Wednesday, November 9, 2016

MegaCon Tampa 2016: The Best Cosplay!

It's election day as I type this, so today I voted, did some shopping, then spent the last 5 hours editing cosplay photos. Not gonna lie: I'm pretty happy about this. There's no better way to forget national angst and troubles than taking an up-close look at insanely creative cosplay geeks. So, to everyone I'm about to feature here, thank you.

Now, let's talk about the inaugural MegaCon Tampa that happened two weekends back. (If you're just here for pictures, feel free to skip down, heh.)

The final numbers came in at 30,000 attendees, significantly less than Tampa Comic-Con, which is held in the same convention center and nabbed a cool 50K attendees last August, and less than half of MegaCon Orlando, which I believe topped out around 75K last year.

All that to say this was a perfect sized con for newbies and/or for those who dislike massive crowds. The Tampa Convention Center is one of my favorites, as it's small enough to never get lost, big enough to breathe, and filled with THE best light for photos in the common areas.

 Light! Glorious light!

Entry and ticket purchases were smooth, security was there but not intrusive, and queue lines were nicely managed and manageable. The vendor room felt cramped with too-narrow aisles, but that's a minor quibble, because the cosplay game was STRONG, y'all. Overall I'm really liking MegaCon's new owners.

That said, I have one major gripe regarding the handling of the headlining celebrity, David Tennant. Tennant put this con on the map - he's never been to a Florida con before -  so MegaCon wisely put his face on all the advertisements to drum up business. But here's the thing: Tennant was only there on Sunday, (it was a 3 day con) and his one-and-only panel cost an additional fee of $25.

Not cool, MegaCon.

I have a vested interest in my griping: John's sister & her hubby flew down from Maine to see David Tennant at this, their first-ever con. We paid for a photo, so she at least got 3 seconds to stand beside him - and I hear got a bit weepy, natch, 'cuz he really is the sweetest:

...but that was it. Tennant's panel would have cost our group an extra HUNDRED DOLLARS to see, and we'd already paid more than that for the photo!

Again, not cool, MegaCon.

Right, end of griping. There's cosplay to gawk at! 
And besides, how can I gripe when this little boy's wheelchair is the Hogwarts Express?

::SQUEE!:: It even had lights on the front!

In fact there was all KINDS of great Potter cosplay there, possibly because Mathew Lewis (aka Neville) was one of the celebs that weekend. 

Here's a first: ever see someone dress as a box of Bertie Bott's?


Or how about the Gryffindor Common Room painting?

Wait... I just realized she's not holding the frame. HOW IS THAT STAYING UP?

A beautiful Batwoman:

And the Dread Pirate Roberts with Buttercup:

Squirrel Girl!

An excellent DC group:

And Deadpool sharing a moment:


This Starlord was playing the movie soundtrack on a boombox at his feet, and it was JUST what I needed that morning:

Everyone around him was bopping around, singing along to the music, and dangit if I didn't remember - yet again - why I love this community so much.

John took over my camera briefly while I was in a panel, and this is my favorite of his shots:

I feel like I need to find this woman and explain to her just how fabulous she is. THAT SKIRT! And as Rainbow Dash, she is of course holding a little Tank! Tank is my favorite. (If you only watch one episode of MLP, make it "May The Best Pet Win." It's the episode that finally won John over.)

John also took this shot, which is a close second:


A gorgeous Daenerys with her own fuzzy shoulder dragon:

If you look closely, you can see she has purple eyes! ::swoon::

This Samurai Kylo Ren was a highlight of the whole weekend:

And it got even better when he not only battled a tiny Cap' - he let little Cap' win:


A picture perfect Sophie (from Howl's Moving Castle) and Anastasia:

And an appropriately creepy Enchantress from Suicide Squad:

Not sure of this character, but she's stunning:

{Update: Aha, she's Misty Knight from Luke Cage. Thanks, guys!}

John fanboyed over this next costume so hard I think we scared the poor fellow:

He's a Hufflepuff Quidditch player! THIS IS AMAZING. I've never seen anyone dress as one before so color me super impressed.

Adorable mother-daughter Harley & Poison Ivy:

Aaand another one I don't recognize:
I'm guessing World of Warcraft?

Prepare to "D'awwwww", my friends, because I just found the cutest little pink Batgirl EVER:

Her brother The Flash was super sweet, too:

BUT WAIT, there's more.

After I took these pictures Batgirl started brandishing her weapon. And by "brandishing" I mean, "holding out in front of her for everyone to admire."

So what was Batgirl's weapon of choice?

A plastic butter knife.

A plastic butter knife, you guys. I am.. I just... IT'S TOO CUTE I CAN'T EVEN.

I'm only about halfway through, but I'll end for now with the shots I had the most fun taking. Thanks to some dramatic shafts of light and a patient cosplayer who very kindly humored me, we got:


  And this!

I honestly can't tell which are the best shots, so here, I'll just give you a bunch:


Stay tuned for part 2, and remember to breathe, my fellow Americans. It's several hours later and the results still aren't in as I type this, but the sun will rise, we've got each other, and we're gonna be OK. 



Update: Part 2 is up!


  1. The thing with David Tennant reminds me of what Salt Lake Comic Con did this year with Mark Hamill - he was only there the first day of the con (Thursday) but he was the ONLY guest on the program book and his face was all over the promotional materials. He did one panel (which at least they didn't charge extra for, though I was surprised) and a couple hours of photos/autographs (which did cost a ridiculous amount of money).

    I honestly felt bad for all the other legitimately awesome guests who were there the entire con but got significantly less advertising. :/

  2. Oh, I hate when cons do that crap with just one(or just a few) of their celeb guests!

    All of your pictures are frillin awesome though!

  3. Gorgeous pics, as always, Jen. That last cosplayer is amazing.
    Thank you for the distraction today.

    --Piper P from Washington State.

  4. The character in red with the gold arm is Misty Knight! She's a Marvel superhero- she's in the new Luke Cage show too.

  5. I think one of your mystery cosplayers is dressed as Foxxy Cleopatara, from Austin Powers's Goldmember. Nice shooting, by the way!!

  6. *Thunk* Dies from Butterknife Batgirl cuteness.

  7. Tennant was at San Antonio Comic Con the day before, where my friend and I saw him. Not good scheduling, whoever did that! He didn't have a panel at all even though there was a panel with John Barrowman and Billie Piper the same day he was there. My friend bought a VIP ticket for $300+ (the more expensive VIP was $700+), and had to pay another $100 for an autograph. She did get a picture though, and it was worth it in the end.

  8. I love your convention posts. The cosplay is so inspiring! Thank you for being a beacon of joy on the internet :) <3

  9. The Fat Lady portrait picture frame looks like it's braced by white cords coming from her waist to the corners...if you look at the full size picture you can see it on her left side.

    1. Although I cannot for the life of me figure out how it's staying vertical without her steadying it but I imagine there's a brace where the red toga bit flows down and out.

    2. I'm pretty sure that the grape vine you can see over her left shoulder and by her right hip are also connected to the frame, creating a kind of harness against her back linked to the top.

  10. Those spotlight pictures of Akroma are amazing! I also think that's the first Magic cosplayer I've seen outside of a Magic-specific event.

  11. Awesome photos! Inspiring cosplay!

    Thanks for the respite from the election insanity, and thanks for everything you guys do.

    Love and tolerance always wins on Epbot. Woot woot!


  12. The mystery WoW cosplayer may be a Demon Hunter, but I'm not 100% sure.

  13. I read the headline as Mega Tampon. What more can I say?

  14. Thanks so much for all the wonderful photos. Loved them all!


  16. My friend and I were very disappointed about Tennant too. SO when we could afford/waited too long to purchase a photo op we thought we'd settle for the panel, only to find out we would have to pay for that as well! It was still a good little convention that I will happily go to over MegaCon Orlando!

  17. So sad we weren't able to go! I had been looking forward to it for months. Between the power steering host breaking and our battery dying, it ate our "fun" funds last month.

    Great shots though!

    I am such a geek I couldn't help but notice that the Hogwarts portrait has a Disney Dooney & Bourke Haunted Mansion tote - which itself is portraits of ghosts! :D

  18. Totally late on this party, but the blue mystery horned girl is "Queen of Pain" from DoTA 2


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