Heroes and Villains Commandeer MegaCon Orlando


Sam Schaffer

Samantha Martin waits for hetero speed dating in her Loki outfit.

Sam Schaffer and Samuel Schaffer

Cosplayers donned their best costumes to show off their hard work and geek out with fans at Megacon Orlando 2017.

MegaCon Orlando is described by megaconorlando.com as “the Southeast’s largest comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming event, attracting over 100,000 fans each year across four big days.” This year, con goers spent May 25-28 shopping around the Orange County Convention Center and freaking out over their favorite characters’ memorabilia.

“MegaCon is the place to go if you want to geek out,” Valencia College student Ashley Nerkins said.  She was at MegaCon on a field trip with Valencia’s pop culture club. “I love the cosplayers,” she explained. “I know a lot of cosplayers, I know it takes a lot of time and dedication to do this and I respect them for it.”

Cosplay is described as the combination of “costume,” and “play,” a performance art where cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character.

“I just like to roam around and see new cosplayers like her,” Samantha Martin said, pointing to Micheal Cline, first time con attendant. The two had just met and were already like sisters Martin said.

“I really enjoy the costumes, I mean you see the level of detail that people pour into just the most esoteric thing,” Skyler P.C. said. He was dressed as Indiana Jones and had spent months braiding his own whip. “It’s just so great to see everybody come together in this niche little market.”

But the costumes weren’t the only things being admired, love was also in the air at MegaCon.  Speed dating sessions for the LGBT community and the hetero community were also on the schedule. With so many similarly interested people in one place, what better time for a speed dating session than at the convention?

What does one look for in a perspective mate at MegaCon? The Valencia Voice asked speed daters and found that love connections come in all forms.

“Somebody who doesn’t do drugs is number one,” Anne Rosato explained. “Somebody who has most of their stuff together, [a] sense of humor helps.” Rosato’s added.

Ashley Nerkins was looking for a gamer. “I want someone who a date night is considered playing video games and eating pizza, not going to dinner and a movie.”

John Rosato’s main requirement was female gender and that she should be a “cool human being,” he added.

Speed dating at MegaCon is a way for like minded people to meet, but it’s definitely not the main attraction.

Patrick Long was at his fifth Megacon.  When asked what keeps him coming back he said, “friends that I’ve made at the con, friends that come even if they just cosplay and stuff like that. It’s been the best thing for me money-wise ‘cause if you get the four-day, you can really get everything in.”

While everyone attends MegaCon for their own reasons, it is clear that behind those reasons are a quest for camaraderie.