Until Next Year: MegaCon 2015

MegaCon 2015 - Me, my brother, and some random guy  Image:  Celeb Photo Ops. Used with permission.
MegaCon 2015 – Me, my brother, and some random guy. Image: Celeb Photo Ops. Used with permission.

MegaCon 2015 was a huge success this year in Orlando, Florida. With a wide variety of celebrities, artists, vendors, and cosplayers, it was a weekend of diversity.

This year I had three goals: meet Michael Rooker from Guardians of the Galaxy, get a mini painting from Katie Cook, and get my picture with Stan Lee. I accomplished all three and each was as different as the next.

On Friday, I took the opportunity to stop by Michael Rooker’s table and I could have stood there and listen to him interact with people all day. I was super nervous to get his autograph and a picture and could barely talk the entire time (damn anxiety!). During our brief 2-minute interaction, I got his autograph, took a picture with him, and got a total of three hugs. He also invited me into his next photo, which was with my brother, for a group shot of us flipping off the camera (he said it means “I love you“). It was the highlight of my first day and well worth the $90 I spent ($40 for the picture and $50 for the autograph).

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Even though Michael Rooker says it means, "I love you," I think I'll keep it kid friendly in here.  Image: Dakster Sullivan
Even though Michael Rooker says it means, “I love you,” I think I’ll keep it kid-friendly in here. Image: Dakster Sullivan

My next stop after Michael Rooker was My Little Pony and Gronk writer and artist Katie Cook.

Katie Cook is one of my favorite authors, artists, and all around nerds. I follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (does that make me a social media stalker?) and I’ve memed her dogs (who should have their own Facebook page in their own right). On the top of my shopping list at her booth was a mini painting of my own. A mass the box full of choices she brought with her, and the option of having one drawn for you on the spot, I choose one of my spirit pony, Pinkie Pie and her party canon. I also asked her to draw me one of my mom’s pups for her birthday and a Deadpool for my younger brother. It was some of the best $30 I spent the entire weekend.

Saturday was my cosplay day and I spent about half of it in my latest cosplay build, Batgirl. I’m especially proud of this costume because my husband built my cowl (not bad for his first time) and I did the sewing of my belts and pouches. My little brother debuted his first cosplay, Red Hood. We were a happy little Batman team with so many positive comments on our builds that day.

Our group this year consisted of Wonder Woman, myself (batgirl), my brother (Red Hood), The Rocketeer, and Jango Fett (my husband) / Image: Jim Carchidi
Our group this year consisted of Wonder Woman, myself (Batgirl), my brother (Red Hood), The Rocketeer, and Jango Fett (my husband) / Image: Jim Carchidi

Sunday was my shopping and Stan Lee day.

To start, I understand Stan Lee has a ton of fans to see and get through each day, but the photo op with him was probably the most impersonal thing I’ve ever done. I would have gladly paid more money for the photo op in exchange for an interaction that was more than “Put your stuff down. Walk behind. Smile. Leave.” No words were spoken. No real “moment” was had. I’m not saying that I regret doing it, because it was something that my little brother and I did together and will cherish for a long time. It just wasn’t nearly as exciting as I expected. My brother on the other hand, was shaking from the excitement when we left. If he comes back next year, I think I’ll do the autograph session instead for the chance at a slower moment in his presence.

I know he is awesome with his fans because a friend of mine ran into him outside the restrooms and Stan actually asked for a picture of him and his cosplay group.

This is what happens when you are standing outside the restroom at the right time. 219th Brain Surgeons, we are an Umbrella Corporation group from the Resident Evil franchise and Stan Lee  Image: Thom Sousa Used with permission
This is what happens when you are standing outside the restroom at the right time. 219th Brain Surgeons, we are an Umbrella Corporation group from the Resident Evil franchise and Stan Lee Image: Thom Sousa

With my third and final goal complete, I used the rest of the day to hit up the vendors for some goodies.

In past years, it felt like half of the floor was taken up by comic book shops or toy sellers. This year there was a nice mix of everything and not too much of it either.

SuperHeroStuff.com came again this year and debuted their Hero Boxes! I reviewed one of these boxes last year and it was by far my favorite subscription box out there so far. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but you get your money’s worth. I also picked up a few other items that I’ll be reviewing in a separate post here on GeekMom.

My favorite purchase this year was a “Surprise” Optimus Prime lightbox from Ransom Designs. I love this piece because it has a different image that shows up in the background behind Optimus when you turn it on. It was also the priciest thing I bought all weekend at $75.  A friend of mine surprised me with an original sketch of SquirrelPool from artist Charles Thurston, who was hanging out in artist alley.

SquirrelPool by artist Charles Thurston.  Image: Dakster Sullivan
SquirrelPool by artist Charles Thurston. Image: Dakster Sullivan

The vendors and the talent weren’t the only varied things this year. The cosplayers came in a wide variety as well.

Instead of the usual bunches of Harley Quinns, Deadpools, and Batgirls, it seemed like every genre was represented in its own unique way. I ran into a family cosplaying as Batgirl, Red Hood, and their 2-year-old son was wearing a Batman shirt. Another family did up their stroller in Steampunk awesomeness and they were all dressed in the same style. I ran into a cute cosplay family where all the little boys were TMNT and their sister was April O’Neal (2013 series version). They told me they almost had a Splinter join them, but he changed his mind.

Despite wanting to spend some time in the hallways this year, I had so much fun at the vendors and the main room that I hardly spent any time there.

The biggest news of the weekend was that MegaCon was bought out by FanBoy Expo. As with any buyout, there are rumors abound, but one thing has been confirmed: the convention has been moved to Memorial Day weekend next year and will last four days instead of three. This change puts the convention happening not only during a holiday weekend, but also at the same time and in close proximity to Spooky Empire.

For attendees, this will mean for higher hotel rates, larger crowds, and more traffic to get in and out. From a business standpoint, it’s a financially smart move for not only the convention, but the businesses surrounding it. It will be interesting to see what happens and what impact this change will have on the crowds. With the date being set during Star Wars Weekends I already know of one group that will not be able to attend.

Anyway you slice it, MegaCon 2015 was one of my favorite events of the run. From meeting Michael Rooker, standing by Stan Lee for a photo, getting a mini painting from Katie Cook, and spending quality time with my husband and brother, I don’t see how 2016 could be any better.

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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.