You are never too old to dress up like a superhero. You don’t even have to limit your costume playing fantasies to just Halloween. Comic conventions are the perfect place to let your inner child loose and play dress up for the day. Fortunately for those of us in Florida, we are about to experience the Southeast’s largest fan convention this month. MegaCon is back in Tampa Bay at the Tampa Convention Center Friday, September 29 through Sunday, October 1. Keep reading to find out how you can win two VIP passes for admission below.
Then all you will need is a cool costume.
Whether you are an experienced cosplayer or newbie that just wants to have fun, here are five tips that will help you turn heads –and probably result in lots of strangers asking to take a picture with you–to make your con experience enjoyable:
- Be original: I guarantee you that every fan convention you attend will be composed of at least 10 percent of the crowd dressed as Deadpool, 10 percent Harley Quinn and 10 percent from whatever movie is the most recently in theaters. There are literally thousands of different characters in hundreds of fictional universes you can choose from. Try to find a character that will make even the hardest core geek have to think for a second. The more original the costume, the more likely you receive high-fives and compliments. As a veteran journalist, I’ve always loved the character Victor Sage. I wonder how many people would catch the reference? That’s a good question.
- Be practical: Did you ever look at someone’s elaborate costume and wonder, ‘how do they go to the bathroom in that thing?’ More than a few of those people didn’t really answer that question either when creating those costumes, which is why you will see a scrap yard of Gungam armor strewn outside the men’s room stalls. Others with ornate appendages didn’t really account for walking through crowded exhibition halls. You might also want to consider the weather. Rain isn’t good for your Rorschcach leather trenchcoat and Florida heat will make that Bane outfit really uncomfortable really quick.
- Avoid “real” weapons: Be prepared to stand in long security lines and go through metal detectors and other screenings before you are allowed to enter the venue. Although that sword or another accessory might be a vital part of your costume, it might be deemed a weapon which means you’ll either have to abandon it at the security checkpoint or take it back to your car or hotel room and start the lines all over. Save the trouble and check with the venue’s rules regarding weapons beforehand.
- Use what you have: I’ll admit, I didn’t put a whole lot of thought into my costume at the last Con we attended. Most of my costume was pulled from stuff I had in my closet and the rest was bought on Amazon for less than $20. I still ended up being a hit with my costume. Luckily, I have more than a passing resemblance to Hugh Jackman so with a little bit of creativity with a razor, a white tank top, and some tattered jeans, I was able to pull off a commendable comic book version of Old Man Logan. Use your natural appearance to your advantage. If you are a tall man, you’d probably make a better Groot or Chewie than most. Redheaded girls are naturally better Jean Greys. Take advantage of those things that can’t be bought in the store to make your costume truly unique.
- Add the little touches: Speaking of Logan, the thing that really made it all stand out was a cigar and some dog tags. The costumes that always catch my eye are the ones that put effort into the tiny details like the robot characters with real lights or the Batman that can actually store stuff in his utility belt. It doesn’t even need to be complex. I remember a guy that made a perfect Punisher costume just by using spray paint to make his own handmade skull shirt.
- Involve others: One of the best parts about these conventions is the chance to attend with friends and family. I mean, how often do you get to dress up as superheroes with your kid and go out in public? This makes for a perfect reason to have costumes that work together as a group. Be the Avengers together as a family. Be a fantastic duo if you are a couple. It’ll help you enjoy it more when it is part of a shared experience.
Now that you have a few pointers to help you with a great costume, what character would you like to dress up as for this year’s MegaCon? Let us know in the comments and Sunny Sweet Days will select one entrant to receive two VIP passes for unlimited admission on any of the three days of the convention.
This year’s event is expected to draw over 30,000 fans to the Tampa Convention Center and will feature 200,000 square feet of shopping, photo opportunities, celebrity signings and guest panels.
The 2017 headliners include Jay & Silent Bob, better known as director Kevin Smith and actor Jason Mewes, and Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee, creator of some of the most recognizable characters in all of comics. We are heading to the Friday night event to see Jay & Silent Bob (of course!), and we are looking at the autograph signings to see who we want to see most. Stan Lee is at the top of our list since he is donating to charity for Hurricane Irma victims — definitely a cause we can get behind!
Additional confirmed celebrities:
- John Barrowman, Arrow
- William Shatner, Star Trek
- Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries
- Alex Kingston, Doctor Who
- James Marsters, Buffy The Vampire Slayer
- Katie Cassidy, Arrow
- Ruth Connell, Supernatural
- Gaten Matarazzo, Stranger Things
- Caleb McLaughlin, Stranger Things
Three-day weekend passes as well as individual day tickets are now available at www.megacontampabay.com/tickets, starting at $25. For news, guest announcements and more, please visit www.megacontampabay.com.
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