MegaCon Orlando 2019 was four days of pop culture, comics, games, and more smack dab in the middle of Orlando, Florida. This was my first time returning to MegaCon since 2013 and I was more than excited to see how much had changed since the last time I’d been. Going from Friday to Sunday was a pretty fantastic experience!
As a con that draws more than 100,000 attendees, MegaCon is the biggest convention in the Southeast U.S. The con takes place in the Orange County Convention Center, which has more than enough room for such a large number of fans all gathered in one place. Upon first entering the con, I was super impressed with the easy maneuverability in getting our badges; which was a fairly streamlined process. Once we got our badges, we were able to head into the main convention hall!
The largest part of the convention was made up of a gigantic artist alley, vendor’s area, the signing/photo op area, and a pretty wide variety of prop items to take photos with. The vendor’s area was quite massive, taking up a good portion of the 92,000 square foot area that the convention was taking place in. Your typical vendor wares were all there, ranging from booths selling comics, signed memorabilia, clothing, and nerdy merch. The signing area was host to a pretty decent amount of different actors, voice actors, and cosplay guests.
For me, one of the best things at any convention is the artist alley. And the one at MegaCon 2019 was probably the biggest one I’ve been in! Judging by the complete list of artists available on their site, there was well over 100 artists tabling. My friend and I made plenty of rounds through the artist alley this year and I picked up some awesome prints that I’ve now got displayed! I tend to gravitate more towards the artist alleys at cons because the art and merch available there is always unique and I usually end up having plenty of cool conversations with the artists.
One section of the main hall was designated as the community zone where a pretty large part was dedicated to the 501st Legion, the Mandalorian Mercs, and the Rebel Legion Star Wars Costume Group. They’re all groups that create amazing costumes related to Star Wars, and seeing them all at MegaCon was quite cool! They all had tables, props and costumes on display, and people who were members of each respective group. This was a great area for any fan of Star Wars to check out.
And like any con, big or small, there was plenty of cosplay to check out. There were a number of meetups for different cosplays, from Disney to Marvel. But just being in the convention hall I spotted some awesome cosplays. There was a trio cosplaying Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy. They looked pretty fantastic and I had to weave through a decent crowd to grab a picture. I saw some gorgeous Marvel and Star Wars-related cosplays as well as some insanely detailed Borderlands cosplays! All in all, the cosplay on display at MegaCon was top-notch!
And lastly, there were plenty of interesting panels to check out. I personally made it to quite a few, including a panel on Japanese horror films and shorts, comics writing, and an improv show called the Improvengers. There were so many interesting panels that I unfortunately didn’t get to attend, but just from the titles and descriptions I’m sure people who got to attend had fun.
The comics writing panel featured a few comic writers in the industry that were also tabling at the convention. They introduced themselves and went over how they started writing comics and a bit of bio on their overall career paths so far. They did offer some advice to writers who were looking to get into the industry by way of suggesting that one start out making short comics as a way to get a handle on creating a story with a beginning, middle, and end. I’ve heard similar advice passed around in relation comic writing before and it seems like solid advice for people interested in writing comics!
The panel that stood out the most to me was the Q&A with the cast of Red Dead Redemption. This took place on Friday and featured the voice actors Roger Clark, Rob Wiethoff, and Alex McKenna. The cast talked about what it was like doing motion capture over several years for the game, some thoughts on their favorite parts of Red Dead Redemption 2, and just what being a part of making the game was like in general. They all seemed super excited to be at the convention and the crowd asked some fantastic questions for them to answer. It was a pretty fun time and I’m glad I was able to see the panel in its entirety!
Overall, MegaCon 2019 was a great experience! I got to spend a fun weekend with my friend doing things we love and just generally being surrounded by all things nerdy. Conventions are always a good time and MegaCon was no exception.