Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tampa Bay Comic-Con 2015, Part 1

Who's ready for Tampa Comic-Con photos?!

First, cue the crickets:

This, my friends, is the cash and credit card line on Saturday morning. See all those glorious, wide open aisles in front of me? This is why you never ever ever pre-order convention tickets.* The poor schlubs on the right did the "right" thing and pre-paid online. They had to wait in a monster line that stretched out and around the building... in the rain. But those of who didn't plan ahead? We skipped merrily past the hordes right up to the registers. It's not right, but there 'tis.

[*Correction: I was too emphatic there, guys; sorry about that. Sometimes you should pre-order, so the trick is doing your research and knowing the individual con.]

Other than that and a few other crowd-related problems, I'm happy to say Tampa Comic-Con continues to be a great con. It's held in a beautiful convention center with ample, cheap parking, and the vendor room is arranged with MASSIVE aisles to help with traffic flow.

And oh, was there traffic. Friday was perfect, with just enough crowds to make it feel like a con, but Saturday was a madhouse, reaching a capacity that didn't even allow for photographs, if you can imagine that. We had to hug the exterior walls and hope for a spare foot or two just to aim the cameras. Then the AC started to fail, unable to cope with that many bodies, and things got kinda sweaty. o.0

That wasn't so bad, but the food situation was: there just wasn't any. The few center vendors were immediately clogged with hours-long lines, forcing attendees to choose between eating and getting to see the con. Most conventions bring in extra food carts and vendors, so I'm amazed to see such a rookie mistake at a huge, well-established con. On the plus side, unlike SuperCon there ARE water fountains around, which was a life-saver.

So, to sum up: If you go to Tampa CC next year, do NOT pre-purchase tickets, bring cash, and pack a big lunch.


 Cannot. Handle. TEH CUTE. 

(Lookit dat face!)

Sweet Moogle girl:

Moogles are from both Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. You'll know their cosplayers by the red ball on top.

Glinda the good witch:

And another Elphaba from Wicked, this time in her glamorous finale dress:

Look at all those ruffles! RESPECT.

Daenerys with one of her fiercer looking dragons:

Great face paint on this Joker & Harley. Then when they turned to leave I heard clanking, and...

 Ha! That could be just for cosplay, but I kind of hope they really WERE just married.

This Tank Girl cracked me up. Her poses were pure GOLD:

Here's a reference, in case you don't know the character:

 Another one you may not recognize: here's my friend Christie again (I promise I DO have other friends, honest) as a gender-swapped Vash from Trigun:

And a reference:

At least this next character needs no introduction, I hope:

 Sweet Staypuft!! And is that a Slimer purse? WANT.

You might recognize this cosplayer; she was the gender-swapped Kristoff in my SuperCon roundup - the one with that faaabulous giant plush Sven on her back. I wonder if she ever sells her stuff? She's a wizard with a sewing machine.

Another classic, for you Rocky Horror Picture fans:

I love seeing pics side-by-side like this, so we can appreciate all the details - right down to the anklet and matching jacket chains.


I'm still not a fan of zombies, but when a group does a Disney mash-up this cleverly, ya gotta give props:

 Um, Belle is gnawing on Beast's hand. 


Here, have a giant bunny feet chaser:


Any Avatar: The Last Airbender fans out there?

 There's a running gag in the show where a cabbage seller's cart keeps getting destroyed in the kids' battles. Then he cries out, "MY CABBAGESSSS!" (It's funny, honest.) There are even a bunch of memes for him:


I like that I'm doing my part to educate the geek masses. :D (Not to mention John. I'm starting to quiz him at cons now, seeing how many costumes he can ID.)

Love this smirk:

I've photographed him before, so you might remember this guy. (Pretty sure he's Tyrion from GoT.) The red silk is covering his real legs, and this remains one of the more ingenious chair cosplays I've seen. 

Dead Ted? Ted Pool?
Either way, punny mash-ups make me happy.



This Hocus Pocus group was too fun:

And a reference, since I know *I* don't remember:

 Gah, I'm only about halfway through my favorites, so I'm going to end here. I'll leave you guys with more epic cuteness, in the form of a little Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy:

Couldn't resist including the one with Mom tugging the headphone cord out of his mouth. :D

Stay tuned for part 2, which includes a cosplay group SO epic I had to take video. Also, Post-Apocalyptic Muppet Hunters. NEED I SAY MORE? (Yes, I know I do. So, next time!)


  1. The Gender Bender! Good episode! Also, is that Stay-Puft, mashed up with Rainbow Brite? I know she's not colorful, but the puffy leg and arm warmers and the little waist pouch Slimer look right...

  2. The gender bender is my favorite!! Most people just cosplay bender as he usually is but he has some pretty fun transformations in the show. Someone should do a costume of "coilette" from "robonia" ... If the world is in fact ready.

  3. I love your cosplay posts Jen! and this one is no different! Little Star Lord is ADORABLE. And the Hocus Pocus group? Love! Not to mention Gender Bender, and Dr. Frank-N-Furter! I can never have too many cosplay pictures.

  4. These pictures make me want to revisit my 20s and go back to cons in the WORST (best) way possible.

    Never mind, I'll just keep dressing up for Halloween, in whatever my kids tell me to wear. Last year Mary Poppins. This year....remains to be seen

  5. Is there any possible way you could do a video blog of interviews with the costumed folk and how they make some (or all) of the elements of their costumes? Sort of a Con meets Craft corner.... Probably couldn't do it on a crowded show floor... but some of these costumes are just mind boggling-ly* great. (*yes, it's a word now.)

  6. So sad I couldn't make it this year. Already making plans to go next year, though.

  7. I love the Vash cosplay, it's really well done! I always get so chuffed to see how many cosplay I can recognize, it's usually pretty limited. But when I don't I like learning about new characters or media I've never heard of before.

  8. Unless there were two ridiculously cute little Starlords there Saturday, that's actually a little girl in your last photos! Her family ended up sharing a table with me and another group for (late) lunch - she was wearing a super cute pink Wonder Woman dress under her Starlord coat. I was there as Merida, and had a great conversation with her about both Guardians of the Galaxy and Brave. And then she spotted someone cosplaying as Ronan from GotG, and you would have thought he was Santa Claus from how excited she was to see him! Soooo cute!

  9. Vash the Stampede! Awesome cosplay of one of my fav animes. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Love love love! Thank you for posting!

  11. Love so many of these... Although those zombies *will* give me nightmares. I can't watch anything with them in. I watched Shaun of the Dead from behind a cushion and it's a comedy, for crying out loud! *facepalm*

    1. I have the same problem. And my college roommates dragged me to see Shaun of the Dead on the theaters. I still fail to see how it is a comedy. Nightmares for weeks.

  12. That's my Elphie! Elphaba is my friend Melanie from Wickedly Beautiful Cosplay!


  13. Aaaah, I *LOVE* Hocus Pocus! It was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and I still try and watch it every Halloween.

  14. I love this blog so so so so much! Thank you for letting nerds across the country experience this.

  15. oh my gosh, these costumes are all great! Can we appreciate that Winny's dress has a bunch of geeky symbols on it? :) I live vicariously through these posts so I can't wait until the next one-- thanks so much for sharing!

  16. The cabbage vendor is hilarious! I loved how he was a recurring character in The Last Airbender. He (and others) make me realize that I always have mad respect for anyone who's cosplay requires a really large prop (like John with Claptrap!) . You are really committing to the cosplay when you have to drag something around all day, even if the costume itself is pretty simple. The Gender Bender was really awesome and the Hocus Pocus one makes me want to get some friends together and dress as the witches for Halloween. It will happen some year!

  17. I must say, I respectfully disagree about not pre-ordering tickets for cons. I happened to be attending a work conference at a convention center which was also hosting a brand new comic con (its first year ever). Maybe people didn't know they could buy tickets ahead of time, or there was some other flaw in the marketing research, because about 4 times more people showed up at the door than they were anticipating. I think the number I heard from a staffer was 8,000-10,000 more people than they expected. If those people had purchased tickets ahead of time, the con would have been prepared to handle the crowds by seeking more space or hiring more security, getting more food vendors, etc. But they were completely and utterly overwhelmed, and the attendees spilled into other areas of the convention hall and made things difficult for other conferences. It was an absolute disaster. Pre-ordering gives the staff a better idea for what kind of crowds to plan for, and that makes things better for everyone in the long run, pre-purchasers or not.

    I also say this as someone who plans programs for the community as part of my job, and one of the biggest fears you have after "What if no one who signed up comes?" is "What if a bunch of people who didn't sign up come anyway and I can't accommodate everyone?!?!"

    All that said, I adore your wonderfully curated con picture posts. :D

    1. That's a great point, and you and a few other commenters have convinced me I was a bit too emphatic on the not-pre-ordering thing. I think I'll go amend what I said, so thanks for that.

    2. No worries! Part of the blame has to lie with the con. It was Indianapolis, for cryin' out loud. We host GenCon. Of *course* the geeks will come, and in droves. One thing that was also upsetting was that the con-goers who were spilling into other regions of the convention center were being given stink-eye by some of the people attending different conferences. That was disappointing. One of the best things about cons is being among "your people," and not being judged. I, on the other hand, looooved that the other con was happening at the same time and even considered ditching a few of my work events to peruse the vendor room at the comic con before it became apparent that it was just too much of a clusterfrak.

  18. Thank you for more great pictures! And extra thanks for those comparison pictures- I always love the cosplay, but always find myself in awe of the level of detail I miss until you give me the original inspiration...

  19. I have to agree somewhat with 'Anonymous' above. Clearly you have evidence for not preordering, but I have some FOR preordering. I think it depends on the con.

    For example, Emerald City Comicon in Seattle mails you your passes if you preorder (no lines necessary.) And last year, they sold out during preorder. So if you hadn't preordered, you couldn't even get in. Which was nice for those of us who had, because the huge area they had used for ticket lines was freed up for panels instead! :)

    So, the moral of the story, I guess, is know your con.

    1. When is Emerald City Comicon?? I will have to pre-order tickets this for the next one! :)
      --Piper P from Washington State

    2. Next year it is going to be 4 days!!!
      Thursday, April 7 - Sunday, April 10


  20. I was there on Saturday. This was my first ever con. And I decided a few months ago that not only was I going to attend, but if I was going, I was going to cosplay! And given that Back to the Future is my ALL TIME favorite movie and it's not only celebrating it's 30 year anniversary this summer but that 2015 is also "the future" I figured what better first time cosplay than a female Marty McFly! :)

    I blogged about it here if you're interested: http://giveneyestosee.com/blog/2015/08/female-marty-mcfly-cosplay-at-tampa-bay-comic-con-2015/

    I was hoping to see you there but I don't think we crossed paths. :( I had so much fun though! I will definitely be doing more cons in the future. (Or the past!)

  21. Adorable tiny Star Lord is adorable! So much talent in this bunch. And am I the only one who watches Hocus Pocus every Halloween? :)

  22. I'm also fairly certain that particular moogle is from FFXIV because of the quest marker in her hand. I've played a bit too much of that game in the last few weeks and the quest markers haunt my dreams.

  23. What? Part two is not ready yet? ; - )

    I hate waiting.

    I guess I will have to content myself with looking at the Lali Blue Etsy shop until...Oh! Shiny!

    -Just Andrea

  24. From personal experience I can say that you must ALWAYS pre-order tickets if you plan to attend Supercon on a Saturday. I spent THREE hours in line this year (the one year we decided not to pre-order) & every year you can always see the line going for miles. The other days aren't usually as bad.

  25. Thank you sooooo much for all the con pics. It is through your site that I found out about the Dragoncon in Atlanta. My whole family is going this year. And all in costume. You are contagiously awesome.

  26. Ha, I lived in the Tampa area for over a decade and never knew this existed! And I just moved to the Seattle area, but missed the con this year because of work
    Now, my real comment... The Winifred witch (had to look up her name!) with the green sash has some cool nerdy symbols on it... I could only recognize a Poké ball and the Twin Peaks symbol :/


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