By VERONICA GRAY
Nerds prepare for weeks on end for the start of convention, or “con,” season. This is the season in the months spanning from May to August, maybe a even few late fall months, when comic cons, anime cons and many others start popping up around the nation. While the big dream is to get to San Diego Comic Con, fans of all ages can attend conventions right here in Florida.
Last year, Tampa Bay Comic Con (TBCC) brought out the stars with Jenna Coleman (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Carrie Fisher (Star Wars). This year’s con, which took place August 5-7, was no different. The celebrity line up included stars from a wide variety of genres with Ian McDiarmid (Star Wars), Jack Gleeson (HBO’s Game of Thrones), and Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) as some of the big names. Other draws to the convention were Sean Asin (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), panels with published authors giving writing tips to aspiring sci-fi and fantasy writers and a special shadow cast showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show Saturday night followed by an on site party.
There is more exciting news ahead for the next con, MegaCon Tampa Bay. Coming Halloween weekend (Oct. 28-30) from Fan Expo HQ, creators of MegaCon Orlando and Fan Expo Dallas, MegaCon Tampa Bay promises to be a star studded event. MegaCon has already announced celebrities like David Tennant (Doctor Who, Jessica Jones), William Shatner (Star Trek) and Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter films). More celebrity guests are due to be announced in the coming weeks.
The great part about TBCC, MegaCon and other cons, is that they can be enjoyed whether in a group of two, four, or more friends cosplaying and taking on the vendors together, or geeking out alone in a panel featuring a favorite celebrity. Like cosplaying, it is not necessary to have a group of friends to have fun at cons in the area, but it can be more enjoyable when you dress up, act the part and have a few friends to geek out with you (or to hold all of those really awesome collectables you found). The point of the convention is to have fun, whether that means you go at it alone or have assembled the best cosplay team, TBCC and MegaCon are a great places to hang out, take a ton of pictures, grab that rare collectable you’ve been searching for and meet your favorite celebrity all in the same day.
At MegaCon there will be panels, celebrity signings and photo ops, and hundreds of vendors all packed into three days of nerd heaven at the Tampa Convention Center. Grab your friends, or just your best college budget cosplay and plan to join thousands of other nerds and geeks alike this October For tickets and more information on the event, check out http://www.megacontampabay.com.
Veronica Gray can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.