Not sure what to do this weekend? Not sure where to meet geeks of your kind? Weekend preview will light your way. Here is one to look forward to this weekend!
Hey Nerdites! What’s that sound? Is it the singing of It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year? Okay, maybe not, but convention season has started and for many of us it marks our favorite weekend all year long. This time a year ago I had not yet attended a convention. Oblivious to what I was missing, I went about my life thinking all was grand and wonderful. Then I found MegaCon. The major Orlando convention not only introduced me to a new world, it reshaped me into a better nerd. I can remember seeing Daleks and scarfs abound, thinking, “I think that has something to do with Doctor Who…” now I am a full on Whovian caught up on the current episodes and perusing the old. I also experienced my first panels with DC’s New 52 leading the chat. I met some wonderful celebrities, including the amazing Loren Cohan, currently playing Maggie on The Walking Dead. But above all that it gave me my first artist alley, my home away from home. All in all it was the benchmark for what turned out to be a terrific convention season for me last year.
The convention, which starts tomorrow and runs through Sunday, is a large multi-entertainment event that has been around since 1993. Housed in the Orlando Convention Center, one of my favorite things about MegaCon is how well laid out it was last year. Show runners Elizabeth Widera and her daughter, Christine Alger, divided the oversized convention hall in such a way that there was no bog down. This is particularly noticeable and important in Artist Alley where I like to linger and chat with creators. They also have a well-defined vendors area, celebrity area, anime area, and even tattoo section. Lines moved well and were really only long for certain celebrities. Add in a few thousand cos-players and you have a great experience for all involved.
So what is their to be excited about? Well I can’t list it all here but I will give a few people I will be stopping by to see and even a couple of events to attend.
You should really make an attempt to say hello to everyone in Artist Alley. Sure there will be things that you are not interested in, but you never know when you will meet a new friend. MegaCon was great for me not only because it exposed me to my first con but it also introduced me to some of my fellow Florida nerds and people who I now really enjoy seeing!
The Ladies of Womanthology:
Rachel Pandich is not only a valuable member to the Womanthology team of creators and writer of the amazing comic Aspire, she is also witty and a wonderful person to chat with. Located at Red 9, make sure to stop by and say hello and pick up a copy of Aspire, a wonderful tale of a girl trying to find herself while looking for her father’s killer.
Kate Carleton actually collaborated with Rachel on a story in Womanthology. Her art is fun and clean and cute in a way that brings a smile to your face. After a recent successful Kickstarter – with boyfriend and partner in crime Josh Dykstra – she may be a little busy at Brown 6, but stop by and pick up Facebeast and other Naughty Bicycle merchandise anyway.
I have not met Danielle Gransaull, but I anticipate stopping by Orange 2 and saying hello. Her webcomic, Life with Death, is a cute portrayal of a family of demons and reapers.
I think Jamie Tyndall and George Perez must be going for perfect attendance. With the exception of some small local conventions, they have been at every event I have attended. Jamie’s work may not be suitable for children, but it is stunning and eye-catching enough you will stop dead in your tracks as you come to Black 17. He is also a favorite of our very own Nerd who has several of his prints on display. Oh and George Perez…well it is George Perez, what needs to be said?
If Aya Knight‘s name was not awesome enough I hear her book series Chronicles of Kale is amazing. It is currently one that is sitting on my “to be read” stack, but it is one I am excited about. Having met the author briefly before, I can tell you that she is super nice and worth the stop at Burgundy 7.
Peter Nguyen is a name you should become familiar with. I love Terry McGinnis along with anything the universe of Batman Beyond and Peter’s work there is tremendous. I have every intention of picking up a new print from Black 14.
Tara Abbamondi is a comic creator I discovered through a friend of the site. She uses strong lines and subdued colors to appeal to the reader in her books, The Stolen Lovelight and Puddles. Make sure to swing by Red 1 and say hello.
I have never met Mike Maihack, but his cute representations of characters like Batgirl, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman are enough that my daughter and I will run to see his prints. If you love awesome girl heroes being awesome make sure to stop at White 7.
There are always a ton of events, panels, and parties for a convention but I am going to limit myself to two. As many of you know Star Trek: The Next Generation recently celebrated a 25th birthday, and has taken to some reunions as a result. Well the cast has teamed up again for some special events for MegaCon, including a reunion panel Saturday evening at 6:30. The panel will cost you a little extra to get into, but with this list of attendees I am sure it will be packed:
Add in writer Morgan Gendel, and this is every TNG fans dream.
Once you are done there, then you can swing over to the Sleuths theatre for some nerdy burlesque. While not officially linked to the convention, the Skill Focus Burlesque troupe and their shows are quickly become a tradition of mine. With this year’s show focused on classic games, and assortment of themed drinks, and more fun than you can probably handle, you will want to make sure you are at the doors for 9 on Saturday.
Other Must Sees:
There are a ton of people to see here, but the last few are ones that I will go out of my way to see. That may mean long lines, but they are worth it.
Tara Strong has been at several conventions I have attended, but her lines are always wicked long. This time though I will wait so that I can say hello to the voice actress. Maybe I can get her to record a promo as Timmy or Bubbles.
I may not have read the new Watchmen stuff, but Darwyn Cooke‘s books got some great reviews, and his New Frontier is one of my favorite stories. I may not even have him sign anything, but just stand there sputtering.
I have met both Gail Simone and Francesco Francavilla, but I will finish with them. They have been not only among my favorite creators but in each of my encounters with them they have been amazing. I know everyone is nice at signings and conventions, but some people are genuine, and these two certainly exude that. Again I may not even have anything for them to sign, but any chance to thank them for their amazing work is a chance I will take.
So there you have it. No complaints about what to do this weekend. The show starts at 1 pm on Friday and I expect to see a huge turnout. Online tickets are closed but they still will have plenty of tickets the day of. I will be wearing my Word of The Nerd shirt so make sure to stop and say hello. Until next time, stay nerdy.
Want more of a sneak peak, check out my pictures from last year’s show here!