The options are so vast that you might not know where to start. Luckily, New Times has compiled a quick summary of all the things to do and see at this festival of fandom. Dive in below.
Take a Stroll Down the Artist AlleyArtists are the heart and soul of any self-respecting fandom. Glancing through any given fandom hashtag on Tumblr or Twitter will put you face to face with sumptuously rendered fan art of your favorite characters. What if you could check out all that art in person? The Artist Alley allows you to do just that. Admire artworks from your favorite fandom creators, as well as professional comic book artists like Alitha Martinez (Iron Man, Black Panther: World of Wakanda). Many artists also sell prints and other products — purchasing artwork at conventions is one of the best ways to support artists, so keep that wallet open.
Crush Your Cosplay GoalsHave you ever wondered what it takes to bring your favorite character costumes to life? Whether you're a seasoned pro or just cosplay-curious, Cosplay Central is where you want to be. Supercon is running panels and groups on cosplay crafting, photography, makeup, using duct tape and EVA foam to build outfits, building a cosplay using thrifted and budget materials (OMG, sustainable!), and even modeling and posing. It also has groups for disabled and LGBTQ cosplayers, as well as lip-synch and karaoke sessions. Then there's the main event: the costume showcase and crown championship, where the mightiest cosplay crusaders will battle for best in show. Anyone can sign up for the Saturday and Sunday showcase sessions and strut their stuff for the chance to win goodies and tickets to next year's Supercon. The crown championship, meanwhile, features the cream of the cosplay crop, where participants will duel for the chance to compete at the nationals in Chicago. Applications closed earlier this month, but you should still watch and mine the pros for ideas.
Test Your Otaku Skills at PopAsiaK-Pop groups are topping the charts. Manga is outselling comics. Asia's pop cultural prowess is simply a fact of life, and Supercon's PopAsia section is proof. The sheer variety of activities here is daunting, but that means there's something for every otaku and fan. Learn to build your favorite giant robot in tiny plastic at the Gundam Building workshop, or enter the Pokémon Gym Challenge with your Sword and Shield team. Learn about Japanese and Korean culture with various panels on subjects from Japanese history and sweets to anime dubbing. Those already maxed out on knowledge points can compete in trivia and game shows, K-Pop dance contests, and more. When you've had enough, relax and be pampered at the Cafe Kira Hoshi maid cafe (separate ticket required), or unwind at the Manga Lounge and catch up with your favorite series — only 65 volumes of One Piece to go. Ikuzo!
Get Your Game OnAttention epic gamers, it's time to rise and grind. We'll just cut to the chase and tell you about the tabletop and video game competitions on offer. Flynn's Arcade will be running tournaments for three major fighting games — Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Guilty Gear Strive, and the recently-released Street Fighter 6 — while Pro-Play Games will hold trading card game tournaments for Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon TCG, Digimon Card Game, and One Piece Case. Warhammer 40,000 tournaments will go on across the weekend, as will Dungeons & Dragons sessions. South Beach Room Escape will host two escape rooms for more immersive action, including one with a nightclub theme. There will also be many LARP encounters, learn-to-play sessions, and rooms featuring arcade and board games from Guitar Hero to Cards Against Humanity, Settlers of Catan, and more.
Get Nerdy and Dirty After DarkThey say the freaks come out at night, and that's doubly true at a place like Supercon. Plenty of 18-and-over events will be going on at the convention center at the After Dark component. Take in panels on hentai history, gay manga, and BDSM; watch a sexy K-Pop "Nerdlesque" show; or ask an adult cosplay model anything. (Try not to be too creepy, please — women are people.) Of course, if you're not a horny perv, there's also lots to do for all ages after the sun sets, chief among them two nights of epic DJ sets. Kristian Nairn (Hodor from Game of Thrones) will hit the decks on Friday, while sample pad master Shawn Wasabi will take the Saturday mainstage slot. City pop DJ Van Paugam will open both nights, and Saturday will go late with an emo music showcase.
See a Great Anime Soundtrack Come to LifeUniversally regarded as one of the greatest anime series of all time, Cowboy Bebop is just as famous for its jazzy, eclectic soundtrack by Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts. Thanks to Supercon, you'll be able to hear it performed in real life. It's bringing Cowboy Bebop Live Tribute to the Miami Beach Bandshell on Saturday, July 1. A big band of 22 musicians and vocalists will play the hits from Bebop's futuristic space western universe accompanied by a thematic light show. You've never heard "The Real Folk Blues" like this. The event requires separate admission.
Florida Supercon. Friday, June 30, through Sunday, July 2, at Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach; floridasupercon.com. Tickets cost $12 to $325 via floridasupercon.com.