Geek culture — first spawned in the late 1960s by Star Trek
, the multicultural standard-bearer and progenitor of conventions, aka cons — may be the first world’s biggest equalizer. Forget black, white and Asian. Cons have green, blue and purple people, too. They’re multifaceted multiverses of both family and grown-up-oriented activities. You can wear anything you want (preferably not your street clothes), perform, compete, dance, rock out and even see some skin.
Tampa Bay ComicCon.
The most anticipated con of the summer. Expect to see wall-to-wall folks of all ages in all manner of getups threading through the Tampa Convention Center to attend workshops, procure autographs and compete in contests. CL contributor and resident all-things-geek consultant Brian Frederick says to expect “a variety of elaborate costumes, from tiny to gargantuan, each in possession of fantastic props, brutal play weapons and cleavage for miles.” This summer the 15-year-old con will be blessed by sci-fi royalty: Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher. Other celebs include Jena Malone (Hunger Games
), Iain Glen (Game Of Thrones
), Freema Agyeman (Dr. Who
) and Matt Ryan (Constantine
), plus the recognizable cartoon voices Of Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants), George Lowe (Space Ghost) and Billy West (various voices from Futurama
, Ren, Woody Woodpecker). Guests of honor include comic book writers Neil Adams and Mark Waid (Batman
, Green Lantern
). Oh, and don’t forget to look for those after-parties in Ybor at the Castle and the Social.
The event takes place July 30-Aug. 2. Hours are noon to midnight Friday, 8 a.m.-midnight Saturday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com and cost $60 for thee-day admission; $30 for Friday only; $35 for Saturday and $30 for Sunday. The Tampa Convention Center is at 333 S. Franklin St., Tampa, tampabaycomiccon.com
Here’s the lowdown on some other Florida cons this summer: