Supercon. The word immediately elicits a disturbing picture in the mind: a crowd of middle-aged men with sweaty palms and dressed up in Spiderman costumes and prosthetic Spock ears. They're lined up waiting for autographs.
For decades, that was an accurate depiction of what went down at comic book conferences. But that was then. This year, Florida Supercon (FSC) is doing it's best to break that stereotype by widening its audience starting this Friday at the Miami Airport Convention Center. The conference is trying to bring out the inner-geek in everyone. In addition to the usual comic-book-and-cartoon-packed schedule, Supercon will feature guest actors, live music performances, and a Geek Film Festival. Read on for the nerdy details.
"The most exciting part is that [the expanded schedule] brings a wider
mix of fans. It brings them together and creates chances for people to
meet, mingle, and discuss the things they love," says Supercon Director
of Communications Kat Anderson.
The Geek Film Festival will feature films that are, well, geeky. Of the
50 to be shown, many have screened at festivals such as Sundance and
South by Southwest. But don't worry, a few local zombie and sci-fi films
have been thrown into the mix. Events will include screenings, Q&As
with directors, and panel discussions geared for independent
filmmakers. Among the features is Back to Space Con, a documentary that
takes a look at the way Star Trek and its fandom revolutionized an
industry. Also screening will be The City Dark, which explores "light
pollution and the disappearing night sky."
The FSC Music Festival's biggest performance will be Friday's headliner
Motion City Soundtrack. But the conference will also host two dozen bands
over the three days, including Celldweller, who is headlining Sunday
night, and local band Jacob's Ladder.
Of course, catering to a wider audience could alienate regular
convention-goers. But Anderson didn't seem overly concerned. "This is a
fan convention, and fanboys (and fangirls) will be themselves (meaning
hard to please typically)," she says. Even so, she insists the changes
have received a large amount of positive feedback
Speaking of those die-hard comic book nerds, they needn't worry too
much. They'll get their fill of celebrity. Guests will include Richard
Horvitz, who voices Nickelodeon's Invader Zim, Troy Baker, start of
Full Metal Alchemist, and several dozen other pseudo-celebrities largely unknown
to the mainstream public but who are demigods on the Supercon circuit.
Florida Supercon takes place at the Miami Airport Convention Center (711
NW 72nd Ave., Miami) starting Friday and running through Monday.
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Tickets start $15, and are available for single, two, three or four day
passes. Four-day passes begin at $47.50. VIP passes are $150. For
tickets go to :fsc2011.eventbrite.com. For more information visit www.floridasupercon.com.