Jesse James writes;
If there’s one thing of note about MegaCon, it’s that it represents the beginning of Con season for the year.
And the advent of Con season nowadays signals something much more intense that it once did. The days of just driving up to a convention and just parking has come to a end. My 2 hour wait to park was very irksome; especially as I could see all the other fans going into the convention building right in in front of me, while I fought to get into the main line just to get in line for the parking garage.
But, once inside the madness really began.
The one thing that I don’t like right up front, is that there was a separation wall between artist alley and the main publisher/guest artist area. Artist alley is huge and you can get overwhelmed with all the talent in all the many rows. It was quite crowded and in some instances I had to squeeze to get to the other side of a table. This is all good though. I like seeing creators busy and jammed packed with fan attention. You can tell the rookies because they almost all have a “deer in the headlights” look. There where a lot of rookies at this show, sometimes three to four in a row. I’m hoping next year placement is a little better planned and maybe roomier. Seating a lot of rookie artist next to each others isn’t a good thing from a variety viewpoint, but is sometimes unavoidable.
The publishers area was a lot less hectic; in fact it was often very surprising to see some of the publishers not really doing much. There really seemed to be a lot fewer buyers this year. I talked to many Publishers and Vendors and you could sort of read in their mood that they were not hitting their goals as well as they expected. Don’t get me wrong, there where a couple of publishers having a great con, but again, Florida has always had a passion for pin up and bad girl comics. but, in the words of Ronald Reagan (sort of) “MegaCon tear down that wall!” in between the two artist areas and keep everybody moving on both sides. This would create more opportunity for sales; more fans to view the art. Also fans like to see the overall size of a con. It gets them excited when the energy and excitement sweeps them along–and opens their pocket books even more.
I spent a great amount of time with Whilce Portacio and old friend, Brian Pulido. Just talking about the comic book world in general. Whilce did a AWESOME Hawkeye for me and well worth my donation to Hero Initiative.
Flying back, I came to one conclusion on MegaCon that put all the confusion in the main hall into perspective. Its something that many have talked about, but until MegaCon it was thought to be just a myth; MegaCon has become a Cosplay Con. In fact, even I got caught up in all the Cosplayers. They were everywhere and anywhere at this con; they were the hit of the show. Many will say that’s a good thing. In several of my previous articles, I have always talked about how I feel cosplayers are needed to make a successful con. However, in this case they overwhelmed the rest of the con by sheer numbers.
Here’s the thing, have you ever seen a cosplayer with bags in their hands? Very rarely, and for cons to remain successful, they have to attract fans who want to spend money with the vendors. This attracts vendors, who in turn want to come back the next year. Also, the traditional mainstream comic book characters were no longer the main subject of the cosplay costumes at this con. They seemed to be mostly Anime or other alternative characters. This is something that MegaCon is going to have to figure out, if they want to continue to bring in the more general fanand keep a balance between them and Cosplayers. The cosplayers who are also vendors will benefit from a broader audience too.
Additionally, programming lines seemed to be very long but seemed to create major interest for a lot of fans. This was done fantastically and lines were very well managed. As many of you know, I’m not big into programs, but I can still tell when people are enjoying themselves with the programming.
As usual the after life just rocks on International. I spent a lot of time bar hopping and just hanging out; this is one Con that really inspires a spirited party scene, and almost all the guests join in on the fun.
Overall, MegaCon is growing and at a very fast pace. So the question I have asked all year so far is, if they are getting bigger are they getting better? MegaCon is at that line of being better. If they can just manage the cosplayers a little better and maybe extend Saturday night closing to a 8pm to 9pm, I think they will achieve that better status. Cosplayers or not I will return in 2014–and a lot earlier so I don’t spend so much time parking my car.
I would like to thank MegaCon for taking care of me and I’ll see them again in a year.