MegaCon

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MegaCon
Status Active
Genre Multi-genre
Venue Orange County Convention Center
Location(s) Orlando, Florida
Country United States
Inaugurated 1993
Most recent ongoing
Attendance 45,000 in 2011[1]
Organized by Elizabeth Widera and Christine Alger
Website
www.megaconvention.com

MegaCon, short for Mega Convention, is a large multi-genre convention that caters to the comic book, sci-fi, anime, fantasy, and gaming communities, occurring between late February and early March at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, USA.

History[edit]

The first comic book convention held in the Orlando area was OrlandoCon, held annually from 1974 to c. 1994. Regular guests included C. C. Beck, Floyd Gottfredson, and Hal Foster.

MegaCon was founded by James Breitbiel and first held in 1993.[1] The convention was acquired by the Tampa-based publisher CrossGen in 1999,[2] with Elizabeth Widera brought on to run the show in 2000.[2] (Breitbiel became CrossGen's Marketing and Distribution Director.) During this period, from 2000–2003, MegaCon heavily promoted CrossGen products and creators, to the frustration of some other exhibitors and attendees,[citation needed] although the show itself grew and thrived.[3]

In late 2003, Widera purchased the convention from the failing CrossGen, which was restructuring[3] (the publisher went bankrupt in 2004). Widera, who is a board member of the comics charity The Hero Initiative, currently runs the show along with her daughter Christine Alger.[1]

In September 2008, MegaCon headquarters moved from Safety Harbor to Live Oak, Florida, although the actual convention remains in Orlando.[4]

In 2009, in addition to the main show, held February 27–March 1, convention organizes produced a "mini-MegaCon" held August 22–23, featuring a number of actors from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show.[5]

Dates and guests[edit]

Dates Official guests Notes
Spring 1993
Spring 1994
Spring 1995 Gil Kane, Dick Giordano, and Howard Chaykin
Spring 1996
March 15–16, 1997 J. Michael Straczynski and Peter David[6]
March 13–15, 1998 Stephen Furst and Robin Atkin Downes Held at the Orlando Expo Center
March 5–7, 1999
March 31-April 1, 2000 Stan Lee and Joe Quesada
March 2–4, 2001 George Pérez, Mark Waid, Steve Epting, Rick Magyar, Scot Eaton, Andrew Hennessy, Wil Quintana, Barbara Kesel, Steve McNiven, Tom Simmons, Morry Hollowell, Bart Sears, Andy Smith, Michael Atiyeh, Ron Marz, Greg Land, Drew Geraci, Brandon Peterson, John Dell, Andrew Crossley, Jim Chuen, Don Hillsman II, and Caesar Rodriguez Show moves to the Orange County Convention Center
February 22–24, 2002 Guest of honor: Kevin Smith; other guests: George Pérez, Butch Guice, Mark Waid, Erin Gray, June Lockhart, David Prowse, Michonne Bourriague, Eugene Roddenberry Jr., Bob May, and Mark Rolston[7]
February 28–March 2, 2003 J. Scott Campbell, Scott McDaniel, Chuck Dixon, Frank Cho, George Pérez, Roy Thomas, Greg Land, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Robert Rodi, Bart Sears, Brian Pulido, and Adam Hughes
March 5–7, 2004 Kaare Andrews, Brian Michael Bendis, John Cassaday, Amanda Conner, Phil Jimenez, Andy Lee, Tony Lorenz, David W. Mack, James O'Barr, Jimmy Palmiotti, Walter Simonson, Craig Thompson, Skottie Young, Luis Amado, Tony Bedard, Jose Caraballo, Patrick Carlucci, Jim Cheung, Laura DePuy, Chuck Dixon, Steve Epting, Glenda Finkelstein, Jeff Johnson, Greg Land, Ron Marz, Stanley Morrison, Mike Perkins, Brandon Peterson, Justin Ponsor, Ariel Rivero, Tone Rodriguez, Steven Sanchez, Bart Sears, Josh Sullivan, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Allison Mack, Walter Koenig, Ken Foree, Brad Dourif, Noah Hathaway, Herbert Jefferson, Jr., Brian Thompson, Glenn Shadix, Marc Singer, Angela Cartwright, Bill Mumy, Virginia Hey, and Sid Haig
February 25–27, 2005 Mark Waid, Mike Deodato, George Pérez, Michael Avon Oeming, Chuck Dixon, Wilson Tortosa, Aaron Lopresti, Marv Wolfman, Ethan Van Sciver, Monte Moore, Phil Jimenez, Tone Rodriguez, Michael T. Gilbert, Roy Thomas, Dan Brereton, Allen Bellman, Gene Colan, George Tuska, Tommy Castillo, Andy Runton, Jinky Coronado, David Campiti, Lou Ferrigno, George Lowe, Richard Hatch, and Gil Gerard
February 24–26, 2006 Special guest: George Pérez; other guests: Sal Buscema, Bob Andelman, Mark Brooks, Tommy Castillo, Amanda Conner, Chuck Dixon, Steve Epting, Greg Land, Michael Lark, Laura Martin, Phil Noto, Jimmy Palmiotti, Mike Perkins, Brandon Peterson, Brian Pulido, Andy Runton, Andy Smith, William Tucci, Ethan Van Sciver, Robert Venditti, John Schneider, Tony Amendola, Steve Bacic, Julie Benz, Jason Carter, Alexis Cruz, Mira Furlan, John Kassir, Clare Kramer, Cirroc Lofton, Mark Lutz, Scott McNeill, Chris Rankin, Tanya Roberts, Sean Schemmel, Tracy Scoggins, Marina Sirtis, and Jamie Yeates
February 16–18, 2007 David Finch, Darwyn Cooke, George Pérez, Andy Smith, Brian Pulido, Sean Astin, Lou Ferrigno, Virginia Hey, Bob May, David Hedison, and "Lois Lane" actresses Noel Neill and Margot Kidder Guests June Lockhart and Mark Goddard canceled
March 7–9, 2008 Jennie Breeden, Brian Clevinger, Amanda Conner, Caitlin Glass, Mark Goddard, Erin Gray, Neil Kaplan, June Lockhart, George Lowe, Cynthia Martinez, Peter Mayhew, Vic Mignogna, Paul Pelletier, Joe Quesada, Stan Sakai, William Tucci, and Mark Waid
February 27–March 1, 2009 Peter S. Beagle, Jim Cheung, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Aaron Dismuke, Lou Ferrigno, Caitlin Glass, Peter Mayhew, Vic Mignogna, George Moss, Paul Pelletier, George Pérez, William Tucci, and Mark Waid 40,000 attendees[8]
August 22–23, 2009 Charisma Carpenter, Emma Caulfield, Amber Benson, and Adam Busch[5] "mini-MegaCon"
March 12–14, 2010 Marv Wolfman, George Pérez, Lea Thompson, Claudia Wells, Nichelle Nichols, Jeremy Bulloch, and Peter Mayhew
March 25–27, 2011 Stan Lee, William Shatner, and Jimmy Palmiotti
February 17–19, 2012 Amanda Conner, Chuck Dixon, Paul Gulacy, Phil Hester, Rob Hunter, Dan Jurgens, Jimmy Palmiotti, George Pérez, Stephane Roux, Frank Tieri, Tim Townsend, William Tucci, Ethan Van Sciver, and Zeb Wells
March 15–17, 2013 Media guests included the entire Star Trek: The Next Generation cast: Sir Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, Denise Crosby, John De Lancie and Wil Wheaton, and Daniel Stewart; other guests included: Lou Ferigno, David Prowse, Jeremy Bulloch, Paul Blake, Vic Mignogna, Tara Strong, Morgan Gendel, Arne Starr, Dean Cain, Larry Nemecek, Gigi Edgley, James Phelps, and Oliver Phelps. Comic book guests included: Ed McGuinness, Mark Bagley, Frank Cho, Bob Layton, Mike Perkins, Michael Lark, Neal Adams, Mark Waid, Chris Claremont, Mike Choi, Andrew Robinson, Steve Epting, Andy Price, Doug Sneyd, Jose Delbo, Matteo Scalera, Steve McNiven, Michael Atiyeh, Jimmy Cheung, George Pérez, Gail Simone, Mike McKone, Dave Johnson, Dan Panosian, Brian Pulido, Brandon Peterson, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Billy Tucci, Georges Jeanty, Tim Townsend, Frenchy and the Punk and Craig Boldman
March 21-23, 2014
April 10-12, 2015

Events[edit]

Events include the Indy Film Festival, annual cosplay/costume contests, all-genre costume contest, panels, and rave dances. MegaCon also offers attendees the option of game playing. Current game systems offered are Dungeons & Dragons living campaigns, Living Forgotten Realms, Pathfinder Society and Legends of the Shining Jewel. Other non-campaign role playing games are offered. Magic: The Gathering is also offered in a card room, and board and strategic games are often on the dealer floor.

Since 2001, MegaCon has also been the location of the long-running "Paranoia LIVE!"[9] LARP, based on Mongoose Publishing's Paranoia.

Awards[edit]

In 2007, MegaCon hosted the first live presentation of the Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards.[10]

In August 2008 MegaCon announced that it would host the first inaugural Project Fanboy Awards ceremony, awarding authors, writers and publishers with honors voted on by Internet users on the Project Fanboy website.[11] The Project Fanboy Awards are now an ongoing event.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Walt, Andra. "Owner/Director Beth Widera of Orlando’s MegaCon Stops by InvestComics," InvestComics (Feb. 13, 2012).
  2. ^ a b Weiland, Jonah. "Battling Conventions? Talking with the NY Comic Con and MegaCon Organizers," Comic Book Resources (June 10, 2005).
  3. ^ a b "CrossGen Sells MegaCon To the Show's Director," ICv2 (November 19, 2003).
  4. ^ Press release. "MegaCon Headquarters move to Live Oak, FL," MegaCon official website. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b Chien, Philip. "MegaCon," NeatInformation.com (2009). Accessed July 12, 2012.
  6. ^ "Spotlight," Orlando Sentinel (14 Mar 1997), p. 43.
  7. ^ Szadkowski, Joseph. "The keen and obscene at Florida's MegaCon," Washington Times (09 Mar 2002), p. B02.
  8. ^ "Convention calendar," Orlando Sentinel (Mar. 13, 2009).
  9. ^ Paranoia LIVE!
  10. ^ "MegaCon Convention". MegaCon Convention. Archived from the original on 2007-02-03. "hosting the 6th annual Web Cartoonist Awards. After six years of growing, world-wide popularity, the WCCAs will, for the first time ever, be presenting the 2007 winners at a live ceremony." 
  11. ^ Project Fanboy Awards to be announced at MegaCon

External links[edit]