Students go “Mega” at annual fan convention


Photo provided by: Liv Grieger

From Mar. 30 through Apr. 2 fans dressed up in costumes to support their favorite franchise and walked around the venue showcasing their costumes. Included is this 3-D printed Clone Trooper costume shown above.

Sammie Jo Clark, Staff Reporter

On Mar. 30 through Apr. 2, fans of popular franchises across the country flocked to the Orange County Convention Center to attend MegaCon. MegaCon is an annual event that brings together fans of popular franchises in many different ways. Activity options for attendees ranged from cosplays and photo opportunities to fan meetups, shopping and panels.
MegaCon is the second largest annual convention in the United States, with a yearly attendance of roughly 100,000 people. Fans of anime, comics, cosplay, gaming and horror all came to meet in one place for a plethora of activities. Celebrity guest stars including James McAvoy, Gwendoline Christie, Katee Sackhoff, and Matthew Lewis as well as voice actors Jodi Benson, Christopher Sabat, Colleen Clinkenbeard, and Shameik Moore all attended.
Cosplay gatherings were a prominent experience within the event. Fans who dressed up as their favorite characters could participate in photo opportunities or walk the famous Cosplay Red Carpet. Fans also had the opportunity to meet other cosplayers of the same interests.
“I dressed up for MegaCon as Robbie the Axeboy from the game Identity V,” junior Finn Grieger said. “It’s a pretty niche fandom but I found tons of other cosplayers from the same game which was an incredible experience. I can’t even put into words how much fun I had, I did so many things. From 1v1 Smash Bros tournaments to eating amazing Chinese food, it was all incredible.”
From stars of One Piece to “Star Wars” to comic creators, celebrity guest stars attended MegaCon to sign autographs and meet fans. Hundreds of fans waited in lines in hope of meeting their favorite celebrity and getting an autograph.
“During MegaCon I met a lot of people and walked around,” freshman Lucy Johnson said. “I helped my brother take lots of photos of cosplayers. We walked through the entire building. I met Chevy Chase, Samantha Kelly, James Kenny, George Newbern and Jennifer Hale. All of them were pretty nice and I liked meeting Samantha Kelly the best.”
One of the main features of MegaCon was the tens of thousands of square feet of shopping available to the attendees. Small businesses thrived within the crowds of fans.
“There were a lot of mystery boxes, I got one of those and some Funko Pops to feed my addiction,” said sophomore Mia Ramirez “They had so many cool ones and I almost got a backpack, there were a lot of those too.”
Fans could also pay for a moment with their favorite celebrity and purchase a Photo Op. Photo Op purchases included a picture taken with a celebrity guest star by a professional photographer.
“I met Xolo Maridueña and he was super nice and was so happy to be there,” Ramirez said. He was truly one of the nicest celebrities I have met at MegaCon.”