This weekend on something of a whim, Kevin and I went to MegaCon Orlando. It was my first time at a chain con-you know, the kind where they’re massive and part of a major business. I’m much more familiar with smaller, fan-run cons like Shoreleave and MISTI. (It turns out I also prefer them, but we’ll get to that.)
We bought Saturday-only tickets and, thanks to our tendency to over-estimate how much time we’ll need to get ready, we arrived an hour before the con even opened. Since it took just silly amounts of walking to get anywhere in the convention center, that worked out.
The ticket area cleverly led right into the Vendors’ Hall, which was dazzling both in terms of size and variety. At one point I kept saying to Kevin “That sounds like tattoo needles. Doesn’t that sound like tattoo needles?” only to turn the corner and find myself face-to-face with an entire aisle of tattoo artists doing on-the-spot body art. (I assume this section was for attendees with poor impulse control.)
The other thing that I found bewildering about the vendors’ space was that there were non-con vendors there. I saw about a thousand comic artists, but around the edges they also had NASA (cool), 5 Hour Energy (okay) and Geico (what?). Upon reflection it made sense, since I’m pretty sure MegaCon is a business above all and anything that brings in more funds will be welcome.
I ended up spending 18$ on two cat-ear headbands because I’ve been lusting after them ever since I first saw them. I got a ‘formal’ black lace pair and this pair, which I wore the rest of the day. And Sunday. And probably this afternoon:
I went to some of the programming, but very little of it actually caught (or held) my attention. The group that had the most interesting panels was the Central Florida Steampunk Association. Here’s my favorite picture from Teapot Racing, a sport which combines rules lawyering, bribery, and engineering ingenuity:
I also enjoyed the “Bizarre Japanese Commercials” panel because that’s always good fun. Plus, it was 100% ads I’d never seen before. (Poor Anchan.)
Kevin went to panels with famous people while I was watching parasol jousting and teapot racing. According to him, the best one was John Cena, who was hilarious, genuinely engaged with his fans, and completely cool. Apparently the staff tried to cut him off at half an hour and he refused to give up his microphone.
But as with every con, the best entertainment was to be had from the cosplayers. Since MegaCon isn’t a fandom-specific con there were costumes from every fandom imaginable. Here are a few of my favorites:
There were about a thousand more that I loved, or that I loved and didn’t get pictures of (including SO MANY Rose Quartz-es in wedding dresses and a Baymax with tiny human feet sticking out the bottom that made me giggle). Cosplayers are the most creative, beautiful people.
On the whole, I’m not sure that MegaCon is for me, or that I’ll go back again. Unless there’s a Very Cool Famous Person attending that I want to see IRL or maybe spend a gazillion dollars getting an autograph. But honestly, I like my cons to be a more all-encompassing experience, where I know people and there’s so much to do my head spins. So smaller and more focused makes sense for me. MegaCon feels too “business-y” for me. But I know that a lot of people enjoy it, so of course to each their own.
Were any of you at MegaCon? Did I miss something awesome? What’s your favorite type of con? Let me know!
P.S. My mss is at 60,000 words! Yeah we celebrated. That’s, like, an entire book.