. Bayoucon is a smaller con than Cyphacon, but it still has its own personal charm associated with it. Bayoucon is held at the WestCal Event Center in Sulphur, LA and is backed by our local Fox station. While I feel the con was a success, there were still some issues that I noticed and I hope they can have them resolved for next year.
I want to start out with all the pros that I feel really make the con stand out. First off, I feel the venue is laid out quite well. The groups that have booths are laid out right when you walk into the con, giving the visitor a first look at some of the amazing art that we’ve come to love at comic cons. Johnny Segura was the first artist that you met through the entrance with a wall of beautiful prints. If you haven’t checked out Johnny’s work before, I highly recommend it. He does excellent work and takes characters that wouldn’t normally be drawn together and makes it happen. Much of his work is geared towards adults, but there is still quite a few prints in there for the younger crowd as well.
After walking past Johnny’s booth, the next group that caught my eyes were the Allains, Danny and Morgan. Danny is an artist that I always hear about but never got the chance to view his work so I was excited to see him at the con. His latest book is titled The King’s Lost Ruby and is based on his daughter, her friends, and her family. Now their daughter is cute as a button, but her character in the comic is even cuter. I skimmed over the book while talking to Danny and I can tell that the series will be a good read, especially if you have young children in the house. Books one and two are complete and ready for sale while book three is currently in the works.
Right next to Danny was his wife Morgan who is also known as The Inkling Girl. Morgan’s artistic ability is absolutely stunning. To be able to do what she does with ink and to bring drawings to life is amazing. Morgan sells her drawings and sketches in many forms as well. She was selling small magnets, buttons, and even hairpins, all with her beautiful art on them. Danny and Morgan Allain are unique artists in the Lake Area and I feel they are quite the treasure to have right in our back yard.
The vendor room was laid out quite well. There were no empty tables which is always a nice thing to see. There were plenty of t-shirts and stickers for sale as well as stuffed animals. There were also unique items for sale such as chainmail and custom built jewelry. I’m glad to see more crafters coming out to shows with unique items other than generic anime prints. Don’t get me wrong, I like anime just as much as the next guy, but I’m not looking for 100 prints of the same character. I like the vendors who are going out of their way to try new things and sell items that aren’t typically found online.
I had mixed emotions about the gaming area. There were tables laid out in parallel for Magic and other tabletop style games while Xbox and WiiU consoles were lined up against the wall on the right side of the room. There were a total of six consoles, but they were crammed in so tightly that it was difficult to have more than the players near them. The Artemis simulator was setup on the left side and had plenty space for players and viewers alike. I didn’t get to play Artemis, but I love the fact that multiple players are required to fly the simulated ship. As an avid EVE Online player, I always feel drawn to space style simulators and to me, Artemis is a work of art.
Also setup in the gaming room was a grid style game called Bureaunauts from Fox & Ox Creations. Fox & Ox is a company based out of Houston, Texas that creates games with a unique twist. Their first game, Cards and Quests, was also at Bayoucon but it didn’t grab my attention as much as Bureaunauts did. Bureaunauts has some elements that you would see in a typical grid game such as Battleship, but adds a twist to the idea by allowing four players to play instead of the normal two players you would have in Battleship. Another thing that stood out to me was the fact that the grid style board is made up of cards, making each game unique every time it’s played. I watched as players enjoyed the game while talking with the creators Todd and Allison who went in great detail of how Bureaunauts works. We will be watching this game closely as we feel it will do well.
Bayoucon also has quite a bit of cosplay for being such a small con. AKA Cosplay and Little Red Fox were both in attendance and looking fantastic. The cosplay contest was a bit smaller this year, but that didn’t stop everyone from looking great in their costumes. My children look forward to Bayoucon every year so they can dress up in their costumes and run up on the stage and show off. This year each of them won an award for their cosplays as well as quite a few other fantastic individuals.
Overall, I would say Bayoucon was a success this year. I feel each year the con grows a little better, but I would like to see more eSports action to draw a bit more of a crowd. I do feel that the layout of the con is better than Cyphacon and traffic flows smoother throughout the con. I do feel both Bayoucon and Cyphacon could use a bit more organization at the doors however. I do enjoy both cons in the end and I feel each have their own charm for anyone in attendance.