Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Tampa Comic-Con 2021: Stories & New Cosplay!

Gosh, it feels like just last week that I was sharing new cosplay photos with y'all, when in fact it was a week and a half ago.

::taps nose:: ::nods knowingly::

I hope the novelty hasn't worn off yet, because I'M BACK, baby, this time with colorful portraits from Tampa Comic-Con

Imagine Rod Stewart's "Broken Arrow" playing for this Warrior Poison Ivy. That's what I'm doing.

Ivy teamed up with Executioner Harley Quinn:

I'm hearing more "Back in Black" from AC/DC for her. :p

Also her dragon shoulder armor is SO COOL.

John and I originally planned to spend the whole weekend at the con, but due to the new Covid wave - and the con's lack of mask requirements - we cut our visit in half. We popped in for the last three hours Saturday afternoon, then a few more hours Sunday afternoon before driving home. The crowds were actually less than Metro from the week before, and I'd say 80% or more were unmasked. Considering most stores here in Florida just re-instated mask policies, it felt strange to be one of the very few in masks.

Here are all my Stories from the weekend, do NOT miss the dancing Spider-Man at the end. It'll renew your faith in humanity and leave you with a big ol' grin, I promise:


We even got a flash photo of Spidey, complete with bubbles:

His dancing was my favorite part of the whole con. Pure goodness!

Now back to cosplay pics. We arrived just as the big costume contest was letting out, so these first few are some of the winners:

I've been photographing Avera Cosplay for years, and half the time I barely recognize her, ha. I'm glad she finds us in the crowd. Here she is as Ysera from World of Warcraft.

And a spot-on Stoic from How To Train Your Dragon:

With our flash rig John and I can't light more than 2 or 3 people at a time, so I only have a phone pic of the Best Group:

SO SO GOOD. Thor: Ragnorak is my favorite Marvel movie, so this made me happy. (They also had a lady Loki with them! Sorry I didn't get her in frame, it was a little chaotic in there.)

Wait, I found a better group shot!

Odin & Frigga are @TaleOf2Castles on IG, this is from their account.

Stunning details on this lady Mando:

And a classic Harley:

Just as I finished taking that shot Joker stuck his head in, which was perfect:

Maybe because it was the end of the con, or the lack of masks, or maybe it was just me, but the overall vibe at Tampa CC felt subdued, even a little... prickly?


In all seriousness there weren't many groups of friends or people striking up conversations with each other: folks stuck to themselves, and some of the smiles for my photos looked strained. Overall it felt more like a shopping mall than a convention - which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but coming off the fun and camaraderie of MetroCon, it definitely lacked that close family feel.

That said, these three were a total breath of fresh air; genuine smiles and actual excitement when I asked if I could photograph them:

Aren't they great? All of their makeup is spot on.

Here's that sparkly number from my Story videos:

And the Anna from the "Blooper Reel":

Cap'n Jack:

And Hellgirl!

Poison Ivy managed to eclipse Harley Quinn as the most cosplayed character this con; I think I spotted at least half a dozen Ivys. Every one is different, though, so it's fun to see all the variations.

A mother/daughter Scarlet Witch & Agatha:

And one more mother-daughter group, with another Scarlet Witch!

I mean, they ARE all witches. :D

 Look how perfect Ginny is with her mom as McGonagall:

Then Scarlett Witch has the Grimoire!

I couldn't decide which shot I like better, so you get both:

Last thing for us at Tampa Comic-Con was test-driving John's new cosplay, but you don't get pics of that just yet! ::evil grin:: We only had it out about 2 hours, and quickly discovered we needed to build in some cooling mechanisms for John. Poor guy nearly overheated.

I will leave you with more sneak peeks, though. First from our trunk on the drive up:

And one from the actual convention where I was trying to stay out of everyone's photos:

Y'all gave us some amazing suggestions for the Porg sound effects, btw. So far I think we're doing a mix of actual pug sounds, Zoidberg, and comical snores. It's gonna be so wrong, and so funny.


Hey, now that you've made it this far, I have a question for you: do you like this mix of formal portraits & casual Stories in my convention posts? Would you rather see more music videos like we used to do, or just video in general? Do you want more sweet stories about our interactions with people? More of us cosplaying? More merch? I like it all, and plan to keep doing it all, I'm just curious what you like best.


Oh hey, and if you've never seen any of our cosplay music videos head over to the Epbot Youtube channel, where I have a handy playlist of all our convention uploads. Our Dragon Con ones are the most popular, but our personal favorite is this one from Tampa MegaCon a few years ago:

Maybe not the most jaw-dropping cosplays we've ever filmed, but this whole process was a blast from start to finish for me and John. We looked for cosplays to fit the song lyrics, so it's like an audio Easter egg hunt seeing which words match the costumes on screen. 

Ahhh, I can't wait to get out there with our gimble and make new videos again.

Welp, I hope this made you smile and reminisce with me about all the good times from Before, and also look forward to the good times still ahead. Love you all!


  1. Wherever your mind and heart take you, I am happy to follow!

  2. juliesmith.singer88August 10, 2021 at 7:03 PM

    Always love the con pics! Would definitely love to read more about the interactions you have; you always meet the most amazing people.
    Please keep doing both formal and informal shots;the first are always so well done and the second help capture the feel of the con from afar.

  3. This kind of post is perfect! I typically watch on my breaks at work, so I have to avoid videos. This bolsters my spirit without making me a distraction in the office. A few videos are easy enough to remember to check out later :)

  4. I'm not big on the videos because my music taste is different, so I watch them without sound. It's cool to see the costumes moving. I do like the mix of formal and informal photos, though. I also love your stories, it makes me feel closer to being there.

    Whatever you decide, I appreciate all the hard work!

  5. Anything you share is welcome. I love formal and informal photos, and reading your stories. I remember when Epbot con posts were the highlight of my week, almost more vital than food or sleep. Those days are thankfully over, but the return of these photos makes me smile, even though the delight is mixed with worry now. Whatever you share here will be enough.

  6. That Stoic has me in smiles. So spot on and so fun! Thanks for bringing the fun to us!

  7. i like the mix you have in this post. Stick with what works. Can't wait to see John's Cos-play costume.

  8. I love all the con pics! I have to admit I prefer pictures over videos, just because I'm not always in a position where I can sit and watch a couple of minutes of video.

  9. Thanks for all the cool photos - it's a great way to "attend" the cons virtually! I too like photos over videos due to available time but the mix of them works well as more can be captured and shared via video faster. Keep up the excellent work and thanks for sharing this with all of us.

  10. Well, after that I had to run to Amazon and buy some bubble guns, because I am ALL about the bubbles.

  11. A trick I learned from my friends who worked the GA Ren Faire to keep cool in costume - cold packs in your bra.

    I'm sure you could sew in a pocket somewhere in John's costume to accommodate a cold pack, and keep a bunch of them handy inside the carbonite thingy. Look for instant ice packs because they use chemicals (much like a glow stick) to make the cold and don't have to kept in the freezer.

  12. I love all the photos, my kidbot loves the videos. Thanks so much for taking us all with you!

  13. I love all your content. I like the portraits the best. Not a big fan of the videos or IG stories in the blog, but that's me.

  14. I prefer pics, but that's just because I'm usually at a place where I can't use the sound on my computer. Thanks for posting!

  15. I love all the things! I do like the little stories of the interactions you have.

  16. Love the interaction stories best. Love both formal and informal photos. I can't watch the videos because I look at your website at work.

  17. I like the formal portraits a lot, but any silly jokes from stories, and also really like the stories about fun interactions with people. I don't watch the videos as much because I'm usually reading while at work (..hehe) but I'm sure lots of other people watch em! Also, my loving two cents about the flash rig is that I think I typically like the full blackout photos better-- feels a little more magical and enthralling! But I can also see the appeal of leaving in a little more of the real settings, and-- whatever you're excited about these days, keep on doing! We love seeing you be you! <3

  18. Aww I missed this blog post! The photos are amazing as always!


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