AAP staff report
FRESNO (Sept. 4, 2015) — The ZAPPCON convention recently announced the addition of award-winning Lao American artists Nor Sanavongsay and Bryan Thao Worra will be attending as special guests on Oct. 17-18, 2015.
ZAPPCON is “a hybrid of gaming and comic book conventions- a weekend of entertainment and all things nerdtacular: special guests, comics, gaming, artists, vendors, cosplay, kids zone, and more.” It is one of the Central Valley’s biggest conventions for fans of science fiction, fantasy, comics, movies and games. ZAPPCON will be held at the Fresno Convention Center’s Valdez Hall at 702 M Street in Fresno, California.
Other featured guests are voice actress Andrea Libman, the musical duo of the Doubleclicks, artists Ron Randall, Lukas Ketner, Paige Halsey Warren, Cat Farris, Drew Green, Eben Burgoon,Terry Blas, and RK Post, author Starla Huchton, and Cosplayer professional Christine Sprankle. They’re also highlighting the local film Tribal Black Ops.
Nor Sanavongsay is an award-winning Lao American illustrator and writer in the San Francisco Bay area and the founder of Sahtu Press. He has been a presenting featured artist of the SatJaDham Lao Literary Project, the National Lao American Writers Summit, and the Lao Artists Festival of Elgin. Sanavongsay is the author of children’s books inspired by Lao folktales, such as “Xieng Mieng: A Sticky Mess”. He has worked for numerous companies including Encyclopaedia Britannica, Sears, Zoosk, and Barnes & Noble. He is currently at work on his followup children’s book in addition to creating new comic book characters for the Lao American community.
Bryan Thao Worra is an award-winning Lao American author. His work appears in over 100 international publications, including the Asian Pacific American Journal, Journal of the Asian American Renaissance, the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement, Strange Horizons, Tales of the Unanticipated, and Innsmouth Free Press. He is the first Lao American to be accepted as a professional member of the Horror Writer Association and the Science Fiction Poetry Association.
The two will present on diverse subjects including Southeast Asian superheroics and the Cthulhu mythos in Laos.
Fresno has a population of 6,300 Lao, and this year is a historic occasion for the community as it observes 40 years since the beginning of the Lao Diaspora that led to over 230,000 Lao rebuilding their lives in the US today. Sanavongsay and Thao Worra are among the first Lao American writers in their generation to be actively engaged in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and children’s literature.
In their inaugural year ZAPPCON had over 1,400 attending and 90 exhibitors in 2014. ZAPPCON is named in honor of Zapp’s Theme Park in Fresno, which operated for families between 1904-1917. The ZAPPCON website is www.zappcon.com.