During the Father’s Day weekend, I was able to get my wish to experience a local convention for my Father’s Day gift and Hydra Comic Con was that convention. I’m not quite sure where I found this con but being that it was held at the Santa Clara Convention Center and the perk of not having to travel too far, I thought of giving it a go to check out what this small con could offer. And boy, was it small!
For a small convention, it did have a ton of things to experience though. Usually when a convention tries to appease a large range of interests, they fall on their faces but Hydracon did some things well. For example, on one side of the convention floor was a kid’s area that included bounce house style obstacle course with a slide and a climbing wall. Not to say only kid’s were allowed to try out the climbing wall because a number of superheroes were training on it including a Supergirl and Clark Kent.
Both my nephews really enjoyed the climbing wall and they spent a good amount of time in the bounce house. When my son was a bit timid in going into the bounce house, the friendly staff mentioned I could accompany him but he found his courage. I guess not wanting your dad to tag along starts at the early of 3!
But the kid’s area also included a Rock Band setup displayed on a projector screen for the slightly bigger kids to rock out. It was fun seeing attendees rotate to play and it definitely brought back memories of those old school Smash Mouth tracks!
On the other side of the convention hall were the autograph tables with various comic artists, voice actors, and a professional photographer willing to photograph you in your cosplay for free. Right next to this area was another projector set up to watch Anime so you can imagine a few people were just hanging out here.
In between the extreme ends of the floor were artist alley and merch tables. This took up the majority of the floor with a lot of space to walk and browse comfortably. Right smack dab in the middle of the floor against the far wall were two long tables with tvs set up to play various games and throughout the day, they staged tournaments as well. So yeah, there were a ton of things to do and experience that didn’t feel too overwhelming but, for me, it was a bit underwhelming.
Personally, I go to conventions like this to hunt for comics, specifically trades. I was hoping to pick up the complete series of Alex+Ada by Sarah Vaughn and Jonathan Luna but was disappointed in the 2 tables that actually were selling comics. Plus, they only had single issues that you had to dig into. Also, I liked that Catherine Tabor, the actress who voiced Padmé Amidala in Star Wars the Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels was going to be there but her schedule was in the afternoon and by the time she arrived, my son was over walking around. At this point, I was ready to check out since we’d walked around the floor multiple times already.
All in all, this small convention was ok. I can’t compare it to other small conventions like Campbell Con since I never went to it last year but it’s a bit of a step up from the typical toy fair. And the kids area was well done. I also wanted to support my college buddy, fraternity brother, and former coworker who had a table at Artist Alley, Brian Kwa, who goes by kwamatics on Instagram. I’ve always been a fan of his work and glad that he’s sharing his art with the world. I commissioned him to draw me a Jyn Erso which will look awesome framed and on the wall. Thanks, Brian!
I’d give it a chance if Hydra Comic Con is back next year. I think one day was more than enough to experience this convention but maybe if the programming was better with more variety in the merch tables, maybe opting for the weekend passes may be in order. I always like giving small conventions a chance and just happy that they are local to me. So check it out next year and let me know what your experience is like!
*ALL IMAGES WERE taken from my camera except the cover photo (FOUND VIA GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH)
Are you a comic convention goer? Have any small conventions that you really enjoyed? We’d like to know! Please feel free to leave a comment below or on our Facebook page here or Instagram page here or our Twitter page here.