Trekkies, Whovians, Slayers and True Believers in Tampa Bay, this is your weekend to celebrate in all your nerdy glory.
MegaCon Tampa Bay returns for a second year Friday through Sunday at the Tampa Convention Center. The geek fest brings hundreds of pop culture retailers and crafters, artists, cosplayers, costume contests, game rooms, movie screenings and so much more it'll probably be impossible to see it all in three days.
The con also puts you in the same room with stars from Star Trek, Doctor Who, Arrow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stranger Things. Oh, and Stan Lee. You know, that guy who helped create Spider-Man, Iron Man and so many more Marvel superheroes. He's going to be there, too.
Who's going to be there?
Though May's MegaCon in Orlando was supposed to be his last Florida appearance, Marvel legend Stan Lee, 94, made an exception after Hurricane Irma hit the state. Earlier this month, Lee announced he would be coming back to Tampa to help raise money for Hurricane Irma relief through a special auction at MegaCon Tampa Bay.
"I just want to say if there is anything I can do to help, that's the main thing; I want to be there," Lee, 94, said in an interview with the Times.
If superhero comics aren't your thing, MegaCon Tampa Bay also hosts Star Trek's William Shatner, Doctor Who's John Barrowman and Alex Kingston, The Vampire Diaries Ian Somerhalder, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's James Marsters and Stranger Things stars Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin. Jay and Silent Bob duo Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes will also be on hand for "Jay and Silent Bob Get Old" on Friday night.
How can I get photos and autographs with celebrities?
Photo and autograph prices vary by celebrity guest, but you can purchase photo opp tickets ahead of time at megacontampabay.com. Once you buy your photo opp, you'll get a time and group number for when you can head over to the photo area.
Autograph schedules also vary by celebrity guest and the days they're at the con. Prices are on the con's website and schedules are posted at the celebrity's table.
Any good comic book creators?
Local Harley Quinn fans will get to meet comic-creating couple Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, who draw and write the Harley Quinn comics for DC.
Other artists and writers on hand include Neal Adams, Jae Lee, Chad Hardin, Ed McGuiness, Bob Layton and Chuck Dixon. You can find the full list of guests at megacontampabay.com.
What else can I do?
For musical lovers: Both Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog and Buffy the Vampire Slayer's musical episode "Once More, with Feeling will have live shadowcasts where fans act out various parts while the original plays out on a big screen. Buffy's is 2 p.m. Saturday and Dr. Horrible's is 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
For pokemon trainers: Can you believe Pokemon is celebrating its 20th anniversary? We can't either. But the bright yellow, 20th anniversary Pikachu VW Bug will be on hand for free photo opps. There's also a Pokemon Go lure party at 5 p.m. outside the convention center's front entrance.
May the force be with them: A trio of super fans attempt to do the impossible and retell the entire Star Wars saga in less than an hour. From The Phantom Menace to Return of the Jedi. Six movies in 60 minutes. You have to see this one at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The rest: Nerdy speed-dating, anime screeners and voice actor panels, comic book workshops, all-day horror film screenings, game rooms and a charity arcade. Full schedule of events at megacontampabay.com/schedule.
Most importantly, where do I buy tickets?
MegaCon Tampa Bay runs 4-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Single day tickets start at $25 in advance. Children 6-12 $10, kids 5 and under are free. Friday and Sunday are the cheaper, and less busy days to go. Family and VIP packages available at megacontampabay.com.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @chelseatatham.