How to Make the Most of Florida Supercon 2018

Photo by Carina Mask
Last week, the Justice Department approved Disney’s acquisition of many of the entertainment assets belonging to 21st Century Fox. The landmark $71 billion deal officially makes the House of the Mouse the epicenter of all things fun, especially considering the company already owns ABC, Marvel, Star Wars, and, seemingly, nearly all things beloved by nerds.

While the ominous implications and obvious dangers of one company controlling so much real estate in the world of entertainment, or really any market, should be the subject of serious discourse, this story is about what conglomerates can never buy: the souls of nerds.

For many years now, nerdy means of worship have included reading comic books late into the night, epic games of Dungeons & Dragons in someone’s kitchen or basement, video game tournaments with friends and foes, and of course, the comic con. As business leaders and politicians debate the merits or detriments of major mergers, we’re asking the important questions: How will the X-Men timelines sync with the MCU? Where was the Fantastic Four during the Infinity Gauntlet crisis? Will the Deadpool films continue to make dick jokes under the wholesome family banner of the sparkling Magic Kingdom logo?

Come July 12, we will have a meeting place to discuss such important issues.

Florida Supercon is the state’s largest gathering of geeks, dorks, nerds, cosplayers, celebrities, writers, artists, and casual fans.

For the second year in a row, Supercon will be held at the Broward County Convention Center, from Thursday, July 12, to Sunday, July 15. To get the most out of the gargantuan con, here are our top recommendations for having the most fun possible.
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Courtesy of Supercon
Get there early. We spoke to Mike Broder, the brains behind Supercon, and he was adamant fans should arrive as soon as the doors open at 10 a.m. Last year, a crush of traffic headed to the con was so bad that it completely deadlocked a section of Fort Lauderdale.

This year, Broder assures us that will not be the case. He says the city of Fort Lauderdale and those in charge of coordinating the flow of fans can better anticipate the effect of tens of thousands of attendees on the area. This year they've planned an entirely new system, and new caretakers are in place. Shuttles will be available to take attendees to the con from several parking garages and parking lots as well as participating hotels. (Maps and directions are available from Supercon’s home website.)

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Photo by Carina Mask
Attend the Q&As, from Marvel to Shatner. With the massive success of Marvel films over the last decade and the recent box office records shattered by Avengers Infinity War, anything and everything MCU related is going to be a hot ticket. Supercon smartly lined up a healthy mix of Marvel guests for chats with fans.

For example, the beloved Lou Ferrigno, who played the Hulk in the iconic 70’s TV show and has provided voice acting for the Hulk in the movies, including Thor: Ragnarok, kicks off the Spotlight Q&As on Thursday evening. Saturday finds Sean Gunn, who plays Kraglin in Guardians of the Galaxy, and Mike Colter, who plays the titular Luke Cage in the Netflix series of the same name, headlining their own separate Q&As. More importantly, there will be a super teamup for a Guardians of the Galaxy panel that will bring in the man who brings Groot to life, Terry Notary, and Yondu himself, Michael Rooker.

For those sick of all things Marvel, there are some sneaky good panels including John Barrowman from Arrow, Doctor Who, and Torchwood; A Batman: The Animated Series panel featuring the immortal voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy; and last not but not least, Captain Kirk, William Shatner, who is never boring.

Cosplay wrestling for the win.
Perhaps the spectacle Broder is most proud of is the Fantasy Super Cosplay Wrestling (FSCW). After a hiatus of several years, the FSCW was brought back in 2017. For the dubious, this isn’t a bunch of schmucks off the street in Party City masks. These are professional wrestlers from across disciplines and brands such as Impact and WWE. Heroes and villains alike will duke it out nightly at prime time, featuring a diverse cast of characters such as Bane, Star-Lord, Mario, and Skeletor.

“It’s one of the coolest things we do,” Broder says. “We’re putting in massive production and we have a whole costuming department. We spent a lot of money on this thing. It’s a really cool show.”
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Photo by Carina Mask
Plan your strategy in advance. The aforementioned Barrowman and Shatner Q&As are sure to fill up quickly. In fact, the last time Captain Kirk was at Supercon, in 2016, he packed the room with 2,500 people, standing room only. The point is this: Check the schedule, which contains over 600 hours of programming – including a film festival that runs all weekend and several impressive costume contests — and plan accordingly.

“Plan everything,” Broder says. “Plan how you’re going to get there. Plan where you’re gonna sleep at night. Plan like this is a college entrance exam.

“Plan your schedule… Know that there are three levels to this building. There are still those that come to the exhibitor floor and don’t know that there’s all this stuff going on.

“I take pride in the fact that there’s something to do every minute of every day, and the best way to take advantage of that is to plan.”

Florida Supercon. Thursday, July 12, to Sunday, July 15, at the Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-765-5900;; Tickets cost $20 to $90 via
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Angel Melendez is an unabashed geek and a massive music nerd who happens to write words (and occasionally take photos) for Miami New Times. A graduate of Florida Atlantic University and an accomplished failure at two other universities, Angel is a lush and an insufferable know-it-all, and has way better taste in music than you. His wealth of useless knowledge concerning bands, film, and Batman is matched only by his embarrassingly large collection of Hawaiian shirts and onesies.
Contact: Angel Melendez