Seventh Annual Supercon, 2012
Doubletree Airport Convention Center, Miami
June 29 to July 1, 2012
Miami is no stranger to people dressed up in brightly colored wigs or slathered with tons of body paint, but this isn't South Beach at 1 a.m. This is Supercon. Home base for all things nerdcentric.
Driving to the con is a shitshow. There's no police to guide the traffic, so it takes about an hour or so just to get near the building. But all of that is quickly forgotten as you enter the convention center and are immediately welcomed with bright colors, loud noises, and thousands of gamers, comic fans, cosplayers, the occasional playboy bunny, and anything you enjoy that might earn you the title of "geek". There are aisles and aisles of vendors selling and displaying various art and objects, including vinyl decals, posters of your favorite sci-fi characters, stuffed animals, bow ties, Jean Luc Picard life-sized cardboard cutouts, stuff like that.
While navigating through the thick crowd of fanboys and fangirls (and the intermittent rollerblading Master Chief) there was an overwhelming sense of camaraderie. It doesn't matter what nerdy thing tickles your fancy, just by having taste that falls on the outskirts of the traditional -- this goes for movies, TV shows, games, or reading materials -- you are accepted. Frack everyone else.
The big draw to cons, aside from the chance to dress as Sailor Moon and play Dungeons and Dragons, is the opportunity to meet some of your favorite sci-fi actors. Supercon didn't disappoint with Alex Kingston, whom you might know as River Song from Dr. Who; Nicki Clyne, AKA Cally Henderson; and Michael Hogan, otherwise referred to as Col. Saul Tigh from Battlestar Galactica.
Also in attendance was famous comic-book artist Neal Adams, comic-book creator (The Flash) Carmine Infantino, producer of pretty much every Batman movie ever (including The Dark Knight) Micheal Uslan, Dino Stamatopoulos AKA Starburns from Community, Larry Kenny (who was the voice of Lion-O from Thundercats), several Hunger Games tributes, local reality star, model, and writer Krysti Pryde, and many others.
Cons, themselves, are outsiders in the grand scheme of social events. The first con was founded by a group of San Diegans in 1970, comic-book store owner Richard Alf, comic-strip letterer Shel Dorf, comic and sci-fi editor and publisher Ken Krueger, and their friend in nerdom, Mike Towry. It was initially known as "The Golden State Comic Book Convention," but is nowadays called Comic-Con, the most famous of all cons.
But this is Supercon, and while it's smaller and less well-known, it also avoids any major mainstream clatter, leaving room only for those who truly live for the abnormal. All you need to enter is a ticket, an open mind, and an appreciation for all things geek.