At some point after Loncon 2014, Mirko Karas and me decided that ribbons would be introduced to Croatian fandom. It has not caught on, exactly, but there have been local ribbons ever since. I especially love the SFeroSaur ones, for all those with a number of years behind them in SF fandom. I think we set the mark at more than 15 or 20. So, I was not entitled to one.
Surprisingly, Ivan Kranjčević, the current head of SFera, who I do not think is past 30, turned out to be entitled to one. As a kid brother to Vanja Kranjčević, he got dragged to SFeraKon at a very early age and has since become one of the driving forces of Croatian fandom. The current setup of SFeraKon, celebrating literary, gaming and cosplay worlds and having Guests of Honour from all three, is in no small part his doing. I have no idea how or when I met him, he was just always around.
1. How did you discover SF?
I discovered SF with a huge help of my sister Vanja. She was always fond of SF and fantasy. I remember, as a kid, sneaking out of bed and watching Blade Runner and Star Wars with her on TV, late at night :).
2. What’s the best thing about SF fandom?
The best thing about fandom is love and appreciation. We are all friends in fandom, even when we disagree about certain things. These are bonds that are not easily broken and I love that about fandom. Also, it is home everywhere you go. A tribe of like-minded, tolerant people.
3. What was you first convention like?
My first convention was a long time ago when I begged my sister to see where she was volunteering. I remember playing some games on a PC and even ending up in a photo published in the national daily l newspapers: I was hugging a huge Pikachu :).
4. And how did you get sucked into organizing them?
Again, it is all my sister’s fault. She offered, told me I could help the organizers if I wanted to. And the rest is history, I started volunteering at SFeraKon so long ago I do not ever remember which one it was and what I was doing. That grew into attending Eurocons and Worldcons, and then discovering Pyrkon and other European conventions and holding panels and collaborating in new and interesting ways across Europe.
5. What con-running job do you hate the most, and what do you love the most?
I hate that stressful last minute preparations before the convention. I think my biggest accomplishment is seeing all the people who are happy to participate in any way in the con. When you get those positive reactions and hugs, it always melts my heart. Even when I tell myself that I should work less, I always push myself to work even more :).
6. You help run SFeraKon and have held many positions over the years. Tell us about it.
Honestly, I think all positions I held were similar and I always try to do that part in which I am the best and can help and give most of myself, be it a gopher, gameroom organizers, head of marketing, deputy head of the chair, or any other job. The con is fun and work is fun.
7. How is SFeraKon part of the European cosplay scene?
The cosplay scene in Croatia is now huge. Well, not as huge as the Polish one, but then, we are a smaller country too. Nonetheless, we have come a long way in cosplay since the humble beginnings and today, SFeraKon has the honor to be a part of the huge IECC Competition which is a cosplay competition held each year at another convention. I am very proud of that.
The winner is selected at SFeraKon and we intend to do a better show each year. Ten best cosplayers from conventions all over the world enter the finals, and that is a huge honor for every convention and cosplayer.