Megacon 2010 was held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida March 12-14. The largest convention of its kind in the area, it combines the fanbases of science fiction, anime, video games, comic books, horror movies and more over the three-day extravaganza. While not as big as New York or San Diego Comic Con, E3, or the like, it does have a sizable draw of celebrities. This year’s cast had a slew of Star Trek actors including Robert Picardo, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton and Nichelle Nichols alongside actress Virginia Hey, anime voice actor and director Sonny Strait, and even pro wrestler Jerry Lawler.
Having grown up in the Orlando area, I’ve attended Megacon at least 10 times now, and I never had as much trouble with parking and getting around as I did this year. On Friday, there was almost no problems, the smaller crowd during the work day meant that parking was quick and painless, but on Saturday, it took somewhere close to an hour and half or two hours for us to finally get parked. It was incredibly frustrating, and I hope that it was an aberration and not what to expect from future versions of the convention.
On Friday, there was a fairly smallish crowd, which meant that the dealer’s area was pretty easy to navigate and none of the panels and viewing rooms were filled up. I was able to meet various comic book artists and members of the anime community without having to wait in line. I also took in a few panels: one by Sonny Strait on voice acting and directing that was pretty laid back and free-form but pretty enjoyable, and one presented by a local anime club that was a little disappointing. I also spent some time in the viewing room watching a few episodes of various anime, all Japanese with English subtitles. They were having a showing of the Evangelion 1.11 movie that night, but due to other obligations, I had to leave the convention before I could enjoy it.
Saturday, as indicated by the parking situation, was a madhouse. The hall was packed to the gills with people in costumes ranging from Pikachu to Master Chief to Dark Helmet and everything in between because that was the day of the costume contest. While the dealer room remained open for people to buy merchandise and meet celebrities, the viewing and panel rooms all closed quite early to make space for the massive cosplay contest. If memory serves, in years past they closed most, but not all of the panel rooms to accommodate the contest; so, this goes to show just how big the contest has become. The contest room was packed with people and without an official press pass, we didn’t get the chance to enjoy the festivities because we weren’t willing to sacrifice the rest of our day by waiting in line for the contest.
This is only the second time I have gone to Megacon and I only attended Saturday.
Due to the parking issues Dan mentioned I got started late in the day (although sooner than Dan) so I had to choose between hitting the dealer floor to see the celebs and comic artists, or going to some panels. I choose the dealer floor. Next year I’m getting the 3 day pass so I can go to more of the panels. I found the dealers room to be lacking in variety this year. Last years vendors had the same type of stuff (i.e. comics, manga, anime, figurines, etc….) but the overlap in specific product was very small. This year damn near everyone was selling the same stuff at the same price.
Since the cosplay contest is held on Saturday that is the day to go if you want to see the best
eye candy costumes, and unfortunately if you want to see the worst. I just couldn’t force myself to take pictures of the attendees that showed WAAAAYYYYY to much skin and didn’t have the bodies to pull it off. For a lot of the day I felt like I was Larping Pokemon SNAP! as I tried to catch up to the slutty pikachu girl. I am happy to have gotten a pic of the mudkip. (Obligatory “So I hear you like Mudkips.”)
I have to ask. WHO SHOWS UP TO A CON TO GET A TATTOO!!!! Seriously, Why would you do that? That shouldn’t be an impulse buy. But there’s tat shop in the dealers room with 3-4 artists working. It just boggles my mind that this would be a good idea to someone.
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