Tuesday, May 22, 2018
News Roundup

Characters flock to ShadoCon in Tampa

TAMPA — Ashley Sears walked into the ladies room at the Hyatt Regency on Saturday afternoon carrying a pink hot glue gun.

As it heated up, she used a mirror to adjust the white bunny ears perched atop her head. Then she went to work on her broken shoe.

The extra red strap she attached had come loose. Though a minor detail, it was part of a costume she had spent 18 hours perfecting.

For one day, Sears, 19, of Orlando, had the opportunity to be Riven, one of her favorite characters from the online multiplayer game League of Legends. And she wasn't the only adult playing dress-up this weekend.

Hundreds flocked to the downtown Tampa hotel for the third annual ShadoCon, a video game and comic book convention.

The three-day event, which goes through today, features numerous panels, such as Pokémon Battling 101 and The Great Brony Meetup for male fans of My Little Pony. Dozens of vendors sell everything from toy guns to costume pieces and collectibles. Each night, the event hosts a rave with DJs who spin video game tunes.

But for many, the main focus of the weekend is the fashion.

"I appreciate the work other people put into their costumes," Sears said. "It's just cool that it is art that you can wear."

The costumes, known as cosplay, are usually homemade and, often, over the top. Just ask Zack Santiago, 23, of Tampa, who dressed as the Green Lantern. Clad in head to toe spandex, Santiago even had a green light-up ring.

Currently unemployed, Santiago said becoming the Green Lantern, a comic book hero known for his willpower, even for just a day, is a way to escape.

"It's a chance to step out of your whole life and step into the shoes of a character," Santiago said.

Teri Standiford, 27, of Tampa, brought her 5-year-old son Owen to the event. She dressed as a Ghostbuster and her son resembled a pint-sized Green Arrow. She created his entire costume from scratch.

It's something Standiford has done since she was a little girl and her parents dressed her for Halloween. Now, she has a child to dress up, too.

"When he was born, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make little characters," she said. "And he likes it, he likes all the attention."

Owen couldn't finish his lunch without being interrupted by someone asking to take his photo or reaching over for a fist bump as his mom looked on.

"It's become a mother-son bonding thing," she said.

Dressing up, though, does have its price: comfort. High heels, cardboard armor and hot masks can make a day of traipsing through convention halls tough. Then there's all the super heroes in spandex.

Shelley Rossetter can be reached at [email protected] or (813)661-2442.

Comments
Admiral Farragut’s grit brings state softball glory

Admiral Farragut’s grit brings state softball glory

VERO BEACH — It was only natural to think of Admiral Farragut’s state title chances more in terms of the future. After all, the roster consists of zero seniors and just two juniors. The rest are sophomores, freshmen and middle-schoolers. Because of t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The key stat for Lightning-Capitals Game 7? Score first

The key stat for Lightning-Capitals Game 7? Score first

As the Lightning and Capitals prepare for their series finale Wednesday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa, here's a by-the-numbers look at each team's Game 7 history.5-2The Lightning's record in Game 7s. It has never lost at home (3-0).+5The Lightning's...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Red Sox on Tuesday:* The Rays record against a Red Sox team they consider a measuring stick doesn't look very good at 3-8. But, as manager Kevin Cash and several players pointed out, there is some consola...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Forecast: Caribbean storm could grow into tropical system

Forecast: Caribbean storm could grow into tropical system

A storm system in the Caribbean Sea could grow into a tropical cyclone within five days, according to the National Hurricane Center.Forecasters give the system a 50 percent chance to develop.The storm’s low-pressure center on Tuesday was nestled betw...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Academy at the Lakes wins first state softball title

Academy at the Lakes wins first state softball title

VERO BEACH —Academy at the Lakes waited two weeks to play in the Class 2A state softball tournament in hopes of winning what has been an elusive title.The Wildcats completed the first task Monday, cruising to a mercy-rule win over Fort Pierce John Ca...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay’s Game 7 to-do list

Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay’s Game 7 to-do list

TAMPA — By now there are no more secrets. After six games over 11 days, the Lightning knows all the Capitals' habits , and the Caps know all the Lightning's.To Lightning coach Jon Cooper the outcome of tonight's Game 7 of the Eastern Conference...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Couple whose dream boat sank finally set sail on ‘new adventure’

Couple whose dream boat sank finally set sail on ‘new adventure’

The young couple whose story traveled around the world after their dream voyage ended early at the bottom of John’s Pass is ready to try again.Three months after the Lagniappe sank, Nikki Walsh, 24, and Tanner Broadwell, 26, said they set sail Tuesda...
Updated: 5 hours ago
USPS to release scratch-and-sniff stamps; Leaks? White House has sinkhole; 2 Oregon teens take down homophobic school officials; more in U.S. news

USPS to release scratch-and-sniff stamps; Leaks? White House has sinkhole; 2 Oregon teens take down homophobic school officials; more in U.S. news

Updated: 6 hours ago
Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

WEEKI WACHEE — A 16-year-old was arrested Tuesday on allegations that she created a fake social media post threatening to shoot students at Weeki Wachee High School, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said the 16-year-old told...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Driver gets 28 years in prison for fleeing fatal Howard Frankland crash

Driver gets 28 years in prison for fleeing fatal Howard Frankland crash

TAMPA — After Allison Huffman slammed her car into a tow truck driver who had stopped to help a pair of stranded motorists on the Howard Frankland Bridge, she drove to a hotel and got out to look at the damage.She saw shattered glass, a bare tire rim...
Updated: 6 hours ago