MegaCon 2010: Event Recap
Lowdown - Article
Posted by Noel Bartocci on Mar 18, 2010
MegaCon, Central Florida’s premier comic book, media and anime convention kicked off this year with droves of people. Occurring this past Friday thru Sunday (March 12-14), MegaCon, an abbreviation for "mega convention", is typically the unofficial first convention of the season. Unofficially, because it seems like it’s Florida’s geeky little secret.
Getting bigger and bigger every year, the convention watched attendance estimates grow over 10% compared to last year, on top of the already tens of thousands that showed up in 2009. MegaCon has earned its place as arguably the biggest convention in the south east (bested only by DragonCon in Atlanta). If that’s the case, how come no one’s heard of it?
MegaCon prides itself on being a grass roots convention that has cultivated an all-ages vibe for over a decade. According to Christine Alger, the Assistant Convention Director, MegaCon’s accessibility was by design. Having started as a comic book-only convention, over the years the con grew organically into the all-media show it is today. It happened over time and at the right times.>
Walking the floor on a busy Saturday was surprisingly pleasant. The crowd varied in age and dedication to the cause. Amidst some of the more ornate and complex costumes was the occasional couple in flip flops, just wanting to see what all the fuss is about. The couple was all smiles, posing with a group of Ghostbusters. The more macabre costumes were fewer this time around, giving a friendlier tone to the show all together. You couldn’t swing a Mighty Mugg and not hit a costumed superhero. I think this Heroic Age thing is catching on.
One of the more original costumes, and maybe my favorite of the weekend was a depiction of the series three Doctor Who episode, Blink, with a lurking angel statue constantly behind her. The best costumes are subtle, original and recognizable. Deadpools are a dime a dozen, but that girl from Who gets points.
Also, it should be noted that I walked around for seven hours on Saturday and only once, just once, did I faintly smell body odor. Those of you that have been in large crowds like this are familiar with the phenomenon known as geek stench. Maybe I just got lucky.
Even though superheroes were everywhere, you couldn’t help but notice the abundance of what I can only assume were anime costumes. I couldn’t tell you what most of them were only that some were impressive in design. There were members of the Fighting 501, Central Florida’s local faction of Storm Troopers. I may have put one or two out of their misery.
Another impressive aspect of the show, and most definitely a product of its low key nature, was the accessibility of the comic creators. On Sunday morning I was able to have a nice conversation with Georges Jeanty and slowly sift through his pages for sale. Watching Mike McKone finish off a commission of the Punisher was a fun sight to see. Tony Bedard was kind enough to reach in his bag and provide me with the issues I needed to fill in the gaps of my run of R.E.B.E.L.S.
All in all, it was a great weekend and a great show. I only got to scratch the surface though, not participating in the tournaments, action role-playing set ups or the Rave they had after the show on Saturday night. Think of it as a comic convention prom. Who knows, maybe next time?
Anyone south of the Georgia border interested in a friendly and inclusive genre event should give MegaCon a serious consideration. There was plenty to see, plenty of deals and a welcoming atmosphere that couldn’t be quantified.
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