So another Megacon has come and gone, and like poetry, we are left with lots of feels.
If you've been living under a rock, Megacon is one of those nerd-infested (geek-infested?) events celebrating all things sci-fi/fantasy. There are many variations throughout the year, from Dragoncon, to Supercon, to Comic-con and even Vulkon, but the overall theme is the same. And seriously, if you've never heard of this... why are you reading my blog??
The consensus of Megecon 2015 seems very positive from all attendees, and I will wholeheartedly agree... it really was a lot of fun. This year was definitely better organized and, despite the crowds, there was room to breathe occasionally. And, to be clear, I would never say a disparaging word about something that reaches to the core of my being....
However... Conventions have changed a LOT over the years, and not necessarily for the better.
When I first started going to this type of thing, in the mid-90's (for clarification, I was 5 years old... as far as you know), they were held very quietly in hotel ballrooms. One ballroom had vendors, another ballroom had props, one other had guest speakers, and a fourth had tables for celebrity autographs. And we had to WALK in two feet of snow... uphill... both ways!!
Okay, maybe there was no snow, but it was definitely more cozy and personal. I remember walking into a quiet room with James Doohan (Scotty from the original Star Trek) at one table, and David Carradine (pre Kill Bill) at another, and you could shake their hand and have a conversation and even get a picture with them if you had a camera.
And for 2015, the autographs tables are 30 yards away, and NO photography! But you can get a professional picture with them if you are independently wealthy, or don't mind going deep in debt. Since when did celebrities become so elitist?? Well... maybe that is part of the definition of celebrity.
I do regret not getting a picture or autograph from several people there, but... ugh, these prices!!
Admission price for all 3 days = $70 per person
Hotel room for 2 nights = $90/night
(your hotel prices may vary depending on which hotel you get. And even though I live only 30 miles away, I booked a room, because traffic and parking for those 3 days is disgusting! One friend, who came for one day, took over 3 hours from leaving her nearby home. Our shuttle bus driver said it took over an hour to drive 2 blocks at one point during the afternoon)
For cast members from the series Firefly:
Summer Glau Autograph = $40
Photo op at the table using your own camera = $40
Professional photo op = $50
Adam Baldwin Autograph = $50
Photo op = $50
Alan Tudyk autograph = $40
Photo op = $50
Firefly group photo op = $120
For cast members from the series The Walking Dead:
Norman Reedus autograph = $80
Professional photo op = $105
Michael Rooker autograph = $50
Photo op = $55
Walking Dead group photo op = $140
For cast members of Doctor Who:
Karen Gillian autograph = $55
Photo op = $60
Alex Kingston autograph = $55
Photo op = $60
Doctor Who group photo op = $125
Not listed are prices and photo ops for Stan Lee, Lou Ferrigno, Hulk Hogan and a few others. But I think you get the idea.
In 2005 (or so), I got an autograph AND picture with William Shatner for $75. William F'n Shatner people! I got a similar deal with Leonard Nimoy a year or so later. So, it is really difficult in my tiny brain to justify spending so much money. Does that make me cheap, or sane?
And then of course, you have the vendor areas, where you will spend more money than you should on things you feel you really need. You can buy prints, books, t-shirts, props replicas, plushies, or even swords... and much, much more.
Now that you are completely broke, what else can you do? You could check out some of the different panels they hold in one of many different ballrooms... if you want to wait over an hour in line.
Maybe I do need to be more patient, and for the next event, I should just grit my teeth and deal with the standing around doing nothing but waiting to see something that might be kinda cool... that I could probably read about online tomorrow.
After you've done all that, and you're completely broke, what's left? People watching! And whether you like anime, superheroes, fantasy, sci-fi, corsets, latex, spandex... or Deadpool... there is plenty to watch (...so much Deadpool....).
On a side-note, these groups are starting to feel a bit clique-y. And it feels like some people just want to be seen and aren't so worried about anything else. You are spending a lot of money to be here, so, is it really so important to know who took your picture and where it will be posted? I did my Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly cosplay, and people were very complimentary to me. I am both happy and grateful, but maybe I cringe when seeing my own picture. I'm not so eager to seek it out, but I do look around a bit, and it's always very cool when I find a pic someone took of me... as long as my hair, pose, and expression are all perfect. Although, I'm still very honored, sincerely.
Check out some pics of others I took (and some of me) from the convention here.
But one of the most impressive and important things to take away from this is... the entire weekend was filled with so much creativity and positive attitudes. Despite the massive crowds, and lines, and how expensive everything was, I never saw anyone angry, or depressed or fighting. There was never any pushing or shoving. People laughed and made friends and shared their love for the unique with everyone they met. And that is freakin' awesome!
So yes, we all had a lot of fun. And yes we will all go next year, and are making plans to invite more friends and create more elaborate cosplay. But I sincerely hope, they put a cap on the amount of Deadpool allowed in the convention next year *shivers*... so much Deadpool....
I guess at the end of it all, in the words of David Bowie, we get to be heroes, just for one day.
And in the words of Zoe, from Firefly... that makes us big, damn heroes.