MegaCon 2000 Preview
This March, Orlando will once again be the site for one of the most exciting and entertaining events of the year for comics and science fiction fans. Commencing March 31st, the annual MegaCon will take over the Orlando Civic Centre for three days of gaming, anime, autographs, panel discussions, films, and more. Under new ownership this year, MegaCon has attracted a stellar line-up of over 200 guests from the worlds of comics, sci-fi, horror, gaming, and more. Here’s a few of the promised highlights.
Guests of Honor
MegaCon has attracted a more exciting list of guests this year than ever before, including…
Stan Lee : Celebrating his 60th year in the comics industry, Stan Lee is best known as the co-creator of most of Marvel Comics’ best-known characters, including Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Iron Man, and many, many more. Now entering the new frontier of Internet publishing, his new company, Stan Lee Media (http://www.stanlee.net) has launched a series of animated online comics (or “Webisodes”) including Stan’s newest creation, The 7th Portal . Stan will be signing autographs and talking with fans, and making presentations on Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 12 noon.
Harlan Ellison : The legendary, award-winning science fiction author, screenwriter, critic, and raconteur will give two very special presentations, Saturday at 11:30 AM and Sunday at 2 PM.
Magic Johnson : The basketball star and humanitarian will appear to meet and greet fans on Sunday only.
Lloyd Kaufman : The creator of The Toxic Avenger will show scenes from two of his newest films, and host an open discussion.
Arnie Starr : The famous Hollywood raconteur will host a panel featuring previews of the most anticipated science fiction movies of the year (including X-Men , Mission: Impossible II , and Battlefield Earth ) and the latest in gossip.
Rena Mero : The actress formerly known as Sable, the WWF wrestling sensation, will sign autographs, greet, and have photos taken with fans on Saturday.
Other featured guests include Lost in Space ‘s Mark Goddard, Preacher co-creator Garth Ennis, space shuttle commander Rick Searfoss, legendary comics artists John Romita, Sr., Barry Windsor-Smith, and George Perez, celebrated comics writer and fan Roy Thomas, and the staff of the exciting new Tampa-based comics company, CrossGen Comics.
With two different groups, each screening 35 hours of the hottest anime, MegaCon promises to be an animated feast for fans of what everybody used to call Japanimation.
Anime Gaijin America will screen never-before seen films on a huge projection screen, and will host contests and giveaways throughout the weekend. Visit http://www/risingsun.net/animegaijin for more information on their programming.
Not to be outdone, Orlando’s premier anime club, the not-for-profit Anime Sushi, will offer a high quality large screen projection system with all films screening from DVD, S-VHS, or LaserDisc, and boasting theater-quality surround sound, plus they’ll host contest drawings each day at 6 PM. Visit http://home.twcf.rr.com/animesushi for more information on their programming.
For the third year, SunQuest hosts MegaCon’s gaming segments, which encompasses everything from traditional family board games to role playing, collectable card games (CCGs), miniatures and strategy events, and live action role playing. Highlights include RPGA Network sanctioned role playing tournaments, including several premiere events running for the first time anywhere, CCG tournaments including Wizards of the Coast-sanctioned Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon events, and live action role playing in the Star Wars galaxy and the World of Darkness . For more gaming information, please visit http://www.sunquestgames.com.
MegaCon offers a huge marketplace. At over 100,000 square feet, MegaCon is one of the largest dealer showcases in the country, and fans will enjoy buying and trading comics, toys, videos, animation, and other collectibles.
The top comics and game publishers and toy manufacturers will present their wares at MegaCon. DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Wizard, CrossGen, and Top Cow are among this year’s confirmed exhibitors, and will host presentations, sneak peaks, and offer freebies and convention exclusives to all attendees.
There’s also an art show, networked computer gaming, and much, much more. Ink 19 will present full coverage of this year’s MegaCon in our May issue, but it’s more fun to experience it yourself. Tickets are $35 for the weekend, and are available at the door or via pre-registration either online at co-sponsor http://www.psycomic.com, or by mailing a check or credit card information to MegaCon, 4023 Tampa Road, Suite 2400, Tampa, FL 34677. Daily admission is $15 per day and is available only at the door (capacity permitting). The convention takes place at the Orlando Expo Centre, located at 500 West Livingston Street in downtown Orlando. Exhibit hall hours are Friday, March 31st from 1 PM – 7 PM, and Saturday and Sunday, April 1st and 2nd, from 10 AM – 6 PM. Please note that gaming, anime, and movies extend well beyond the exhibit hall hours.
For more information on MegaCon, visit the official Web site at http://www.megaconvention.com.