Super MegaFest Comic Con is touring multi-genre convention which visits many major cities throughout the United States. Run by a private, for profit company, the small event is able to attract relatively big-name film and TV celebrities to headline its events.
The company which runs Super MegaFest visits the Boston area twice annually; its spring event, Super MegaShow, is held in Marlborough, MA while its fall incarnation, Super MegaFest is held in Framingham. As one of the few corporate-run, as opposed to fan-based conventions in the area, the event mainly consists of merchandise sales in its dealer's room and autographs/meet-and-greets with celebrities. Headliners this year included Hulk Hogan of WWF wrestling fame, Lee Majors from The Six Million Dollar Man, Lindsay Wagner from The Bionic Woman, as well as Marina Sirtis, Jonathan Frakes, and Denise Crosby from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Events were few, but included a costume contest and dance party Saturday night, and Q&As with the guests of honor throughout Saturday and Sunday. About 5,000 people were in attendance, and the show fit well into the Framingham Sheraton. The castle-like appearance of the convention center also provided an excellent backdrop for photos and convention shenanigans.
Sketch and I hadnít planned on attending Super MegaFest, but EllyStar, Christa, Kurthy, and several of our other friends were there and we were in the area so we decided to join them for some photos and some partying. Saturday evening we had a quick dinner before changing into our Hogwarts student robes from Harry Potter and driving to the Sheraton, which, similar to the Sheraton which used to host Another Anime Con, the hotel was designed to look like a castle, but was larger and fancier than its New Hampshire cousin. When we arrived we saw several collectable cars parked in the foyer and lit up with professional lighting, including the Batmobile from the 1960s Batman television show and the 01 orange convertible from Dukes of Hazard. Inside the lobby, music was playing and lots of people were hanging out and drinking. We had a couple of cocktails with the crew before heading outside to take photos. The castle, with towers illuminated by some dramatic uplighting, made for the perfect backdrop for Hogwarts students. During the shoot, one of the security guards began chatting with Sketch and found out they had gone to high school together. The guard then showed us a set of stairs we could climb to a castle turret for photos. It was a little dark at night but very cool! After the shoot we went back inside and chatted with Akane Saotome, Leelee, and several other friends before hanging out in the room again. We headed home at 11PM, and had plenty of time to work on some fixes to our Hogwarts Founders costumes before bed.
We were up early Sunday morning to change into our Hogwarts Founders costumes and meet up back at the Sheraton for a 10AM shoot with EllyStar, IceMan, and Christa. We made great time and ended up being early, so I took my time helping Sketch get into his armor in the parking lot. By the time he was ready I was freezing, and we quickly walked into the hotel. A few con workers saw us walking and told us to come in a side door, and we got to walk through parts of the con proper. They had a large pirate display in a stairwell which was impressive and we were sent through a good-sized dealerís room considering the size of the convention as a whole. Back in the lobby, there were a couple of Marines collecting for Toys for Tots with pirates and a large treasure chest to house the toys. We set up in the lobby to wait for our friends, and several people asked if we charged for a photo. We were a bit puzzled and said no, but apparently there were cosplayers charging for photos as a charity fundraiser. I suppose that made sense, but it still left me with an odd feeling as it seemed like an easy way to scam people for money.
Soon enough EllyStar and IceMan came down in their Hufflepuff and Sytherin costumes, and Christa led us outside to the tower we had taken photos at last night. It was a beautiful fall day with blue skies, lots of sun, and a bit of a breeze to catch our capes Ė the perfect weather for photos! We also found a great spot on the lawn near a square tower, and then went up to the turret the security guard had shown us the night before, which was a much more useful location during the daylight hours. I had packed a bunch of props, including a book of Shakespeare for myself as Ravenclaw. We got Christa to take a photo of Sketch as Gryffindor flipping through it like Gaston in Beauty and the Beast saying ďHow can you read this? Thereís no pictures!Ē while I made a face in the background. Iím really excited to see how they come out! Shoot complete, we were home by lunchtime. This was the easiest photoshoot/con experience ever: no packing! No unpacking! Practically no traveling! Too bad all conventions arenít this easy to attend.