A N00b's Guide to Florida Supercon

Calling all manner of geek, dweeb, dork, and nerd! If national pop culture gatherings such as San Diego Comic-Con or the Penny Arcade Expo seem out of reach, or if you're a convention n00b (that's nerd-speak for "virgin") looking for a place to get your feet wet, you're in luck: You can let your geek flag fly in our own backyard at this weekend's Florida Supercon, held Friday through Monday at the Miami Airport Convention Center (RIP, "The Mart").

With so many committed, costumed convention-goers competing for attention, the Supercon of South Florida can be a bit overwhelming for first-timers. But not to worry -- we're here to give you an idea of what to expect.

Push up those frames and take a gander at the con's offerings for your brand of fanatic.

The (Cos)PlayerAre you a (cos)player, or do you just crush a lot? Dress up like your favorite game, TV, movie, or comic book characters and get your picture taken at the various cosplay photo meet-ups. Meet-ups are divided by group (Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.) and happen in half-hour increments. The Marvel and DC Comics photo sessions are back-to-back on Friday and Saturday -- worth checking out, if only for the chance to witness an epic nerd fight over which billionaire playboy, Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne, is more of a pampered prick.

The Gamer Geek
Whether you're into cards or joysticks, you will be able to test your l33t skillz with a variety of tournaments. Bring your best moves to the Dance Central 2 tourney (Friday, 10 p.m., Supercade), dole out the headshots with Halo Reach (Saturday, 6 p.m., Supercade), or try your hand at the various Yu Gi Oh! and Magic: the Gathering drafts going on throughout the weekend in Room 200.

The Drama Nerd
Your mom thinks you're talented. Prove her wrong at a variety of interactive events perfect for refining your, uh, craft: The Rocky Horror Picture Show Live Shadow Cast (Saturday, 11:59 p.m., Ballroom 2), Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog Live Shadow Cast (Sunday, 7:15 p.m., Ballroom 1), and, a personal favorite, Whose Cosplay is it Anime?, a place where you can show off your cosplay AND improv comedy skills. Good luck with that one. Those judges are TOUGH MOTHERFUCKERS (Friday, 11:15, Room 104).

Comic Book Guy (or Girl)
Comic books are the lifeblood of this con, and it shows in the amount of events catering to the Avengers bandwagoner ("Screw you, I read Infinity Gauntlet before it was a Marvel movie Easter egg") and hoarder stereotype alike. Thinking of turning your Five Star notebook doodle stories into money-makers? Check out these panels: The Art of Writing Comic Books (Friday, 3 p.m., Ballroom 1); Breaking Into the Comic Book Business: How We Did It (Saturday, 2 p.m., Room 114); Digital Comics: The Future is Now (Sunday, 2 p.m., Room 101).

Creepy Stalker FanBreathe the same air as a celebrity (and perhaps get an autograph and a handshake) with the variety of photo ops, Q&As, and meet-ups at your disposal. Alex Kingston of Doctor Who and ER fame is the linchpin celebrity this year (Pro photo ops Friday, 6:15 p.m., Saturday, 3:45 p.m., and Sunday, 3:30 p.m., Hall of Fame East; Q&A Saturday, 1:15 p.m., Main Events Stage). No offense, sweeties, but for this Wesley crusher, this pales in comparison to last year's big get, Cary "As You Wish" Elwes.

Other brushes with greatness: Dana Snyder of Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Q&A Saturday, 2:30 p.m., Ballroom 2) and WWF legend--it will always be 'F' for us, stupid pandas--Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake (Pro photo op Saturday, 1 p.m., Hall of Fame East; Meet him! Sunday, 1:45 p.m., Room 103).

Regardless of where you lean, do yourself a favor and visit the website, www.floridasupercon.com, where you can get your tickets, create your own schedule, and plan ahead. And please, for the love of Galactus, wear deodorant.

--Elisa Meléndez

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