Hello again KC, Midwest, and beyond. So, VisionCon, StealthCon, and Little Apple Comic Con have all con and gone and it's only March! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend any of these because of my work schedule, but I will be posting some pictures from these events plus a follow up on how things went from my friends who were there in the coming weeks. That aside, what is next in the area? Well, do you like anime? Cosplay? Culture? Gaming? If so, then Naka-Kan is coming to Overland Park, KS this weekend at the Overland Park Convention Center.
From Naka-Kan: “Naka-Kon is an annual 3-day convention, celebrating anime, manga, cosplay, music, fashion, gaming, and more!
Every year, we bring your favorite voice actors, musicians, cosplayers, artists, designers, and industry experts to the Overland Park Convention Center. Catch guest panels and performances, be part of our cosplay competitions, enter contests, and learn about working in the anime, manga, and music industries.
We’re thrilled to provide a truly Japanese experience, including not just anime, manga, and cosplay, but also culture. Naka-Kon brings Japan to the Midwest in an authentic way, from panels about language, food, and the symbolism behind your favorite stories to saké tastings and cultural festivals. We also host a variety of fan panels, so you can celebrate the fandoms you love with people just like you!
Each year also brings an interactive story event where you, the attendees, play a role. Don’t miss out on a ton of fun with special events and live performances!”
This will be my first year attending Naka-Kan as it has been held the same weekend as Planet Comicon the last several years, which I always attend. This year PCC has moved to May, meaning this weekend is expected to be a massive turnout for Naka-Kan and May will be even bigger for PCC as the two cons will not be competing for attendees or their wallets. I'm looking forward to seeing what everything is about and my fiancee is really looking forward to all of the anime with that being the focus of the event and how Japanese animation and anime has influenced culture around the world, so come out and join us!
Naka-Kan will be held in the Overland Park Convention Center at 6000 College Boulevard, Overland Park, KS 66211. Ticket prices for adults are $55 for a 3 day badge or Friday for $30, Sat for $35, and Sun for $25. Children tickets are $15 for a 3 day badge or $10 for any single day ticket. More info can be found at
On the charity side of things, last week members of the local 501st, Rebel Legion, R2 Builders Club, and The Dark Empire joined forces to help raise money for Trilogy Cultural Arts Centre in Olathe, KS. “Trilogy Cultural Arts Centre is home to the artist deemed the “Quadruple Threat”: artists known for outstanding performance in acting, singing, dancing, and character. Our purpose is to provide excellence in a nurturing arts training environment where the artist and family can flourish in community, creativity, and integrity.” Friday night was their Gala Fundraiser & Dinner Theatre Presentation, which was an evening full of food, entertainment, silent and live auctions and more to help raise funds to support Trilogy's School of Music, technical needs, and Trilogy's original productions. How does this relate to Star Wars cosplayers showing up? Well, our mission is to spread our love of Star Wars through public and charity appearances and one of the things that keeps us busiest is to help raise funds for charity. On this evening, we were invited by Tom Kane, a voice actor who lives here in the city, to help auction a lightsaber he had signed and was being auctioned at the event. Tom Kane is known for being the narrator in The Clone Wars, the voice of Yoda, and numerous other Star Wars characters as well as other TV shows, movies, and video games of assorted titles other than Star Wars. As we sometimes are, we were a surprise to the attendees of the event and as we entered the room a mood was set for the auction of such a unique and wonderful item deserved. What we didn't expect was the heartfelt thanks and explanation of our work to the event attendees by Tom Kane himself and I know I'm not the only one who was glad to be wearing a mask with the touching speech that was given by Mr. Kane regarding us. The bidding was fierce, but a young girl and her family definitely wanted the lightsaber and the smile on her face when the auctioneer said she had won was amazing and joyous. Afterwards, we took pictures with attendees and enjoyed some of Mr. Kane's gracious time. If your charity is interested in having us attend an event, you can reach out to me or any of the group's main websites where it will be filtered down to us. The 501st can be reached at http://www.501st.com/request.php.
Photos by Crazy Jane Lane Photography
What else is going on in the world of cosplay? Well, I know lots of people are working on new costumes, some to be unveiled at Naka-Kan and many others to be unveiled at Planet Comicon in May. I am also working on trying to arrange some new charity opportunities for local cosplayers and hope to have some official information on that in a post very soon. It's already been a busy past few weeks for local cosplay, but things are just starting for the season and there will be a lot to report on…including my upcoming wedding this Fall. Stay tuned everyone!
Until next time, I am Lord Vector of The Dark Empire…