MegaCon, the annual, Orlando-based comic convention and nerd-fest certainly draws an eclectic cast of characters, and this year's event did not disappoint. Enthusiastically costumed attendees, local and national artists, and of course, celebrities both famous, and not so famous filled the Orange County Convention Center for a wild weekend. You couldn't swing an Ewok without hitting, say, The Hulk's Lou Ferrigno or a menagerie of fans dressed up as past and present incarnations of Doctor Who.
As a fan of all things geek, the possibilities at the event are infinite. The world of cosplay has gone far beyond hobby, and now has reached lifestyle status for many fans. Desiree Fantal, of Tampa attended MegaCon as Star Trek: The Next Generation's Geordi La Forge, and observed a lot in only her second time in costume.
Photo Credit - Desiree Fantal
“You can tell people who've really put care into their cosplays. There's pride in it. Cosplaying has become to me what Fashion Week is to other girls,” she remarked after the event concluded.
That's not to say of course, that it's a simple experience: “It's a little intimidating for a new person because serious Nerd Folk are severe. They judge your costumes, your accuracy — sometimes your knowledge of the game/movie/book your character is from. It's like a much cooler, scarier version of a final exam.”
MegaCon has only grown in popularity since its inception in 1993, and the crowds this year likely would have surpassed even The Death Star's maximum number of occupants. Attending a weekend Con on a Saturday is always a risky proposition, but this year in particular it was difficult for one to not be overwhelmed by the sheer mass of geekdom crammed in the hall from end to end.
The main draw this year was a Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion, that brought together the entire original cast from the iconic series. A special Q&A with the cast was a particular highlight of the weekend, with anecdotes and funny tales shared with an attentive crowd. Captain Picard himself, Patrick Stewart is no stranger to nerd franchises, and was subject to this fan's modification to the facilities.
Judging by the positive vibe of the event, the thousands in attendance made MegaCon a success. Ghost Hunters shared spooky tales. The Jar Jar Defense Committee commiserated with The Lone Wanderer from Fallout regarding the infamous Gungan's merits. Girls who may be overlooked in their regular lives fulfilled their (and likely their nerdy male counterparts) fantasies with corseted-delight. Until next year MegaCon, live long, and may the Force be forever in your favor.
It's your heart that you might find racing faster than a speeding bullet as you try to keep up, your traveling party a blip in the distance, mixed among rogues and heroes, droids and Doctors. Who but the man made of steel can remain calm when suddenly The Joker steps on your foot in an awkward matter, forcing you to careen face first into the breasts of one of the many Lara Crofts in attendance? Yes, the role of comic convention attendee can be more harrowing than avoiding the spikes, both metal and political in Game of Thrones' fictional land of Westeros.
You are at MegaCon, and unless you want to get swallowed up in a nerd vortex, you best be on your toes.