Saturday, January 9, 2010

Guide to MegaCon 2010: An Introduction

This will be the first of many installments in the guide to MegaCon 2010! The guide will introduce you to what MegaCon is, how to prepare for the convention, and how to enjoy the convention to its fullest.

MegaCon is Florida’s largest geek convention, covering comic books, science fiction, anime, gaming, and anything else considered nerdy! The event takes place from Friday, March 12th to Sunday, March 14th at the West Building of the Orange County Convention Center in Hall D. Thousands of fans will be at the convention along with nearly a hundred entertainment industry guests and lots of merchandise vendors.

The main section of MegaCon is the Exhibitors’ Hall, also known as the Dealers’ Room. The Exhibitors’ Hall will feature many things, including:
  • Vendors selling comic book, anime, sci-fi, games, porn, and lots of collectible merchandise
    • Anime merchandise includes manga, DVDs, BluRays, figures, statues, music CDs, posters, wallscrolls, hentai, doujinshi, Japanese candy and drinks, and much more.
  • An Artist Alley featuring professional comic book artists and aspiring amateurs
  • Beating people with padded weapons in "Barbarian Battles" tournaments
  • Console videogaming featuring casual play and tournaments
  • Autographs and photograph sessions with media guests.
  • Lots of people wandering around aimlessly
MegaCon is known by regulars as a “Dealer Room” convention, implying that there is nothing else to do at MegaCon besides buying comic books and anime stuff. Having worked in the anime events track at MegaCon for the past three years, I know that is not the case. One of the main reasons I am writing this guide is so that people are aware that there is far more to do at MegaCon, especially if you are an anime fan. I’m actually tailoring this guide specifically to anime fans(this is an anime club, after all), but hopefully any comic book or sci-fi fans who have stumbled here may find these upcoming articles informative.

Upon entering MegaCon, besides the Exhibitors’ Hall, you will notice that there is a very large amount of cosplay happening. MegaCon is a great place to show off your new costume and get lots of pictures. Many groups are formed and there’s even a giant anime costume contest organized by Anime Sushi every year. Cosplaying is a great way to show off what you are a fan of and an easy way to spot people with similar interests! There’s a dark side to it as well, but I’ll let you guys discover that for yourselves.

Like I mentioned before, there will be a lot of guests at MegaCon this year. There will be many comic -book writers and artists(I look forward to seeing Alvin Lee and Frank Cho the most), has-been pro wrestlers and centerfold models, and plenty of actors and actresses that were big 15 or more years ago. Actually, more than half of MegaCon’s guest list consists of people who haven’t had a spark in their career in a very long time.

The Reading Rainbow guy will be there. You have to be excited.

There will be several anime voice actors at MegaCon this year. The most notable is Sonny Straight, who has performed as Krillin in Dragonball Z, Maes Hughes in Full Metal Alchemist, Usopp in One Piece, Arsene Lupin III in Lupin III, just to name some of his bigger roles. He also has done a tremendous amount of ADR work for Funimation. Chuck Hebber(Hiei from Yu Yu Hakusho, Franken Stein from Soul Eater), Cherami Leigh(Soul Eater, Peach Girl, Sgt. Frog), and Darrel Guilbeagh(Code Geass, Zoids Genesis) will also be there. I do not know if there will be more voice actors, though Funimation does an industry panel every year. Voice actors are available for autographs and photos in the exhibition hall and they do panels about their work in the anime events track at MegaCon.

There will be four rooms dedicated to anime fandom and anything Japanese-related at MegaCon. Since the beginning, Anime Sushi has put on much of the anime programming, leading the charge with Florida’s biggest anime costume contest and the Cyberia Dance Party(featuring electro, house, jpop, and glowsticks). They will also be hosting the AMV Contest, Iron Cosplay, and other events that they will announce in the near future!

Other groups have assisted Anime Sushi in providing anime fans with entertainment at the convention and the Propeller Anime Club will be a force at MegaCon for the second year in a row, hosting the Ninja Olympics, Karaoke, the Quickdraw! Contest, and lots of fan panels discussing anime and videogames. The anime events track at MegaCon is excellent yet often not recognized enough by anime goers. Hell, people who know that I’ve been working MegaCon for three years didn’t even know that there were events outside the Exhibition Hall until I recently told them.

Hence, the guide.

This has been just an introduction into what MegaCon has to offer. I will go more in-depth on the events and other fun of MegaCon over the next couple months. MegaCon is a really fun convention if you really try to experience more than just the Exhibitors’ Hall. After you have read the guide, you’ll have a much better idea of what the convention has to offer!

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