From March 21 through March 23, MegaConvention will be taking over Orlando, Florida, in force. With big names like Stan Lee, Zeb Wells (Robot Chicken), Ron Pearlman (Hellboy), John Barrowman (Arrow), Karl Urban (Judge Dredd), Eliza Dushku (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), James Marsters (Smallville), Rob Paulson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and Jim Cummings (Tigger), this is the place to be.
Of course, we all have our own reasons for visiting a convention, so here I present to you the top 10 reasons I’m happily anxious for MegaConvention 2014!
1. Voice Actors Gone Wild! This is a must-see panel and includes some of my favorite voice actors, including Phil Lamarr (Green Lantern, The Daily Show), Rob Paulson (Pinky and the Brain, TMNT), Jennifer Hale (Aayla Secura in The Clone Wars), Jim Cummings (Tigger), and Quinton Flynn (Naruto). In this hour-and-a-half panel, the actors will read the script to Ghostbusters in voices of their own making. After the panel, I’m excited to get some autographs at their table located near the 501st Legion booth.
2. Aayla Secura. Due to the expense of the body paint, I only get to wear my Aayla Secura costume three to four times a year and MegaCon is one of those times. She’s my rock star costume and I’m eager to get airbrushed and suited up as my favorite Twi’lek in the Star Wars universe.
3. Comic Book Creator Lineup. This year, MegaCon is bringing in some of my favorite writers and artists, including Zeb Wells (Marvel’s Nova Now), Mark Waid (Daredevil), Skottie Young (AVX Babies, Oz), George Perez (Superman), and Neal Adams. Each of the these creators is special to me in some way, and I have a modest two items for each of them to sign.
4. It’s Family-friendly. If you’re bringing a little costumer in tow, check out the kids areas this year including the costume contest, Kid Zone, and Lego pit. I also have it on good authority that the 501st Legion will be showcasing some family-friendly displays and may even let you blast a stormtrooper with a Nerf gun. If you plan on bringing a stroller, I suggest you check out the convention on Friday or Sunday because the crowds won’t be as bad and you’ll be able to swivel in and out a bit easier.
If your child is interested in competing in the costume contest, make sure you hit up the 501st Legion booth first thing, because there are limited spots available.
5. Good Times With Friends. Two years ago, I met two good friends, Bill and Julie, while they were volunteering at the Hero Initiative booth. We talked comics for a bit that day and thanks to Facebook, we were able to become after-con friends. I also have a few friends in the 501st Legion that I only get to see a few times a year, including my best friend and fellow 501st Legion costumer, Mark. We always have the best times when hanging out and I can’t wait to see him again.
6. Artist Alley. This area alone takes me a day to walk and enjoy, because so many talented artists come to display what they have to offer. From crafts to art to independent creator-owned works, I never walk away from Artist Alley disappointed.
This year, four of my favorite artists will be in attendance: Graven Ravenwolf and his wife Monica Ravenwolf, The Art of Charles Thurston (check out his great kids books), and the Art of Danny. I plan on hitting up each of these great artists for something awesome to frame up in my office.
7. Comic Book Vendors. Since getting into comic books two years ago, I’ve learned the joy in going through boxes of comics and discovering something new. Sometimes, I’ll run into a creator or fan who will suggest a book and it’s nice to be around so many vendors who might just have the title on hand, and sometimes at a great price.
8. SuperHeroStuff.com. I don’t know about you, but I hate buying clothes online because of the shipping costs. MegaCon is great because it brings one of my favorite vendors, SuperHeroStuff.com, to me. A few of the vendors in the past haven’t been so reliable, so it’s nice to see SuperHeroStuff return with a bundle of goodies to check out.
9. Costumes, Costumes, and More Costumes. This is the place to see and be seen in Orlando, Florida, for costumes. Last year, I saw some amazing cosplayers both young, old, disabled, and some furry with four legs. I can’t wait to see what my fellow costumers bring this year.
10. Star Wars Fandom. My friends and fellow troopers in the 501st Legion, the Rebel Legion, the Southern R2 Builders Group, and the Mandalorian Mercs will be bringing the best of the best to show off at their booths, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with this year. Last year, we had an awesome turn out with Blast-A-Stormtrooper, Roxy the Rancor, and the trash compactor set. I have no doubt the gang will come up with something just as awesome this year.
MegaCon is family- and stroller-friendly. Tickets start at $25 for a one-day wristband and $60 for three days. Children 10 and under are free with a paying adult, but must be present when the adult purchases their ticket.