MegaCon 2011 shatters attendance records

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all photos Alexis Santos/Catalyst

Spring signals warmer weather, but more importantly to geeks of all kinds, it means the beginning of Anime, Gaming and Comic conventions across the country. Between March 25 and 27, the Orange County Convention Center filled with comic book, anime, gaming, sci-fi and fantasy fans, vendors and costumed convention goers for MegaCon, the largest convention of its kind in Central Florida. Although official attendance numbers have yet to be released, the size of the crowd was the largest of any MegaCon had seen.

In addition to housing hundreds of square feet worth of merchandise, various workshop sessions and panels, MegaCon played host to special guests Stan Lee of Marvel Comics and William Shatner of Star Trek fame. Convention attendees could meet and greet privately with Shatner for $495 or could have a photo opportunity or his autograph for $65. Fans of Stan Lee could receive an autograph for $50 or photo opportunity for $40.

Although private meetings with celebrities and thousands of available merchandise items could make MegaCon a costly event, the arguably most entertaining aspect of it, Cosplay, was free. Cosplay, short for costume play, is the geek convention ritual that involves dressing up as a movie, anime, manga, comic book or video game character. Everyone from Thor to a three year-old Darth Vader populated the convention halls this year, continuing to make MegaCon an event any self-respecting geek wouldn’t want to miss.

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