The San Jose Convention Center is about 50 minutes from Livermore and hosts all kinds of nerdy events including Fanime, Silicon Valley Comic Con, and GaymerX. I went there this Saturday for Further Confusion, a.k.a. FurCon.
What is a furry, you ask? A furry is a fan of anthropomorphic (part-human part-animal) characters. A lot of furries or furs have a fursona (fur + persona), which is an artistic or spiritual version of themselves as an anthropomorphic creature. At a furry convention, you see a lot of people dressed in fursuits, full-body costumes with mascot-heads, that usually reflect their fursonas. These are typically custom-made and can cost anywhere between $300-$3000. You will also see people walking around in more casual furry gear, like cat-ears and kigurumis (animal pajamas).
FurCon at SJCC has probably about half the attendance of Fanime, but has similar activities, such as a dealers hall, an artist alley, and a parade, and panels. Vendors in the dealer’s hall sell art, comic books, gifts, kigurumis, and costume parts. In the artist’s alley (where the bag-checker was cosplaying as the character from Papers, Please) you can stare at beautiful animal or furry-themed artwork. There is some erotica to be found in the dealers hall and artists alley, but it wasn’t prominently displayed and there were quite a few young kids running around. I wouldn’t say it’s any more risqué than an anime convention, and if you’re bringing kids, you might just have to steer them away from certain booths (and the 18+ section of the art gallery).
The panels covered topics from how to make a fursuit to how to make the most out of wearing one, to discussions about furry art and fiction. However, I didn’t go to any panels so I can’t speak to those, but the parade was awesome. It is somewhat surreal to see 700+ anthropomorphic animals of different kinds in one place. The sheer diversity of costumes and the creativity people put into them is absolutely mind-blowing. There’s everything from realistic animals like this mammoth:
To colorful, cartoon animals like my friend’s jackal fursuit:
And dragons and demons and other mythical creatures:
Admission is $40 for Saturday, $30 for Sunday, and it usually happens every January (which is good because those fursuits get hot!).
Have you been to any events at SJCC? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments!