Conventions: Omni Fandom Expo Cosplay Masquerade Contest 2017!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Now it’s time to close the coverage from Omni Expo!

Cosplay Masquerade Contest

The last round of videos and the best is saved for last are our videos from the Costume Masquerade Contest! I realized whe idn’t take any photos of cosplay this time but this to make up for that since the really good cosplays didn’t come until Saturday. I know if you saw my last two or three videos I was cosplaying as Link from Legend of Zelda but as a Pokemon Ranger and did enter this year.

I have been in three contests which happened to be the one during MegaCon in 2011 as Hatsuharu Sohma, the Cosplay Runway and Costume Contest from Holiday Matsuri as my ice gym trainer and Lucy Heartfilia! This year was something that Gondras went a step beyond and that is create my prop again. The story behind my costume was all thanks to my Pokemon Ranger cosplay design which you saw in my Eric Stuart Interview video may years ago during MythiCon. I had the idea in my head when Pokemon X and Y came out and introduced a new type of Pokemon known as Fairy Type which I thought what happens if I were to crossover Link and have a Silveon to represent Navi! I didn’t start gathering some of the things until AFO 2015 when I got my Silveon but was short on funds so I had to wait a bit, which I wanted to do it for the 20th Anniversary but didn’t have it in time and did my water trainer instead. So, when I got my work experience money it gave me a chance to get the parts I needed to get the costume made in time for this year which happened to be of course the hat and goggles and my dad did do my patches with the parts we picked up at the Thriftko in town and Salvation Army since I couldn’t find a pair of shorts that fit me right until I went there. What Gondras added was Ageslash but in the Master Sword design! You will get to see him with it since that took a month to complete and using the materials along with it! Oh right, I did forget one thing I didn’t mention that I purchased and was a first for me to wear was prosthetic ears! During Holiday Matsuri, our friend Chibi mentioned there was someone in Artist’s Alley with elf ears and Gondras pointed out that Link had them and I picked up a pair after the convention due to my skin matching issue. At least I got through that fine and the costume was a success! People liked the goggles and even people at Auntie Ann’s saw me and had following looks as I passed heading back to the con. Also, what I didn’t realize while doing this costume in time was the release of the Nintendo Switch and the release of Breath of the Wild.

So, onto the costume contest! Oh man, the entries were amazing! The judges admitted they had a hard time choosing which they had to get the head of the convention for help! You will see all the entries and see who won in part two since the camera split the video. I congratulate all the entries including the only one with a skit which was Echantress from Suicide Squad.

Will I do Link again if you guys are wondering? Yes I will and hoping for MegaCon since PikaBelleChu did invite us to her Pokemon event that weekend so let’s see what happens! Now enjoy the video!

That is it for this post! Next convention on our Universe LineUp is MegaCon 2017! We are happy to announce that we are doing press for this year and hoping to get interviews with some of the big names so stay tuned to our Twitter and Facebook for announcements of what will take place and yes I will be doing my Convention Spotlight by the start of April so check back!

Also, next I will be doing my Top Ten Songs, so also stay tuned for that!

Convention Spotlight: Omni Expo 2017

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! It is time for another Convention Spotlight and we are going back to a favorite that will be in March again!

Convention: Omni Fandom Expo
Dates: March 3-5 2017
Location: Florida Mall Resort at the Florida Mall in Orlando, FL

We are back for another year at Omni Expo and it is on its fourth year, which includes us doing a fourth year of press! Yes! Makes us happy since we have done press for them since year one! Things had to be changed around and etat includes location, let’s get started!

Location: Florida Mall Hotel! I bet you are wondering, wasn’t this supposed to be at the International Palms Resort over on International Drive? Yes, unfortunately the story is that they were supposed to be there but International Palms got bought out and is going through renovations and being changed. Awww, that would’ve been a nice wedding place, but oh well! So, due to months of no contact nor news from International Palms, the staff saw the news about what had happened to this hotel and they knew they had to pull out. Once they got out, they had to find a new location and they found the Florida Mall Resort that had a time slot open for the weekend they wanted which is March 3rd through the 5th this year! Which is a sweet relief then they would’ve skipped a year.

I bet you’re also wondering, “Wait! There is a hotel at the Florida Mal?” Yes there is! I never been there myself but I know they have had nerd events there and I did remember the MAC Cosmetics do hold their interview seesions there. I tried applying for MAC a while back. Also, this hotel is known as the Florida Hotel and Conference Center. Sorry guys, I don’t have the rates since the website is not working at the moment, I would say go to Omni’s website and try to reserve a room, which when I talked to them during Holiday Matsuri, they really want people to stay at this hotel! So, make your reservations!

Guests: This year not only brings new people but a return of two favorites!

Paul St. Peter: Returning for 2017, Paul St. Peter! If you remembered last year during the Convention Impossible that we have gone to his voice acting panels and his pirate panel and if you have missed them then you have another chance. I highly recommend going to these panels because the voice acting ones do have a lot of pointers in how to get into it and how to sound for many scripts that audience members get to try out. Gondras was one of them all three days so let’s see what happens this year. Also, he is one of the guests we want to interview after not getting the chance to do so last year. For anyone new to the name, for anyone who has played Kingdom Hearts 2 he’s Xemnes and the Kyuubi in Naruto.

Bruce aka No Ordinary Ballon Man: If anyone has been to the first two years of Omni you may have remembered the titans from Attack On Titan made out of balloons. I sure had and even was at the 18 Plus panel with Matthew Mercer and Jessica Calvello during 2015’s Omni where they signed one one of the titans and extra ballons to be donated. They were made by this guy and he known as the No Oridnary Ballon Man! It’s been two years since he has been back, let’s see what he has in store for this year’s Omni!

Chris Rager: Now onto new people! First up is Chris Rager who plays Hercule in all things Dragonball! Well, not the Abridged Series.

Josh Martin: Josh Martin is another new guest for this year and you may have remembered him as the voice of Magen Buu in Dragonball Z and games!

Lisle Wilkison: Another new guest for anyone who loves Tekken and that is Lisle Wilkison who the voice of Nina Williams. Any Sanrio fans, she is also the voice of Batz Maru!

Brian Muir: Next is a sculptor and that is Brian Muir! He has been working on many movies for forty plus years and some movies include Star Wars, Captain America, and of course, Guardians of the Galaxy. You can find his full list of movies he has sculpted on over at Omni’s guest page.

Tiffany Siper: Next is an artist and that is Tiffany Siper. She is the co-founder of Epicycle Studios two years ago and worked on the art for the web comic Alien Spike where a new threat of an alien and a robot comes to Earth when it has recovered from its past threat. Now I am curious!

Noflutter: Next is another artist and that is Noflutter. She is a native Floridian and studied at the Orlando International Academy of Design and Technology and you may have seen her work brought to life on the show Heroes of Cosplay.

Masumi Sempai: Next is a cosplay guest and that is Masumi Sempai. A hardcore cosplayer from the turn of the millennium and grad student from here in Orlando and a Lolita as well. I definitely have some questions on Lolita for her.

Besides these guests we also have the 500 First appearing again and a Michael J. Fox impersonator known as Rob Simms showing up this year. You can get full details on these guests at Omni’s webpage!

Events: Knowing that all conventions do have events and panels by guests and attendees! One event that is returning is of course the Suicide Karaoke event. Hoping to show up for that to see what it’s like! Then we have the costume contest and also have an announcement here!

We will be hosting an Assistive Technology panel known as Devices from the Dark! Since it is a technology convention as well, I thought why not do a panel on it since I am planning to teach it. I will be demonstrating apps I use, even the Braille Sense that I tend to surprise the guests we interview. Check the schedule as time gets closer to the event to see when this panel happens along with many other panels and events!

Well, that is about it for this Convention Spotlight! You can see the details on Omni at:

http://omniexpo.com/

We can’t wait to bring you coverage from this event and new interviews from it as well!

What is up next for Nerdy Shique Universe? A review on the Grand Magic Games arc from Fairy Tail since I finally finished watching that arc and of course another book review and Cosmetic Controversy! Stay tuned for all that! Catch ya on the universe side!

Holiday Matsuri 2016 Cosplay Gallery

Here’s our collection of cosplay photos, featuring entrants and winners from the Cosplay Runway.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cosplay: Tips to Make a Holiday Themed Cosplay!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Now that we stuffed ourselves silly with turkey and stuffing and so much more, we now have the Holiday Season to think about as in Christmas! Yes, Christmas does pop up early everywhere nowadays when it comes to decorating, gifts with Black Friday and Cyber Monday (I am so glad I stayed home and shopped online) but there is one thing people don’t include and that is cosplay!

If you guys have been keeping track with this blog you know we have press for a second year at Holiday Matsuri which is Orlando’s Christmas themed anime convention that is held in December. Not only we got to interview Josh Seth and Todd Habercorn last year, we did get to see a lot of holiday themed cosplay and did bring it all into our first Cosplay Gallery which I will link down below in case if you missed it during our coverage postings. I thought it would be fun to give you all tips in case you need something to wear if you were to go to this convention!

Tip 1: Glitter! Glitter! Glitter Everywhere! If you are doing anything holiday related, there is one thing that makes it fun and that is glitter! If you are going as one of the Sugar Rush characters from Wreck It Ralph like Princess Vanellopi or Tafetta then glitter is the thing to go with! You can get a lot of sparkling highlighters especially the holiday themed ones from Colour Pop and Mac for examples to give you a sparkly makeup look. There is also glitter eyeliner, glittery polish to give your characters a sparkly nail, which I am planning to do with my Itachi cosplay, and of course you can use craft glitter to create your own sparkling outfit. Whatever you do, don’t get that stuff all over your eyelids and another warning it will get everywhere! Even on your pets!

Tip 2: Tinsel Is Another Decoration! Another thing to consider to add on the holiday flare is using tinsel! As in, the stuff you tend to wrap around your trees in. Unless they are known as garlands but these tinsel wrap arounds would make it look like you went crazy with wrapping yourself as an anime character. Would be funny if a Tobi cosplayer from Naruto would have it or any other silly character but it is easy to find at any craft store or holiday store since some cities have it.

Tip 3: Wrap Props as Presents! We’ve seen this around before and I almost thought about doing it for my Soul Eater cosplay but due to a car accident the axe has to be rebuilt and there is always next year! Anyways, you can make your props to have Christmas bows or make them look like you are carrying presents, one good example to do is Snake from Metal Gear with a huge present wrapped box to look like you’re hiding as present. We did see it with some guys dressed as Elf on a Shelf last year and carried a present, which not sure if we got that as a pic.

Tip 4: Lights and Light Rigs Are Your Friends! Last year, I was a contestant during the Cosplay Runway contest which people wearing holiday themed costumes get to compete and saw people wearing tree-like costumes with lights and this brings me to the idea of using Christmas lights as decoration. We tend to find creative ways of using LED lights and do wire them to light up and giving your cosplay that light touch would make it even more fun. Heck, even seen a Cat Woman with a line of lights as her whip and a pair doing a Spawn cosplay where they had lights on one of them. Was it lights? Still, you can be creative with LED lights and as Christmas ones!

Tip 5: Adding Santa Hats, Reindeer Antler Headbands, and Anything Else Can Add A Holiday Touch! If you don’t want to go all the way with lights, tinsel, and glitter, there is always finding the simple headband with reindeer antlers or a Santa hat can be all you can work with. Plus, most of us cosplayers are on a budget when it comes to going to conventions and of course you can find a Dollar Tree if you are in the mood of a last minute Santa hat. Plus, you can customize them to your costume to match! Since I mentioned I will be Itachi this year due to how it froze during the convention in Orlando (I am not kidding! My teeth were chattering while I was Lucy on Night One!) I did pin a bell to show the Akatsuki thing since their hats in the anime and manaa have that signature bell. Speaking of Santa…

Tip 6: Make a Customized Santa Outfit! I had to mention this since we seen a few Bayoneta characters taking the suntan suit to their own liking. We tend to see a lot of Santa hats but cosplayers can get a little creative by making Santa outfits for whoever they cosplay as. If I would, I would’ve had Lucy as a Christmas Elf and still carry my keys! Anyways, there are also Lolita dresses that take on the Christmas theme and cosplayers can use that as a nice base to use for whatever they want to cosplay as and add the Santa hat added to their character. Hoping we see some customized Santa costumes to go with whatever character that we may take pictures of for this year’s Cosplay Gallery.

Tip 7: Christmas Jewelry Would Add Some Pop! There is one thing that can be included with a lot of cosplay even if it requires earrings and that is using Christmas themed ones like ornaments, Santa hats, or even snowflakes! Jewelry with these elements would give you that holiday flare if you don’t want to go all out.

Tip 8: Hand Out Candy Canes! I seen this with a few people, even a Spawn cosplayer I met did this and that is giving out candy canes or any other candy that would have a holiday spin! A lot of convention goers do bring their kids and there are panels when things do get given out, the ye old candy cane for the holiday plus would put a lot of people in a really good spirit and it does feel good to give thme out. If you can’t find room to carry them like in a huge santa sack, you can find the mini candy canes to attach to any business cards if you are running a booth or in Artist’s Alley!

Well, that is about it for this post! Hope these tips will help you and I will be linking you guys to our Cosplay Gallery from last year’s Matsuri where we did catch some of these holiday themed costumes in the mix of many more! Also, don’t forget to hit Amazon and Barnes & Noble when Cyber Monday rolls around to get my book! The Blind Perspective: Convention Stories From the Dark is still therefrom the Dark>find! Please pick it up!

What is next? I will be doing a last minute Matsuri info post in case if you guys have any questions unanswered! Of course December coming around would not be complete with my holiday haul, might do a video for that, all the coverage from Holiday Matsuri 2016, my Favorites of November and December, and the Bests and Worsts of 2016! I think people want to read that. So stay tuned for all that in December!

Holiday Matsuri 2015 Cosplay Gallery Post

Convention Spotlight: Tampa Bay MegaCon

::out of nowhere a noise sounds and out of nowhere a blue police box appears and out comes a cat girl with blue ears and wearing a trenchcoat with the thunder wave symbols from .hack:: Looks like I’m in the right place! Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I was going to do my favorites post but I’m bringing you a quick Convention Spotlight that was supposed to be done a little while back but I finally got contact from Tampa Bay MegaCon!

Convention: Tampa Bay MegaCon
Location: Tampa, Florida

We return to Tampa after two years with another spotlight and this time it’s MegaCon taking over Tampa in a week! Yes, it is October 28-.0th and will be at the Tampa Bay Convention Center! You can find the information here:
http://megacontampabay.com/

I do have something as a nice treat for you all and that is an interview with the show director from this convention and here are the questions I asked Andrew and this is what he gave:

1. Since David Tennant is a guest for this one, how does it feel to have one of the iconic doctors from Doctor Who as a guest?
The opportunity for fans to meet and connect with David Tennant of Doctor Who is unchanged and continues to deliver some of the most special moments that we see on the show floor.

2. What will attendees expect from the guests at Tampa Bay MegaCon?
The appeal of pop culture events has broadened significantly over the years. The opportunity for fans to meet and connect with their heros is unchanged and continues to deliver some of the most special moments that we see on the show floor.

3. Will MegaCon branch out to other cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and others?
Unable to comment on this question. However, in regards to MegaCon Tampa Bay, both Visit Tampa and The Tampa Bay Convention Centre have been very welcoming and supportive. It is our mandate to produce the Ultimate Fan Experience and we look forward to delivering that to the Tampa Community at the end of the month.

Oh yes! This convention made me a happy kitty when I found out that David Tennant will be a guest at this since he is my favorite Doctor from Doctor Who. We did get press and not sure if we wilf we will show up for a day. If we do, we will make sure to update you guys over at the Nerdy Shique Universe Twitter @ Nerdy Shique! If not, there is always next MegaCon! You can check out all the stuff from this convention, hotel info, and so much more on guests like William Shatner and many more at the link I provided!

Stay tuned for more posts to come and more convention spotlights! And also, if you haven’t bought a copy, make sure you buy a copy of The Blind Perspective: Convention Stories from the Dark on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Review: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Sorry, still waiting on the stuff for the Convention Spotlight, I will see if I get the interview questions in the next day or so since I did send the head of press at Tampa Mega an email last night. Anyways, I do have a review!

Movie: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

I know you’re thinking, “Mari, that movie has been out for many years since the 90s!” I know but I never seen it! Yes, “GASP!” Here was the thing, I went to FYE with Gondras on my birthday this past Tuesday and we were looking around and we stumbled upon the many Batman Blue Rays and found Mask of the Phantasm on DVD along with Return of the Joker from Batman Beyond. These two movies were $7 each and we couldn’t pass them up since we were surprised that these didn’t get a Blue Ray release like the many other movies such as Forever and Batman & Robin which were the two movies least liked by everyone. Even the “Bat Credit Card” joke from Nostalgia Critic still makes me laugh!

When we got back to my place, we did put Mask into Gondras’ laptop to watch to remedy myself from never seeing it. I did remember it being in theaters in the mid-90s or was it earlier, but this was around the time Warner Brothers still put animated features in theaters and that included Space Jam and the first three Pokemon movies. As you know, I have been a fan of Batman The Animated Series when I was younger and have enjoyed watching it and that is how I started loving Harley Quin, especially the episode where she was living with Poison Ivy. Anyways, if you remembered my last post about D. C. Comics belonging and this animated series was the perfect example of sticking to TV.

Movie Synopsis: This movie takes a look at more of the earlier days of Batman and how Bruce met his first love, Andrea Beaumont when he was a college kid from what I can get. This does show flashbacks mainly of how he started designing the suit and at the same time keeping time with Andrea. As time goes on, things have happened to Andrea’ home and causes her to return a ring that Bruce has propsed to her with and causes her to become someone else.

What I thought: I thought it was really good! I never seen this movie and after seeing it for my first time, I did get to see one story that shown something that led to present day Batman. Well, more like this movie was from the beginning of the series at least. I thought that Cat Woman was his only love until I found out that Andrea was his first and thought that would make sense if he met someone at an earlier part of his life after losing his parents early on.

What was surprising was seeing the Joker in this one too but the good thing is that they kept with the continuity of how he went through the chemicals and changing from being someone involved with the mob to a villain. Mark Hammel will always be Joker to me and Gondras of course! Also, the character of the Phantasm was interesting. At first, people on the police force thought it was Batman causing attacks on mob members but there was a special chemical that was left behind as the Phantasm’s mark not Batman’s since we know we tend to see one of his Batarangs stuck in the wall or anything else to say, “Yeah, I was here!”

What was great about this movie was how touching the scenes between Bruce and Andrea being together throughout the film. I did mention in the last post that I liked how in the D. C. animated stuff was how there were lighthearted moments in the drama. This was a romance story since it did start off a bit awkward like some relationships due to how Bruce was starting off as Batman and she wonders where he was until she figured out what went on at his parents’ grave site. I did find it sad in the ending how Bruce thought he lost her again due to how the final fight was at the World of Tomorrow exhibit that was around which was also a theme park and the Joker rigged it with a bomb. She wanted it to end after what happened to her father and how he was connected to the mob and why she went after them as the Phantasm. Yes, it did show her alive but it did go the way of “He doesn’t know that.” I guess the creators wanted to show as the series went on that he did move on and found other women to fall for and of course Cat Woman was one of them.

IFinal Thoughts: My final thoughts on this is that this was a masterpiece to be placed on Blue Ray. It would suck if they waited until next month to do it when we got the DVD for a discounted price. I am wishing Warner Brothers and D. C. made their movies like this rather than how they are doing now because of how the TV shows are getting better and there is still more to do with them. Sub Zero did follow this film and it was an okay film after seeing it on Cartoon Network but the other animated movies that were released were really well done. Still, this movie should have been on Blue Ray, especially with putting the audio at a better volume since I did notice that it kind of dropped out in some scenes and not as loud as it Joker’s laughs.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Paw Prints

That was it for this review! I am hoping I hear back from Tampa Bay MegaCon for my Convention Spotlight! I know this will also lead into my July and August Favorites for this year! Stay tuned!

D. C.: What Screen Should It Be On?

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I am still waiting on answers from Tampa Bay MegaCon to my interview questions, but in the meantime I decided to do something special.

Disclaimer: This post is based on opinion and observation. If you don’t like it, get out!

Comic books have been showing up a lot in media ever since Marvel Studios has shown up and pretty much beaten the box office with their movies. Of course D. C. has shown up to be part of the competition but their movies have not been the best. How so? Well, Marvel has been showing really good interpretations of the comic stories, picking really good actors to fill in the roles like Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Christopher Evans, as Captain America, even the younger Olsen sibling to be Scarlet Witch and now Benedict Cumberbatch to be Dr. Strange for the movie this fall. Not only that, they did get SpiderMan back for a movie next year. Plus, can’t forget, they do know how to make the banter between characters sound real, especially with Civil War and Guardians of the Galaxy.

What about D. C. you may ask? Well…well…to me that the TV and cartoons translate the comic books better than the movies. Don’t get me wrong but I did enjoy the Christopher Nolen Batman movies despite how the third one had me bust out laughing when Batman was yelling, “Where is the trigger!?” in his best Jack Bower inpersonation. To me, the tv and cartoon shows do the D. C. comics a lot better because they are translated well. I haven’t seen Batman v. Superman, Superman (the newer btw), and now Suicide Squad, which worried me and Gondras the most because of what we heard from reviews that the movies weren’t that great. Heck, I seen Nostalgia Critic do his review on Superman and oh man… We did see Green Lantern and it wasn’t great with what we saw. Anyways, how I see it is that D. C. is trying too hard by making their films as dark as Marvel but too dark. I understand that most stories in D. C. are dark but there are times when you do see lighthearted parts in it. I seen that with Batman the Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Superman Animated, heck, even Teen Titans had a lot of jokes and banter within the dark bits. Also, the storytelling, especially with Suicide Squad from what I heard, is pretty choppy. I can believe it since the story in Green Lantern felt rushed and forced from remembering it.

What D. C. Should Do? Should stick to TV with their stuff! How so? Well, I admit I have seen some of Arrow and Flash and from what I’ve seen all thanks to Gondras watching them on Netflix and Hulu, they are both good! I even give props to the actor who originally played Harry Dresden in the Dresden Files tv show as a detective in it. The story they took in both shows pretty much fits with the cohesive storytelling you’d expect in the movies. Yes, they changed a few things, especially with Arrow but both shows had really good stories to work with. Even the cartoons when they were around even kept the storytelling as before like with Batman had. I know they all went dark but they did it without trying too hard and did mention earlier that there were pretty touching moments between characters. To me, with how tv shows and cartoons work they work better for D. C. and Warner Brothers since Warner Brothers is known for making cartoons for many years and that is pretty much their element. Now wishing they don’t cancel anymore good things when the action escalates like with Young Justice and Green Lantern Animated.

Well, that is it for this post! I know I am basing the D. C. movies on reviews but reviews do help us decide what we should see or what to stay away from. Gondras was worried about the Suicide Squad movie and I was mostly worried about Harley Quin not fitting with what I seen in the cartoons and video games, which in my opinion Hynden Walsh should’ve done the voice in Arcum City. Still, I am goi8ng to see the animated version on NetFlix if htye have it since I seen a review on that one and heard it’s pretty good! In the end, D. C., just stick to TV, that is what you do well!

Next time will be the Tampa Bay MegaCon Convention Spotlight.

Convention Impossible: MegaCon 2016

MegaCon 2016 Review: The Beginning of Something Truly Mega

Hello there Shiquers! My name is Kristen G. Rosario (AKA Mr. Nerdy Shirts himself) and I’m here to give you my take on what I thought of this year’s MegaCon. Of course you’re asking yourself, “Where’s Mari?”, “Why isn’t she doing this review?” and “Why do I have to care about what Nerdy Shirts says?”. Those are all valid points, but unfortunately Mari was unable to attend this year’s MegaCon due to other priorities.

She has entrusted me to do this review because I was able to go this year, and also for the fact that we’ve been good friends for quite a few years now, so she knows I’m going to be quite honest with my take on the convention. Now that we have that out of the way let’s get started with this review.

To begin with, this was my tenth year going to MegaCon as my family has made it a tradition to go to MegaCon on the Saturday when it’s in town. Over the years and with the addition of many friends during my time in MegaCon, I started to enjoy this convention more and more. MegaCon is the first big convention I’ve ever been to. This is only my second time doing this, but I decided to get a full weekend pass for this year’s event. I have been doing it with other conventions I’ve gone to (like Holiday Matsuri, CEO, and Omni) so I’ve been trying to make it a habit of doing it more often with Mega.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well I want you to know that this review is coming from the perspective of someone who knows how MegaCon should be. Over the course of the ten years I’ve been going to this convention, I can easily tell you that it’s not perfect and it hasn’t been for quite some time.

This year is different though, as Fan Expo (a company that makes money through conventions) bought out this family-run business early last year and decided big changes were in store. The first big change was the amount of days MegaCon was around, now moving it to a full four days instead of three. The second change moved the convention, which was typically a Spring convention (usually held between February and April) into a Summer one as now Mega was going to be held at the end of May.

There was even an event last November called MegaCon Fan Days that was only two days, but a sample at the kind of convention Fan Expo was offering. Overall though, I was curious to see where they would go with this as I was kind of 50/50 on this since bigger companies buying or even partnering with smaller companies has never really worked out that well. There are other smaller changes that occurred that I will get into throughout my full review.

Speaking of my review. I’ll be breaking my review up into a few categories, with overall thoughts at the end.

Getting a Ticket:
Within the last few years, MegaCon has seriously hiked up the prices for all the kinds of passes that they offer. When tickets went on sale for MegaCon 2015, nobody was happy by the amount they were asking for all of these passes and the company that ran MegaCon were forced to drop some of the prices due to fan backlash. They were still a bit high, but the prices on the passes were now a bit more reasonable.

The passes for this year’s convention were about the same, but offering more for those willing to pay. For instance, this year when you ordered your tickets in advance, you would now get the option for the actual pass to be sent to your home, thus eliminating the need to get in line to pick up your ticket. The VIP and new “Premium” passes even got a sweet bonus (besides the usual swag) that’ll let you use them to get into the next big MegaCon event (which I’ll get into that later). For the general admission passes though, the biggest problem was the limited kind of passes they had to offer.

They had a 4-Day Pass (Deluxe), Individual Day Passes, and a Child Pass. That’s it. They weren’t offering any three-day passes, Thursday & Friday, Saturday & Sunday or even a two-day combo pass. I paid $100 for my Deluxe Pass (because I bought it at the convention) since I wanted/knew I could go all four days. My brother though still had to pay full, Deluxe price despite him only being able to go three of the four days. What kind of crap is that?

They seriously couldn’t figure out a pricing system? Fan Expo couldn’t make it to where there were three-day and two-day combo passes that costed at least $15 – $25 less depending on what days you were going? That just reeks of stupidity. And then there were the press passes.

Now one of the other reasons Mari was unable to go to MegaCon this year was because her press pass application was denied. Why you ask? Because according to the response email she got from them, they were mainly focused on getting press who have been to MegaCon before.

This makes sense at first, since they want veteran MegaCon press attendees to get the word out on all of the new changes Fan Expo has made. What doesn’t make any sense is them not letting about the same amount for newer press attendees for press passes attend as well. You need positive feedback on both fronts if you want more people to attend your convention.

Getting In:
This year had an entire entrance section dedicated to picking up pre-ordered passes, or purchasing ones there. Those who had to purchase said passes there were required to fill out a small paper slip with their personal info and how many tickets they wanted to buy. This was really stupid as even during their busiest day (Saturday) they still made you fill this out before going to purchase your ticket.

Then there was this policy they had where you couldn’t pick up a pre-ordered individual pass a day or so before you could use it. My brother experienced this when he was only allowed to pick up his deluxe pass and not the other two day passes he bought for the next day.

This became a problem as now my brother had to wait in an enormous line just to pick up their pre-reserved tickets on Saturday. What didn’t help was that they only had about four ticket booths each to support the pre-ordered tickets section and purchase said tickets section. They should have seriously been more prepared for this, plus they had plenty of room to add more booths in the ticket section of Mega.

Vendor Hall:
Previous Vendor Halls at MegaCon have always been hit or miss. That’s not say what they offered was any good, but the way they were organized and prepared always seemed a little off to me. They always made the vendor halls feel like they were underestimating the amount people that were to attend. This year’s MegaCon promised the biggest vendor hall in the convention’s history. Well they definitely weren’t wrong about that.

This year’s vendor hall was definitely an upgrade compared to other years. The first thing you notice after getting out of ticket section is that all of the spaces in the alleyways between the booths are much wider. This made it easier to get around the place as previous years didn’t feel like they really did that (even Saturday didn’t feel that half bad). Plus the amount of booths now was amazing because there was so much more variety in what they had to offer (though I did count at least 2-3, 3-4 of the same kind of Pop Vinyl Figure booths).

The areas for themed sections of the hall (ie. Artist Alley, Tattoo Alley, etc.) were definitely more organized and properly handled. The attractions in the halls were great and definitely offered some great photo ops.

Though one of the better improvements of the vendor halls was the Celebrity Section. Like I said previously, one of the bigger improvements was the amount of space they got for the vendor hall. This definitely helped benefit the amount of people who were there to help with autographs.

This section was very big and even on Saturday it was still easy to get through. Every celebrity had a line section dedicated to them, which really worked out to give more space to the people moving around the area. The biggest celebrities of the convention (John Cusack and Stan Lee) were both put properly on one end of the Celebrity section as to reduce the clutter throughout the autograph area.

One final thing to note is that they had an alleyway on the side of the vendor hall, near the exit to this area, dedicated to getting into any part of the hall. This helped immensely when just trying to get to one specific section of the vendor hall.

Photo Ops Section:
Now I didn’t put this section in the previous one because I kind of have a gripe with this area of the vendor hall and here’s why. About four years ago I purchased a VIP experience with Stan Lee for myself and my father. One of the perks of this package was getting to take a picture with The Man himself. Me and my father went in there, got to say hello to the legend, shake his hand, and then got to take the picture. I still consider this one the best moments of my entire life.

This year I got to do that with my brother, but it wasn’t the same experience at all. Organization wise, it was much better than previous years as they properly took care of the lines (most of the time). My biggest gripe however was how they handled the pictures. There was no chance to really say hi, no chance to shake The Man’s hand, just “click, NEXT, click, NEXT, click…” (that’s almost verbatim of what me and my brother heard inside the Photo Ops Section).

While it was nice to take a picture with Mr. Lee, it just didn’t feel the same as when I took it with my father. It felt less like taking a picture with someone, and more like taking a picture with a statue. My brother went through the same experience when getting a picture with Burt Ward and Adam West next to the ’66 Batmobile. Just click and go, click and go.

Now like I already said the lines were organized for the most part. The reason I’m saying “for the most part” is because they wouldn’t let you set up a line beforehand until around 30 minutes before the Photo Op with the celebrity began. Now anybody who’s been to enough conventions knows that even when officials say something like that, people still set up a line.

They’re saving a whole hour (or perhaps more) of their time at this convention to get in, meet the celebrity, take the photo, and go. Do not tell them they can’t wait because they will stand there like a statue and wait until there’s a makeshift line behind them.

Panels:
When it comes to any convention, the one thing I looks forward to the most is the panels. Running into friends, wandering around the vendor halls, and even seeing some amazing cosplays is great, but going to panels gives you that chance to get an exclusive experience when it comes to going to a convention. One of the big changes this year was that 98% of the panels were free to get into (unlike other years where you had to buy “exclusive access”). This meant that a huge majority of the celebrity Q&A sessions everyone had access to (though there’s still the issue of lines).

To deal with the issue of a majority of people having access to these panels now, they put some of the bigger celebrity ones in the Chapin Theater. This was a giant auditorium area that I had no idea the Convention Center had. To even deal with the line into this theater, they had an entire separate room across from the auditorium dedicated to handling the lines. There were only two panels I went into when it came to the Chapin Theater, but the experience was still great. A great move by Fan Expo as it gave a lot of people a chance to get into the bigger panels.

My biggest gripe though with this was that not all of the celebrities got a nicely sized panel room. While some celebrities like Billie Piper, Michelle Gomez, Jason Isaacs, Carlos Valdes (Cisco from The Flash), and John Barrowman got nicely sized rooms, others didn’t. Actors like Vivica A. Fox, Elden Hansen, and David Hayter got much smaller rooms.

The panels I did get into where fun and a real treat. I sadly didn’t go to the Barrowman panel (which I’ve heard is always a good time), but I did have a great time going to the ones I did. Conroy panel was great, Valdes panel was better than I expected, the Cosplay Contest was awesome as well (this year had more individual awards given out, along with honorary mentions from the judges).

I had a few problems with the panels that I did go to though. For one thing, most of the moderators for the Q&A panels talked for TOO LONG. Some of them wasted about half of the panel with their own questions. I heard from other people in line that it was worse though when it came to any of the Q&A panels held in the Chapin Theater. Then there were some of the lines.

While the most of the panels I went to you could easily tell where the end of the line was, the others you couldn’t. Anybody going into the second biggest panel room of the show had a tough time figuring out where the end of the line was since they would wrap a majority of the line around a small section next to the panel room. I know I’ve only seen this once, but there could’ve easily been somebody holding an “END OF LINE” sign to make things easier.

The most minor gripe I had was with the goddamn TMNT2 trailer they showed before some of the bigger panels. While they were a great indicator that the panel was about to start, it was the first trailer of the movie from last December that they showed. This bugged me because there was a trailer that they released earlier in May for this movie that they could’ve used! What made it worse was the tacked on Stephen Amell promotion before the trailer started because you can tell it was one of those half-assed, “insert convention here” promos.

Quick Minor Gripes:
-The booklet’s this year were in full-color, but limited as the first day I went, I actually had to ask a random volunteer booth for one.

-Returning general admission convention goers showing up in the first hall of the convention had to take a long, winding path just to get to the vendor hall area again. You weren’t allowed to cut through doors that led directly to that section. That was only meant for VIP, Premium, Celebrities, and Vendors. Easy fix though because you could easily go to the third floor and take the doors through there to get into the main con area.

-Sadly didn’t get to go to the Jay and Silent Bob panel as that was part of the 2% of panels that required an additional exclusive pass.

-I was unable to find one of my favorite sections of any convention, the video gaming area, though one of my friends said there was one.
-Be wary of the Box of Mystery booth’s if they’re at a convention you go to (the ones that have SMB coin boxes) because they are less 50/50 and more 75/25 when it comes to what they offer on the inside. The box that I got only had a couple of items that I generally liked. The rest was seriously meh. The only time you’re going to get something worthwhile from those boxes is if you purchase the $100 one.
-A schedule for the voice actor’s time for autographs would’ve been nice. Same goes for some of the celebrities.

Overall:
While there is stuff that this convention still needs to work on (their ticket system and their Photo Op area for instance) I still had one of the most amazing times at MegaCon in quite a while. The variety of vendor booths, all the panels I got to visit, the celebrities I got to see and even the cosplays were great. I didn’t bring this up in my section on the panels, but the official MegaCon app was even really useful this year for getting around to the panels and it kept me notified on any changes or cancellations throughout my time at the convention.

There is confirmation that there MegaCon will now be a bi-annual event as the next Mega will be held this October in Tampa. It’ll be interesting to see how that one plays out. In the end though, if they can fix some of the problems that they have (especially in time for MegaCon Tampa), then this convention has the potential to be truly Mega.

If you guys want to see more of my work, then be sure to check me out at the link’s below!

Zelda Informer:
http://www.zeldainformer.com/member/20055
Super Reaction Bros:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOEvKiZ9cgn_pN-QXPZQ8YQ

*Note from Mari: Thank you to Nerdy Shirts, aka Fox Warrior, for giving this review.

Another thing I want to add which he allow me to add to this: I think the press form would be greatly improved the most because it felt pretty vague in what MegaCon was looking for which could help out anyone who has been running a blog or a YouTube Channel like we have been running, which I seen some conventions mention “Are you a media outlet?” also put “Check all that applies” to the section to show what outlet they’re posting on because not all blogs, Instagrams, and everything is the same.

Another thing to improve the form is adding “Do you want to interview our many guests?” section because I had to send a separate email to show a list but this would be a lot easier because we wanted to interview a lot of people and that included the Star Trek crew and Companions from Dector Who as examples. It would give a nice variety of who would sign up for this convention since not every online media outlet does this and if you seen our videos, we do it and have fun!

Now, we are aiming for press for Tampa MegaCon which can help us branch out more and get us back to Tampa, so seeing how that will go! You can follow that brance on Facebook in case if you’re interested!

My Final Thoughts: It looks like Mega does need to improve with the new group running it from what Nerdy SHirts said and hoping it becomes better since people do have to get used to the craziness that goes on during these events. Let’s see what happens next year! Again, thank you Nerdy Shirts for this review!

Also, in case you’re wondering: He gives it a CONVENTION ACCOMPLISHED!

TV: Agents of SHIELD Season 3

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Today will be a double posting, so stay tuned for post number two a little later! First, I will be doing a review on Agents of SHIELD Season 3! This was the season where the show got weak and then weaker and stronger towards the end. Let’s see what I think! Also…

DSICLAIMER: This review is based on observation and opinion of the writer of this blog. Plus, spoilers ahead!

Story: This story starts off kind of where the second season left off which pretty much the Inhumans are now known especially to the world and now SHIELD has to find them and help them from a new threat to them which is killing them. Plus, they have to find Agent Simmons who vanished all thanks to the monolith that was taken into their possession from Jaying that sent her to a planet beyond our universe where a newer threat is causing harm to it and follows suit.

Thoughts: I think this season introduced so many things all at once as in finding more inhumans that were in contact with the terigan cyrstals to finding Jemma Simmons and of course…bringing back Grant Ward. I feel that they should’ve split some of the story into the many seasons since season two felt that it was missing something even though I didn’t review that one due to how I was missing episodes while in Daytona and had to catch up at once, they should’ve put some of the season three stuff in season two or at least hold some of it til season four, which was kind of teased at the end of the season finale, which I won’t spoil that so you guys can catch it on your own through Hulu or NetFlix. Or put some of Season Three for Season Four, which I feel like that should’ve been the end of season three right after Bobbi and Hunter left, that could’ve been a great season end right there! Nope, Marvel had to extend it.

I can see how this season was pretty weak, the last two seasons had pretty good ideas and good villains but…they were killed too early which annoyed Gondras and pretty much this season kept him talking. My observation was that they introduced too many characters at once and would’ve been better if they didn’t bring Grant Ward back since it looked like he was killed by the hand of Colson but nope! He had to be the Hive’s host body! Which by the way, the Hive is in this which in the comics it is a being that takes over a corpse and its thoughts and memories to control other humans and Inhumans, even kill people Inhuman or not! It gets nasty when you see the people get killed when the Hive shown up for its first time this season, so glad I couldn’t see it but Gondras described it. If I were to rewrite who the Hive took over, I would’ve kept Ward dead all thanks to Colson and on the planet where Simmons was on, there was another guy there that was an experiment all thanks to Hydra and ended up being the host and when they got back to said planet after saving her, Fitz finds the guy and what if he didn’t know that he was the host and they bring him back and then the Hive starts showing in the guy as a surprise invasion on SHIELD. Should I do this for Fan Fiction.net?

Anyways, what also made us sad is how Bobbi and Hunter left and not getting their spin-off that was supposed to happen. They were great, especially during season two when they first appeared on the show and got stronger through the finale of Season Two and then their relationship also grew during that time, heck even Hunter wanted her not to be in the field after what had happened to her leg. That would be great to see the spin-off to see what happened during the time of the Accords for Civil War which yes there was a tie in for that, and to what happened in between the Hive fight and the six months afterwards, which the ending did show what happened after that time. Marvel, I know there are issues on the staff, make it a NetFlix series at least because these two characters need these characters to keep existing!

What was the weakest part of the story, was of course “Fallen Agent.” This is where Daisy gets controlled by Hive and the others have to try to get her back. This got Gondras go off in major tangents because he doesn’t like mind control stories. I can see why this story wasn’t as great since it felt like her resistance against it was that great due to her past with Ward, if you seen the past two seasons, you can see that they were kind of starting something but there was one episode when he got with May in season one. Ward is a boring character if you can tell, he’s better off being written off but still, they had to keep him. At first Daisy, to me, was a strong character when the series first started until she found out about her powers and how she went through the struggles of controlling them and wore the guantlets to keep them controlled during the start of the season. She was awesome until this arc at the end, during the story she gets visions of people on the team dying and she thinks its her destiny to be the one dying. Since the story took on this idea, it felt like became weak and weaker until she said she wanted to come back to Hive’s side. She has become a bit pathetic from what I seen in the finale episode, hoping season four makes her stronger than what she has turned into with Hive’s organisms inside her. I did like how she got surprised by Lash showing up!

Another character that has shown the stronger side, or characters, are Colson and May! First May, she seemed to have a major and stronger backbone throughout this season! She pretty much turned into Mulan but with more balls since she had to keep Daisy in line, Lincoln in line, and even Colson after he had his arm replaced so many times! Hell, when she found out what had happened to Andrew turning into Lash, she pretty much kept going despite seeing what he had become. I would say she is the most badass character on that show, well along with Mac but she kept everyone going! While Colson, oh man! Where do I start? Let me say that since he lost his arm, he has become more badass as well. He even crushed Ward’s chest with it and even in the newest one, he had a touch screen on it! Yes, he gets more points in my book due to how he didn’t let things keep failing, he had plan after plan after plan to find ways of fixing things! Heck, even used everyone on missions to work with each other despite how much they messed up. He even pulled a Stars Wars trick to keep him alive. I am hoping, Gondras as well, that they finally recognize that he’s alive!

Closest Call: Definitely almost killing Fitz and Simmons! As we know at the end of last season, they were supposed to have a date until the monolith got Simmons. This season also made them stronger but almost had life and death moments, especially Fitz at the end, we were worried that he would be the one dead. When he was alive, we were like, “That was close!” And yes, they finally had their romantic moment! Trust me, we were having an Abridged Tristan Taylor moment until it happened! Hoping nothing else happens to them both despite being able to be in the field on missions.

Hopes for Season 4: Since there is going to be a fourth season, I am hoping the story gains strength again since this was the weakest season! As in, lessen the characters to just our main team, even the addition of few more Inhumans but spread out the meetups because it felt a little congested towards the end. And of course, more Talbot, seeing more of Fitz’s and Simmons’ relationship develop more and of course…try to make Daisy stronger like she was before. Hoping the fourth season becomes better than this! Plus, Colson showing up in the movies again to say “Hey, I am alive and back!”

Rating: 2.5 Pawprints out of 5! I would put a three but the season as a whole was still weak and hoping next season doesn’t follow the pattern.

That is it! Stay tuned for the next post!

The Holiday Matsuri 2015 Cosplay Gallery!

Hey everybody, we already told you about some of the great events we saw at Holiday Matsuri, but now we want to show you some the amazing cosplays we saw that weekend, along with the winners of the CICAF contest, who will go on to join the other American representatives at CICAF later this year. Just click on the first picture to start the Gallery. We’ll see you next time.