Supercon Invades Sunny Fort Lauderdale.
– review of the event at Ft. Lauderdale Convention Center (Ft. Lauderdale).
Tens of thousands of fans descended down on the Ft. Lauderdale Convention Center over this past weekend to attend the fourth annual Florida Supercon. First orchestrated just 4 years ago, the convention has quickly become one of the largest in the South Florida area, drawing crowds of over 50,000 attendees last year and well on the way to shatter that record this year. Normally located in the Miami Beach, this was SuperCon’s first year in Fort Lauderdale and it turned out to be a howling success.
From cosplay costume contests to Magic the Gathering tournaments, attendees would be hard pressed to find a moment to catch their breath with all of the awesome things to do at the convention. The main convention floor was like the world’s largest comic book store, with literally hundreds of vendors peddling their various wares, and whether it was rare comics, video game memorabilia or giant anime-style overalls and stuffed cats, there was something for every fan to spend their hard earned money on.
Mixed in among the booths on the main convention floor were also about 100 booths featuring comic book artists, animators, voice actors and film/TV stars, most of which were offering signed memorabilia for a small fee as an awesome take home souvenir. Bryan O’Halloran and Jay Mewes of Clerks fame and voice actor Dana Snyder (voice of Master Shake, among many others) were in attendance to satiate fans of irreverent comedy, and horror fans were treated to Walking Dead stars Michael Cudlitz, Josh McDermitt, Jeremy Palko and Chandler Riggs. Peter Capaldi and Karen Gillian also appeared, drawing a huge number of Dr. Who fans, many dressed as their favorite doctor. Hundreds of other guests were also there, from wrestling stars Mic Foley and Ric Flair to American Gods star Ricky Whittle, ensuring every fan would find someone they would be excited to meet.
If you didn’t feel like mingling on the convention floor, there were plenty of other things for visitors to participate in outside of the main convention floor. Trading Card Game tournaments, day-long Dungeons and Dragons games, Cosplay Tournaments, and an honest-to-go old-school LAN party were all to be found in the side rooms of the convention hall, with hundreds of people participating in each for a great opportunity to meet new friends and fans of the same games you play. There was also a “Manga Library”, allowing visitors to read issues of their favorite comics and graphic novels without having to buy them as long as they didn’t leave the library.
Although the convention room closed at 8, there were plenty of things to participate in during the after party. Four ballrooms on the third floor of the convention center were utilized during the weekend, with continuous events happening in each one, ranging from film screenings and acting classes with professionals to a cosplay wrestling show and a night-capping burlesque show. They even had a Geek-Themed “The Dating Game” style matchmaking show, with costumed attendees taking the place of contestants.
Overall, the fourth annual Florida Supercon was a great success. The change in location seemed to attract far more attendees from out of town than previous iterations of the convention, with fans from as far as Orlando coming dressed up as their favorite characters to appear at the convention. And the enormous amount of vendors, celebrities, fellow fans and activities to engage in that changed up ever day ensured that participants never felt like they were out of things to do even after spending all four days there, and devotees felt like they were still discovering new parts of the convention on the last day. I cannot wait to see what the SuperCon has planned for next year!