SalukiCon making a comeback


Trevor Reaman | [email protected]

SalukiCon hosted many community cosplayers and fans April 16, 2022 in the SIU Student Center in Carbondale, Ill. The event offered a space for fans of all sorts of franchises to assemble. The event offered vendors, panels, and various gaming tournaments for attendees to watch and participate.

Southern Illinois University (SIU) hosted their fourth annual SalukiCon on April 16 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Student Center

During the event there were a variety of things for people to partake in from video games, anime showcases, meet and greets and other events.

The day before the actual event people who bought tickets before the event were able to get early access to what would be at the con. During the early access event people got a chance to see what a few of the vendors were offering and were able to play with VR helmets.


Nathan Bonner, the co-chair of the SalukiCon committee said the first SalukiCon in 2017 was called EclipseCon because of the eclipse that occurred then. 

The first one was in 2017 in connection with the Eclipse festivities. So when we were successful enough to do a follow up,” Bonner said. “We decided to do SalukiCon and then in 2024 of course, during the eclipse festivities in April of that year, there will be another EclipseCon.”

According to Bonner, when they had Eclipsecon in 2017 over 3000 people came in attendance and because of its popularity they decided to host it again.

Bonner said they had a variety of things to do during the event for people to enjoy.

As far as that we of course have a vendor room with various vendors and from toys to artists, to crafters to authors. It just goes on and on and on,” Bonner said. There seems to be an incredible mix of vendors this year. There will be an escape room put on by the linguistics and the library. There will be an anime showcase in the old main room,”

Besides vendors and video games, SalukiCon had guest speakers from the power ranger series and from different animes. Along with board games for people to play. Bonner said.

The first event to kickoff the SalukiCon festivities was the anime showcase hosted by the SIU anime RSO animekai. During the showcase different anime were being played throughout the day.


Scott Throne, owner of Castle Perilous Book Store and a vendor at the event said he participated at the very first SalukiCon and always enjoys coming to it.

“It’s always fun to have a crowd of people who are all interested in that sort of project or who are interested in comics, graphic novels, anime games, all congregated in one under one roof,” Throne said.

Throne said every year this event seems to bring more and more people who are interested in anime, video games, and other related things together.

“We will be one of the few places in the room with the gaming products most vendors up there will have comic related items, anime related items, pop culture, we will be one of only three places in there with the games,” Throne said.

Anita Palmisano, the owner of Little Black Cat Company, has participated in SalukiCon since its beginning in 2017. Palmisano said she is always excited to sell her soaps and other products at the con.

“All of my bath and body scents are geeky-themed with fun little descriptions to match. Some of the scents are custom blends you won’t find anywhere else,” Palmisano said. “I also make a lot of other arts and crafts. I do decorated tumblers, handmade bags, and artwork.

Palmisano said she ends up having a lot of repeat customers to get new items or repurchase items they like.

Samantha Cockrum, an artist and vendor at SalukiCon said she was excited showing her artwork for the first time at the con was great to connect and meet new people.

“I see fan art from a fandom that I’m part of. It’s really exciting to hear that someone you don’t know someone You can connect with because there is also a fan of something that you love and I think that’s just something that you can’t really experience anywhere else,” Cockrum said.

Cockrum said since she draws inspiration for her art from a variety of fandoms she hoped it would attract people who are interested in different fandoms as well.

Attendees Envy and Melanie Hanson said they were excited to attend the con because they could dress up and show off their outfits and hangout with people who share their same interest.

Envy said when it came to her costume it took around an hour for her to get her costume just right and to add the details.

Hanson said it is hard to share your interest in anime with someone who does not understand and think it is important to have events like these where people with similar interests can be themselves without fear.

“A lot of them like, some people don’t really enjoy things that we do and so they kind of snark at us for it,” Hanson said. “Yeah, you get made fun of a lot. So these events allow you to find more people that have your special interests.”

From noon to 2 p.m. guest speakers spoke at the event.

Peter Adrian Sudarso, an actor and the Blue Ranger in Power Rangers Ninja Steel said he was excited to attend and be a guest speaker at SalukiCon for the first time. He said the event was a great opportunity to bring people together who have different interests.

Brennan Mejia, another actor and the Red Dino Charge Ranger said the overall atmosphere of SalukiCon is always welcoming and exciting.

“Everyone just feeds off of the same environment. Everyone’s very supportive, like you walk around to other booths, and everyone’s really friendly,” Mejia said. “It’s not like a competition between “I’m going to sell more, make more money.” Everyone just wants to have a good time and hopefully connect with someone in the audience.”

Mejia said having this relaxed atmosphere where people are enjoying themselves and not trying to compete for who can get the most people at their stand makes cons like this one event more special.

Assistant to the Editor Janiyah Gaston can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @DEJaniyah. To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.