MegaCon: The Good. The Bad. The Funtastic.

Welcome to MegaCon 2014!  Image Savanna Kiefer
Welcome to MegaCon 2014! Image Savanna Kiefer.

MegaCon in Orlando, Florida, was the place to be as a cosplayer in March. Attendance for the three-day event reached 80,000 and it’s my opinion that at least half of that was just on Saturday! With that said, I breakdown my weekend into the good, the bad, and the funtastic!

The Good:

  • MegaCon did not disappoint in the areas they could control, like the vendor room and celebrity guests. There was a nice variety of everything from voice actors and screen actors to comic book vendors and random geeky stores.
  • The autograph lines were, for the most part, quick and easy to get through. The bigger name guests had an assistant taking the money and asking you what you wanted, while another fan was actually visiting with the celebrity.
  • The ticket booths were well organized and staffed and when I was there at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, with the lines moving pretty quick.
  • The Lego area did not disappoint the children or adults and included a nice place for the kids to break out their creative juices and play.
  • The array of costumes on all three days was fantastic and I can say without a doubt that the cosplayers brought their best to the show.
  • My Zenescope Robyn Hood costume was a hit at the Zenescope booth and I had a lot of fun cosplaying with my husband and our newbie cosplaying friends, Ron and Michelle.

The Bad:

  • The North / South concourse has several escalators that costumers had to conquer to get into the event and depending on your costume, the escalators proved to be a little dangerous.
  • Instead of it being one giant food court, there were two smaller food courts with limited seating. The food was extremely overpriced ($10 for a pizza and $3 for bottled water) and there wasn’t that much of it. The Papa John’s stand had one of the longest lines and they ran out of pizza several times while I waited in line.
  • Ticket lines could have a been a bit shorter if MegaCon allowed attendees to pick up advanced tickets and press badges on Thursday instead of Friday.
  • Areas of interest, such as location of the comic book guests, food areas, artist alley, costume clubs, kids area, and celebrities could have been better marked with signs above the the convention floor, so people could look up and figure out where they needed to go.

The Funtastic:

My goals during MegaCon were simple: Meet Phil Lamarr (Baxter Stockman on TMNT), Rob Paulson (Donatello on TMNT), and Jason David Frank (Green Power Ranger), get my husband to meet James Marsters (Smallville), and pick up some good deals on comic books and art. I’m proud to say that I accomplished all of my goals.

I was really anxious to meet voice actor Phil Lamarr, because he plays Baxster Stockman on the Turtles and that is where my childhood nickname comes from. It was funny, because when he asked me my name for my autograph and I told him “Dakster,” he looked at me stunned and replied “Really? Really that’s your name?” and we shared a cool moment as I told him how I was given my nickname after Baxter Stockman of the Turtles. He thought it was equally cool and we talked for a few minutes about my 501st Legion trading cards that I gave him.

Rob Paulson was great to listen to, because as he talked to everyone, he would change his voice to the various different characters he portrays. I regret not asking him to do a little Donatello and Raphael for me.

Once I had my geek on, my husband and I journeyed over to see Jason David Frank and James Marsters. I could have stayed with Marsters all day, listening to him talk about Smallville and Moonshots, a movie in which he played Buzz Aldrin. My husband has been wanting his autograph and picture for three years and it was nice to finally see him have his moment with Braniac himself. Did I mention he has the coolest voice (and his looks don’t hurt either)?

Frank wasn’t as chatty as Marsters, but he was still a fun guy to meet.

Suggestions from a Cosplayer for Next Year:

  • Have a central booth in the vendor room to help answer questions about panels and celebrity signings.
  • Expand the kids’ zone to include a soft place for kids to sit down and take a break. This could be a spare panel room with activities and maybe a “kid-friendly” panel of their own.
  • For cosplayers, designate a “break” room with a “no cameras allowed” rule, so we can go in without worrying about cameras taking pictures of us fixing or taking a break from our costumes. Kind of like a cosplayers’ lounge. Sell bottled water in there if you want, but the space alone would be appreciated. If you wanted to kick it up a notch, have super glue, sewing kits, and duct tape (you can fix anything with duct tape) on hand to help cosplayers who have a wardrobe malfunction. To my knowledge, no other convention has something like this, so this could help MegaCon stand out to the cosplayers.

Overall, my MegaCon experience was just as amazing as it has been in the past. I came home with a nice stack of comic books I purchased at great prices, some wonderful art for my office, and memories that will hold me over until MegaCon returns on April 10, 2015.

Disclaimer: GeekMom was given a press pass into this event. 

Get the GeekDad Books!

   

Dakster Sullivan is a network administrator by day and a cosplayer by night. She loves discovering new books to read, tech to play with, and ways to express her herself. She has anxiety and depression and strives to educate others about these invisible illnesses.