Advertisement
  1. News

Characters come to life at Metrocon's second day

Kit Sullivan-Parrott, dressed as the character Kitsune, and Makenzie Monzillo, dressed up as the character Prism, take in the sights Friday at Metrocon at the Tampa Convention Center. The convention continues through Sunday.
Kit Sullivan-Parrott, dressed as the character Kitsune, and Makenzie Monzillo, dressed up as the character Prism, take in the sights Friday at Metrocon at the Tampa Convention Center. The convention continues through Sunday.
Published Jun. 13, 2015

TAMPA

Worlds collided Friday in the rotunda of the Tampa Convention Center, the second day of the annual anime convention Metrocon.

Hundreds of cosplayers — people dressed up as video game bosses and manga heroes, Disney princesses and Doctors Who — milled around, catching up with friends, buying art and souvenirs and, above all, taking photos.

Maddie Cracolici, a college sophomore, stood next to the product booths, talking to a group of Spider-Man characters. Today, she explained, she was Princess Bubblegum from the TV show Adventure Time.

She stopped to pose so a guy dressed as a whoopee cushion could take her picture.

It took her five days to make Bubblegum's pink dress. She's been cosplaying for years. She once dressed up as Kenny from South Park.

Many made their own costumes, which can get elaborate. Michael Mertz of St. Petersburg spent eight months putting together Draven, the "Glorious Executioner" from the game League of Legends.

He couldn't talk long — too many people wanted to take photos with him and his scythe.

Vinny Suffredini of New Port Richey dressed as Stephen Stills from Scott Pilgrim vs the World. All that required was a flannel shirt and a guitar with a piece of paper reading "Stephen Stills — The Talent — 22 Years Old" attached to it.

Suffredini, who actually does play guitar, has come to Metrocon since 2010 and watched it grow into a four-day extravaganza with more than 12,000 attendees. This year, he said he has a friend dressed up as Todd Ingram from the same comic.

"I've wanted to do (Stephen Stills) for five years, but never had anyone to go with me before," he said.

Brittany Graham and Elisabeth Shields went as the Yip Yips from Sesame Street, and their costume-making strategy was simple. "You just sew the sheets of fabric together and hope for the best," Graham said.

Their characters are from Mars, but Graham and Shields are from Tampa and Jacksonville, respectively. They planned to stay at the convention until it ends on Sunday, but go to downtown Tampa later Friday— not in their costumes.

The most interesting thing they'd seen at Metrocon so far? "I can't see that well, so …" Shields said through her black mouth hole.

Really, they could take their pick. The horde of Guy Fawkes masks. The young girl in a TARDIS dress. The 8-foot-tall metallic tabletop-game character clomping around the booths. A guy dressed as a TV. Baymax from the comic and film Big Hero 6, and the 11-year-old dressed as Dipper from the cartoon Gravity Falls,* who ran up to give Baymax a signature fist-bump.

Danica Hoffman and Sierra Keene dressed as characters from Tokyo Ghoul, a manga that was adapted into a TV series. They've been cosplaying for a couple of years and were headed off to a photo shoot with other Tokyo Ghoul cosplayers. That's the coolest part of Metrocon, Hoffman said.

"People come from all different walks of life," she said. "You'll be talking to people and then, 'Oh, I'm a nurse' or 'I'm an engineer.' But we all have one thing in common: We're all broke because of cosplay."

Contact Emily McConville at emcconville@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3374. Follow @emmcconville.

*EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect the correct name of the Gravity Falls cartoon.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Richard Sajko of Valrico talks about how he killed one of the two bears on the back of his pickup truck in 2015 during the first Florida Black Bear hunt in 21 years at the Rock Springs Run Wildlife Management Area near Lake Mary. The hunt was so controversial that state officials have not held a second one. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
    But commissioners leave the door open for future hunts in next decade
  2. Frontier Communications this week launched tools to combat robocalls better. Pictured is a Frontier flag flies outside Frontier's regional office in Tampa in 2015. [Times file photo]
    The internet, phone and cable provider will help its customers better identify spam and fraudulent calls.
  3. Tampa Electric Co. customers will see a reduction in their rate for next year. Pictured is the utility's headquarters in Tampa in 2017. | [Chris Urso | Times (2017)] [URSO, CHRIS  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The reduction comes because of a drop in Florida’s corporate tax rate.
  4. James Dailey, 73, faces execution for the 1985 murder of 14-year-old Shelly Boggio. Left: Dailey at his 1987 trial, where he was convicted and sentenced to death. Middle: Dailey in 1993, when he was again sentenced to die. Right: The most current photo of Dailey on Florida's Death Row. [Times]
    In a series of written orders, U.S. District Judge William Jung rejected appeals from lawyers who argue James Dailey is innocent of a 1985 Pinellas County murder.
  5. FILE - This Nov. 1, 2018, file photo, shows the Google logo at their offices in Granary Square, London. [ALASTAIR GRANT  |  AP]
    Google search data reveals what topics people in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area were most curious about this year.
  6. An Air Force carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Navy Seaman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, of St. Petersburg, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. A Saudi gunman killed three people including Haitham in a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) [CLIFF OWEN  |  AP]
    Foreign citizens can’t buy guns unless they first get a hunting license
  7. This photo provided by Time magazine shows Greta Thunberg, who has been named Time’s youngest “person of the year” on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019.   The media franchise said Wednesday on its website that Thunberg is being honored for work that transcends backgrounds and borders.  (Time via AP) [AP]
    She rose to fame after cutting class in August 2018 to protest climate change.
  8. Javarick Henderson Jr., 13, seen on a video screen at his first appearance hearing on Wednesday. A grand jury indicted the boy as an adult on a charge of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his grandmother, and his case is now being handled by the adult court system. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
    Javarick Henderson Jr., 13, was indicted last week on a first-degree murder charge.
  9. The new Maydell Drive Bridge will be a multi-use bridge to cater to cars, bicyclists and pedestrians with travel lanes, 8-foot shoulders, and a barrier-separated 5' sidewalk & 10' trail. [Hillsborough County]
    Hillsborough County closed the bridge in December 2015 after an independent engineering study found it was structurally unsound.
  10. California-based customer service company Alorica is permanently closing its call center near U.S. 301 and Adamo Drive and laying off 482 employees. [Google street view]
    The layoffs are scheduled to take place from Feb. 9 through March 27.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement