My first time attending Florida Supercon (or any Con) was back in 2013. My friends, Worms and Isis, invited me since we’re into a lot of the same nerdy stuff (mostly things they got me into), so I decided to go and I brought my camera along — we also ran into another buddy who’s into the nerd stuff, Rudy (who made a comeback during Supercon 2022).
Back then, Florida Supercon was a much smaller event. It took place in the Miami Airport Convention Center (MACC). Since then, I’ve seen the show continue to grow to the larger CON that it is today, thanks to ReedPop taking over. In 2014, Florida Supercon moved to the Miami Beach Convention Center, a few years later to Fort Lauderdale (due to construction). For the past few years, (minus a canceled 2020 Supercon) it has taken place in the newly reconstructed Miami Beach Convention Center.
There was a period of time when the whole thing took place over the 4th of July weekend —- which was a terrible time to be on Miami Beach. Luckily, this year it took place the weekend after, which was good enough for me.
What to do?
There’s a few things I like to do at a CON (I have also attended MegaCon in Orlando once). (1) I bring comics to get signed by artists and writers. I also buy prints and artwork from some of those artists. (2) I like to spend money on nerdy/geeky fan art and other stuff too. This year I bought some posters, stickers, a shirt and my first set of metal dice. (3) I also try to attend some panels. And (4) I like to meet the guests. Guests come from all places: movies, TV, anime, YouTube, Twitch, even Wrestling.
Over the years, I’ve come up with a fun way to meet these guests that makes it exciting and sometimes memorable for both of us. I like to make them drawings of characters they’ve played, usually in animation. This also helps me get back to drawing, which is something I used to do when bored in school.
Guest tables are where you go to meet the “famous” people. At each guest table you may pay for an autograph, photo, sometimes a voice recording or whatever else that guest feels like selling. You can also just meet them. I never pay for any of the extras because I’m just excited to meet and have an interaction with these people.
*Side Quest: I understand why they charge so much for each thing, if they didn’t they’d be signing things, taking photos and not really “meeting” anyone. It also helps keep the lines under control. Sure, certain lines get extra super long, but for the most part you can always come back and find a better time to visit. If a guest table is empty at the moment, you can always ask any of the “guest handlers” when they plan to return. Handlers have access to the full guest schedule, although sometimes they just go out for a snack or bathroom break.
What I’ve learned over the years is that many of the guests are very kind and thankful when you bring them a gift. They especially like homemade gifts. Some may even waive the fee of an autograph or picture as a trade off.
It’s also a good ice breaker to give them a drawing of a character that you’re a fan of. From there they may go into some fun stories about working on that project. When I brought Jason Isaacs (aka Lucius Malfoy) a drawing of his character from Star Wars: Rebels (the Grand Inquisitor) and he said, “Oh wow, I’ve never seen the show. Did I do a good job?”
When I met John DiMaggio he started speaking in his Bender voice and other character voices. He also gifted me a signed picture of King Zog.
This year’s Supercon was full of The Walking Dead actors. I had the chance to meet Cooper Andrews (Jerry), Ross Marquand (Aaron), Seth Gilliam (Gabriel) and to chat with each of them for a bit. I talked to Cooper about acting and creativity, and Ross and Seth both took pictures with me for giving them drawings. Ross also did some of his spot on Michael Caine impression.
When Kate Flannery was at Supercon two years in a row, I brought her a different animated character drawing each year. The second time she said, “I remember you! Let’s take a photo.”
A few years ago, I was excited to meet Bret Iwan (the current voice of Mickey Mouse). I ended up attending a panel with him and two other voice actors I wasn’t too familiar with, Adam Croasdell (Ignis Scientia from Final Fantasy XV) and Steve J Palmer (Bill from Red Dead Redemption 2). After the panel I went on to their tables just to tell them I really enjoyed the panel. Adam was a super cool dude and we talked for about twenty minutes.
I stopped by Steve’s table on my way out. No one was in line behind me. I told him I just wanted to say hello and that I really enjoyed the panel. We ended up talking for about an hour about his start, acting, improv, food, and so much more. After that I decided I should try to meet as many of the guests as I can, even if I’m not so interested in their main projects.
This year, when I returned on Sunday (after attending on Friday) I ended up meeting a few anime guests that I wasn’t too familiar with. I made them drawings of some of their work, but not the main anime shows people were mainly excited about. I ended up having some really cool conversations with these people too. And since then, I started watching a little more anime to see their work.
Two anime people I met were Todd Haberkorn and Amanda C. Miller (both from Boruto: Naruto Next Generations). I gave them each a non-Boruto drawing, and had good conversations with each of them. Todd was Mr. Knickerbocker on Barney and Amanda was Princess Quasar Caterpillar on Star vs the Forces of Evil.
I have definitely seen a few guests who are only there to make some extra cash off of fans, but for the most part everyone I’ve met has been excited to be there and talk to some people who admire their work. The same can be said for most comic artists and booths. They are mostly there to show off their work and meet people. On a few occasions I did see some of the artists walking the floor, which is cool to see.
Florida Supercon weekend is a super fun and awesome weekend. I do hope to visit some more CONs around the country. I will also be sharing some of my favorite artists, booths and other posts about the event on myVGBC.com. So keep an eye out for those.
For now, here’s some of the cool stuff I picked up while at Florida Supercon:
Also, as promised here is Rudy’s comeback to Florida Supercon 2022:
*I was able to attend Florida Supercon 2022 last weekend with a Press Pass thanks to my other site myVGBC.com, although I do plan to post about it on both of my sites (this one being the other one).