Named one of “50 Best Cities to Live (2014)” by Money Magazine, Pleasanton is great travel destination for anyone planning a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s home to over 70,000 people, and ranks as one of the richest mid-sized cities in the Western United States according to NerdWallet. The affluent population has attracted many businesses to the area over the past two decades. Visitors will encounter an activity filled downtown, beautiful public parks, and more than 200 restaurants.
Colossus Con is a large scale comic convention that has something to offer the entire family. It will take place April 8 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, which is located about a half of a mile west of downtown. The event is a must for any pop culture lover, and will feature a variety of special guests including writers, artists, actors (TV and movie), pop culture personalities, and vendors. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet special guests, ask questions at panels, and purchase a variety of items. Cosplay is encouraged, and patrons will have the chance to play various board and card games. We got the opportunity to interview President of Business Operations, Dave Haworth, to learn all about this unique celebration of pop culture.
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.
DH: Colossus Con is a comic convention, a family-friendly celebration of all things pop culture from comic books, movies, fantasy, and sci-fi. Regardless of your specific interests, you’ll find something to enjoy here.
We want to give our fans a family-friendly environment where everyone can meet guests and artists and have fun - and without breaking the bank. We welcome everyone - families, kids, friends, couples. We bring celebrities from different era’s so everyone can meet an idol of their childhood.
RAL: How does your event differ from other comic conventions?
DH: Comic conventions became very popular over the past 10 years, but this popularity created an interesting situation. On the one hand, you have big corporate shows that charge an arm and a leg to attend. You’ll likely remember the cost of autographs and long wait times in lines more than convention itself. On the other end of the spectrum, local shows that are typically much more reasonably priced provide little value - very few vendors, no celebrities. The choice is not an easy one -- to go to a show and leave unfulfilled or to overspend and have to save for a year to go to another event. Colossus Con is unique in the fact that we cater to the fans. We want everyone to enjoy the comforts of fandom without the corporate hustle and bustle, and without sacrificing quality.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event.
DH: As an attendee, be prepared for a day of fun. This year’s celebrity guest lineup includes Michael Bell, known for hundreds of voice over roles including The Transformers, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Rugrats, Tangled, and The Smurfs. Star Wars fans will get a rare chance to meet Julie Dolan who provided the voice for Princess Leia Organa in Star Wars Rebels.
Jack Stauffer, a longtime veteran television actor best remembered for his roles as Chuck Tyler on All My Children and Lieutenant Bojay on the original Battlestar Galactica, will be in attendance, along with Kathy Garver, she's best known for the role of Catherine "Cissy" Davis on the popular sitcom Family Affair. Garver provided the voice of Firestar on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Please check out our website for a full list of guest appearances.
Attendees will also be able to shop from various exhibitors and creators, meet local cosplayers and fan groups (501st, Saber Guild, Rebel Legion), take pictures with a Jurassic Park Jeep, and attend panels with the special guests. We have a very solid panel program where attendees can ask their questions about working on popular movies and TV series, learn about artists’ experience drawing for Marvel and publishing indie comics. One of our panels will be a tribute to the late Richard Hatch by his friend and Battlestar Galactica co-star Jack Stauffer. The day will end with a cosplay contest where the winner takes home a cash prize and a cool trophy.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
DH: We are just a mile away from downtown Pleasanton, where travelers can find great dining as well as The Rose Hotel, a European-style boutique hotel. Many also stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Pleasanton, and other hotels around the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
DH: Comic conventions have a very positive financial impact on the local economy. It is all about bringing the community together. When you shop at a convention, you support small businesses and independent artists, not corporations, but it goes beyond just that. People stay at hotels, grab coffee on the way to the show, go out to dinner after the event, and explore new places in the area -- all of which brings money to the community. A pop culture show puts a destination on the map; it is especially important in mid-sized cities. Everyone goes to San Francisco or Los Angeles. We want people to discover something new. For those who live in the area, having a comic con just down the street is a matter of local pride, not to mention the convenience.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
DH: Colossus Con is all about having fun and creating memories of a lifetime. We love seeing happy people of all ages. No matter how old you are, when you come to Colossus Con you feel like a kid again! You get the opportunity to meet your favorite actors and artists, find toys you liked as a child, and see people bringing movie characters, comic book characters to life through cosplay. Best of all, you can share it with your family and friends, or make new friends.
For more information about Colossus Con, please visit the event website.