Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Making of the Modern Megacon

The annual Megacon is being held this weekend at the Orlando Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Tomorrow is the kickoff day for this weekend-long event. For those of you who don’t know, Megacon is short for “Mega Convention.” Featuring comic book and fantasy artists from around the world, this show is expected to attract over 20,000 people to its 156,000 square feet of space devoted to a wide range of fantasy genres, including comics, gaming, sci-fi and anime.

Here at Hamilton Fantasy, some of us thought it was important to share its beginnings and share some of the attractions attendees can expect to discover at this year’s show. So without further delay, here is a brief history lesson…

Megacon was first held in 1993. It has always been held in Orlando, and what was once a small local event has grown into one of the larger conventions in the United States. Different groups have controlled and operated the event over the years. In 1999, James Breibiel sold the event to CrossGen Comics, who assumed control of the show beginning with the 2000 event. CrossGen hired a former school teacher, Beth Widera, to run the event. At that time, Megacon had a clear CrossGen bias and was heavily focused on its own content, which experts believed negatively impacted the show’s ability to draw a wide range of industry talent. In 2003, the company ran into serious financial troubles involving freelancer payments and put Megacon up for sale. It was Beth Widera who came to the rescue, buying Megacon for an undisclosed sum. She has owned and operated the event ever since, smartly growing the event and garnering attention from publishers throughout the industry.

This year, some notable celebrities will be making appearances at the show. James Hong, from The Day the Earth Stood Still, will be available for photos and will sign autographs. For fans of the Back to the Future series of movies, both Lea Thompson and Claudia Wells will be at the show. Trekkies will surely not want to miss Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura in the original Star Trek series. And for the Star Wars lovers out there, plan on catching a glimpse of Jeremy Bulloch, who played the iconic Boba Fett, and Peter Mayhew, who was the man behind Chewbacca! For a full list of media guests, click here.

Comic book fans and collectors who visit the show this year will be treated to a line up of great artists behind so many famous books. There are too many to list, so click here for a full listing.

Now we realize some of you may be traveling to Megacon for other reasons. Maybe you’re hoping to see Jasmine Becket-Griffith—she will be there painting, of course! Maybe you love the fanfare and seeing all the people who come in costume. Trust us, there will be plenty of good people-watching at this show! To make sure you all don’t miss anything, we found a great Top 10 at Check it out…

The Top 10 Things To Do At A Comic Book Convention

Enjoy the convention this year…we certainly will. We’ll post some photos next week on Facebook, and we’d love to see yours, too!

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