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MegaCon Orlando 2022 recap (part one)

posted Jun 5, 2022, 6:53 PM by Vu Nguyen

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It was with heavy heart but great admiration to be present for the George Pérez memorial service hosted at MegaCon Orlando inside the sprawling Orange County Convention Center. …

Though it only may be the unofficial start of Summer, it is definitely the official start of comic convention season and we packed up our Avengers Quinjetto flydown to Orlando, FL for the Southeast’s largest show, MegaCon Orlando 2022.

Comic book shows have been held in Central Florida since the 70s, and this particular show began in 1993, with former publisher CrossGenpurchasing it in 1999, and its current UK owner, Informa, taking charge in 2015 under its Fan Expo banner.  Fan Expo more recently also assumed all of the formerWizardworld conventions, to host numerous cons in major US/Canadian cities. 

Because of the global pandemic, this four-day show was its true return to form, and with anticipation very high, attendance over the Thursday-Sunday event completely exceeded previous attendance records, as 140,000+ went to the Orange County Convention Center, resulting in very busy aisles, local traffic congestion and full parking lots, and elbow-to-elbow crowds on its busiest day, Saturday. 

All variations of pop culture were represented, from comics to sci-fi, horror to anime, fantasy to traditional and online gaming, and so much more.  Being located close to the Space Coast, NASA even had a display and hosted several science panels.  Cosplayers were predictably everywhere, though instead of one large competition to showcase costumes, there was a daily afternoon Cosplay Runway for those to show off their elaborate designs. 

Celebrity guests over the weekend included the casts of Cobra Kai, Clerks, the Hobbit films, numerous voice actors and wrestlers, Lorraine Bracco, LeVar Burton, Gina Carano, Giancarlo Esposito, Brendan Fraser, Nathan Fillion, Caity Lotz, Jes Macallan, James Marsters, and Brent Spiner

Comic book creators included several marquee names as well as more recent artists, many traveling in from Italy, Spain, Germany, UK, South Korea, and Singapore and included: Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Greg Capullo, Donny Cates, Tony Daniel, Werther Dell'Edera, Tom King, Adam Kubert, Stanley Artgerm Lau, Inhyuk Lee, Tula Lotay, Marco Mastrazzo, Francesco Mattina, Frank Miller, Ryan Stegman, Mico Suayan, Ivan Tao, James Tynion IV, Ram V, and Zeb Wells, among many others. 

Many of the highest profile events were monetized and involved additional admission, though it was fairly easy to see celebrities in separate panels rather than together (i.e. all four Hobbit stars had their own panels, but their group discussion was at a paid premium).

Artist creator panels often doubled as a fan Q+A along with a friendly sketch duel, involving two or more talents, and there were tribute remembrance panels for recently lost major comic artists, Neal Adams and George Pérez, for fans to share their feelings and stories. 

How-to panels were hosted for those interested in creation of their own costumes, models, games, or tournaments, meetups and speeding dating, and official afterpartys were also part of the busy schedule. 

We’ll get into a little more detail in a follow-up column, but it looked to be an overall huge success and the show has already confirmed its next dates- MegaCon Orlando 2023 will occur March 30-April 2.

Unknown Comics booth

Human Claw Machine

sketch duel Bill
Morrison v Alex Saviuk

Sketch duel Ryan
Stegman v Ryan Ottley

Hulk display

Masters of the Universe

1960s Batmobile


Cosplay: My Hero
Academia balloons


Cosplay: Rocky Horror
Picture Show

Cosplay: Warhammer

Friday Crowd at MegaCon Orlando 2022

Marco Mastrazzo,
Marco Turini

Jim Shooter

Bueno Dell, Erra Tynion
comic panel

Lorraine Bracco

Clerks cast

Cobra Kai cast at MegaCon Orlando 2022

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