My wife and I got an…odd…Christmas present last year from her sister.
Tickets to the comic book/anime/game/pop culture fest known as MegaCon.
The interesting thing was that there was just the two of us….and she gave us four tickets. As we both figured, though, it was a sort of ‘back door’ set up so we’d take her son and a friend of his to the convention. It’s up in Orlando, only about an hour and a half away, so not too bad and our nephew was pretty stoked to get to go.
His first question to us was….”Who are you guys dressing up as?”
Yeah…spandex and me, we’ll we’re not on speaking terms…especially at this point in my life. I’ve been to dozens of conventions, from GenCon to BotCon to Origins to ToddCon (a friend ran his own gaming convention one year in his basement…don’t ask) and I’ve yet to dress up for any of them. This time was to be no different.
He was excited, though, and that was cool. His original idea was to go as the Fourth (Tom Baker) Doctor, but he had issues getting the long scarf so he shelved that idea. I didn’t know who he was going as until he and his friend showed up at the house this morning, dressed as Castiel from Supernatural. I also learned that the character of Castiel’s tie is always turned around and messed up…something I’d never noticed before. The things you can learn from cosplaying.
The worst part about going was getting there. I guess we picked the wrong time to head up because the traffic by the Orange County Convention Center was terrible. I took us about forty-five minutes to get from the exit to the parking lot. It should have taken us only about five…..ugh! Once we got there, though, things picked up a bit. There were a ton of cosplayers….you know…people who dress up as their favorite comic book or anime character and stroll around. I’m not big on asking people to pose so I mainly just snapped some pics on the fly of some of the ones I thought looked cool.
My only regret was not asking the group dressed as The Thundercats if they’d stop for a pic as we were leaving. They looked pretty darn cool.
A few of the cosplayers….
Usually, when I go to a Con, I tend to look at it as just that….a con. At least when it comes to some of the prices. As per usual with events like this, everything seems like it’s overpriced. We bought a half of a roast beef sandwich and a bottle of water for $13.00. Well, when they got ya…they got ya. Had we been more prepared we would have smuggled some snacks or sandwiches in with us….like when we go to the movies… *ahem*
One thing I did think was worth the price was one of my all time favorite comic book artists, George Perez, doing headshot sketches for $40.00 to help The Hero Initiative. We thought it was a great cause and asked Mr. Perez to do up a Wonder Woman for us. As I mentioned in my post about the last time I went to MegaCon, Mr. Perez is great and a real prince when it comes to the fans. He looked as busy as all get out, but still posed for pictures, shook hands and chatted, even as he worked.
He did this up in about five minutes. The man is fast and amazing.
Well worth the price and for a great cause. We also watched him draw a Zatanna for a guy and signed his name backwards. If you know anything about the character, you’ll get it 🙂
We also picked up a few other nifty things….
A couple of Doctor Who posters….
And a few nerd shirts…..
While I wasn’t too thrilled about them, my wife just had to have these magnets, so…..
All in all we had a pretty good time, though the place was packed. I will say that the crowd was pretty polite. I had quite a few people bump in to me and the vast majority of them, at least, offered a “sorry”, if not an “excuse me”. After years of going to conventions, you start to notice these small details. Another small detail I tend to notice are the smells. Way back when, body odor was the most prevalent scent wafting through the air, but I guess the crowds have matured and evolved as I think I might have smelled it just once. I know….strange…but still, it’s a part of the experience.
Unlike the last time I attended MegaCon, this year they had all the celebrities and faux-lebrities (yeah Wil Wheaton, I’m looking at you) behind curtains so you couldn’t even get a look at them unless you paid for the privilege. This, at least to me, wasn’t worth the price.
To be totally honest, this really turns me off about the convention experience. I mean, honestly, do they think some guy, taking a pic with his phone camera, at fifty feet, is going to cut into their “Have A Picture Taken With Harry Potter’s The Weasley Brothers for $60.00” business? I have no doubt that people will still pay for the up close and personal experience, but I guess the convention organizers weren’t as confident.
Oh well, those kind of things are to be expected when there’s the potential for money-making and, as I said, we still had a great time and the ride home was so much nicer than the ride up.
Maybe we’ll go again next year, so check back then and I’ll let you know.
Until next time…