Magic City Comic Con 2016 Brought Doctor Who Beauties, the Science Guy, and Sci-Fi Speed Dating

Following one of the nerdiest holiday seasons thanks to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Magic City Comic Con was a nice bookend to winter geekiness and provided some relief from the oversaturation of Disney's latest.

Boasting perhaps one of their strongest guest lineups yet, the folks behind MCCC (the same ones who bring you Animate! Miami and Florida Supercon) allowed attendees from every corner of fandom to enjoy and indulge their particular passions not associated with lightsabers. Anime, board games, comic books, film, TV, videogames — all were well represented with a varied mix of events and speakers.

Each day of the three-day event held at the Miami Airport Convention Center saw the inclusion of at least one big headliner. Unlike, say, music festivals, which save their big guns for prime-time evening slots, MCCC brought out its best during the matinee hour. Friday afternoon belonged to both nature and science as Bill Nye the Science Guy was pitted against a baby hurricane. But a storm system that had the authorities issuing tornado warnings wasn't strong enough to dissuade people from packing the main east hall where Nye took the stage.

The same was true Saturday and Sunday as both Jenna Coleman and Billie Piper, perhaps the two most popular companions from the revamped Doctor Who series, filled that same hall with adoring and eager fans. They were standing room only Q&A's and both British beauties handled the barrage of questions with aplomb, regardless of how complex (or bizarre) the queries became.

For example, Coleman was asked about the future of her character, Clara Oswald, but was also asked to describe her favorite meal. Meanwhile, Piper was asked the name of a hypothetical child between her and her Doctor, David Tennant (“Rod”). Through many awkward declarations of love and praise from fans and the occasional shouting into the microphone, the two beamed and were genuinely friendly to each and every person waiting in lines that extended into the back of the room.

There was also some love being spread on the second floor of the convention center. On one end, an entire room was dedicated to independent, and mostly local, artists and filmmakers. From their booths they were happy to chat about their original works of art. We have some fairly incredible talent in South Florida that doesn't get enough recognition including visual artists Brian Reedy and Peter Santa-Maria of Attack the Planet and Brian's brother, Matt, who was featured in Kotaku for his anime / Little Golden Books mashup series. Across the way were some of the participants of the Super Geek Film Festival such as Lou Simon, a horror filmmaker who's written and directed three movies in three years including her latest, Agoraphobia starring Cassandra Scerbo of Sharknado and the Candyman himself, Tony Todd.

Down the hall, a different kind of possible love was in the air with Sci-Fi Speed Dating, a form of speed dating exclusively crafted for conventions around the country. In addition to being nerd-friendly, it was also LGBT-friendly — organizers held a separate session for gay and lesbian attendees.

The culmination of this love fest came Saturday night — by far the busiest of the three days — with the costume contest. While the winners of each category were deserving, including the group of Sesame Street marauders who had the heads of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch adorning their armor like trophies, it was those who didn't win who made the weekend. Plenty of people dressed up and didn't enter the competition but still won hearts left and right. A few standouts walking the convention floor included the Scooby-Doo gang having lunch at the hotel bar; a Macho Man Randy Savage/Deadpool combo outfit; a Dick Tracy couple with a spot-on Madonna and Warren Beatty; and an Ace Ventura impersonator who hit all the Jim Carrey face and neck movements so hard it's a wonder he didn't pull a muscle.

It was the first comic con of the year and already MCCC felt like one of the best. If there was one criticism, it was that it was too good. So many people showed up that it made the convention center feel way too small and crowded for an event this big. But if that's the byproduct of all the love they show the fans reciprocated, surely they can live with it, and so can we.