HOWL CON 2015: The Pack Grows

HOWL CON, a werewolf horror-fantasy convention, finally howled over the weekend. Starting from Friday night with a badass werewolf movie, to informative and amusing panels, to networking with other werewolf fans and meeting new friends, this was certainly the best convention for the werewolfy types. After a two-year gap and the HOWL CON 2013 cancellation, I am glad HOWL CON’s director Stephen Couchman brought it back. It is what we werewolf fans needed.

Friday night started with the Werewolf Movie Night at Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington. There’s Teen Wolf showing first at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. then WolfCop at 8:30 p.m. Showing a few werewolf short films, The Furred Man, Living with Lycanthropy, Red Moon, and an animated short before WolfCop was enjoyable. I have more about those short films are in this post, “HOWL CON Werewolf Movie Night at Kiggins Theatre.”

HOWL CON is on its second year and I feel that it is still warming up. My thoughts are mostly positive, but this is still a new con at a new venue. It’s a great con, but there some brushing out fur matting needed for it to grow.

Costumes, wearable accessories, videos, books and comics, shirts, buttons, art, fur and skulls, and make-up were all for sale or on display in the dealer’s area. There was plenty of room to move about in the dealer den. I ran into two different problems with Square when making a payment. One had a technical problem with the network. Another, a Canadian vendor, found out he could not accept U.S. credit/debit cards with a Canadian Square. Luckily, there is an ATM in the hotel lobby. I ended up purchasing and walking out with three books.

The initial program this year offered a diverse topic. Each one-hour block has three programs plus a gaming event. The programming this year was good, despite the few guests that had to back out of HOWL CON. I liked the fact that many of the programs I attended had audience interaction. I learned some neat stuff, took some useful notes and using what I have gained from HOWL CON and put it to good use for PDXWerewolf.com. Much of what I am talking about right now might seem vague, but independent posts on the individual topic from this convention may happen later on down the road.

The costume parade featured six contestants, some wearing practical costumes and some wearing realistic or therian fursuits. HOWL CON is a werewolf convention that is deep into werewolf, but some have shown up in fursuits. HOWL CON is cool with this and so am I.

Grimwolf, the “Pure American Werewolf Metal” literally howled and growled with their beasty metal. After a few songs, my sensitive werewolf ears were hearing would become no more. I had to step out. The band was fine, but the audio volume was a little too much for my sensitive ears.

Attendees entered a raffle drawing for prizes. The funds for the raffle tickets (and the proceeds for the Werewolf Movie Night) went to Wolfhaven International, a wolf sanctuary near Tenino, Washington. It is certainly a worthy cause (go visit them sometime and say hi to the wolves).

Any convention that I go to and can take home some knowledge and ideas is a good con. As one who directs and posts a werewolf website, HOWL CON has been extremely beneficial. I also have the pure joy of promoting werewolf stuff when time permits on PDXWerewolf.com and on Twitter @PDX_WerewolfUS. I do believe my shutdown in July 2014 and rebooting in November might have had an effect.

Anyway, news is HOWL CON 2016 will happen at the same venue, Red Lion Inn at the Quay in Vancouver, Washington. I hope that next year there are more attendees. Stay tuned for the details and registration. From what Steve Couchman said at the closing ceremony, it will be soon (pending agreement).

With that, I want to thank HOWL CON director Steve Couchman and his staff and team of volunteers for an excellent year and for bringing back HOWL CON. A thank you to all the dealers for coming out.

I also have to personally thank these fine people that made HOWL CON and hanging out fun during this whirlwind weekend: Andrew, Tandye, Carlos, and Hornet.

AWROO!

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