By Rachel Duncan
Tampa Bay held its fifth annual Comic Con convention with over 50,000 attendees this past weekend. The event was held from Friday, July 31 to Sunday, August 2 at the Tampa Bay Convention Center. Tampa Bay Comic Con brings together fans of comics, anime, television, movies, cosplay, fantasy, science fiction and all things nerdy. Weekend passes were $60, and single day passes ranged from $20 to $30 for adults, with free admission for children under 12.
A number of notable guests appeared at TBCC over the weekend. Celebrity guests included actresses like Carrie Fisher who played Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, Lea Thompson from Back to the Future, Keisha Castle-Hughes and Jessica Henwick from Game of Thrones, Freema Ageyman from Doctor Who and Jenna Malone from The Hunger Games.
One of the most popular panels featured voice actors Billy West (Futurama, Doug, Ren and Stimpy), George Lowe (Space Ghost Coast to Coast), and Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants, Catdog, Rocko’s Modern Life). The event also included a panel of anime voice actors with Janet Varney, Todd Haberkorn and Christine Cabanos, who have voiced characters in a number of popular anime series including The Legend of Korra, Kill La Kill, Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon.
In addition to the celebrity guest panels, a large number of special interest panels were held throughout the weekend. Convention goers could attend panels on writing, animation, poetry, improv, special effects, and costuming, among others.
Tampa Bay Comic Con also housed a large exhibition hall with hundreds of vendors selling various items like comic books, collectible figures, pins, buttons, stickers, clothing and cosplay accessories. There was even a booth with a 3D printer where guests could scan themselves and create custom figurines. The hall also had an interactive spray painting wall for guests. Over the course of the weekend, street artist Chor Boogie, painted a large mural of Venom and Spider-Man. The exhibition hall also housed the celebrity guests and artists for meet and greets and autographs with attendees.
Many of the attendees came dressed as characters from their favorite fandoms. On Saturday Tampa Bay Comic Con held its annual costume contest with cash prizes for the best costumes in various categories.
In addition to the panels and exhibition hall, the convention had dedicated board game and video game rooms for attendees to try their hands at various games. Overall, attendees seemed to enjoy themselves at Tampa Bay Comic Con 2015. We can’t wait until next year!
For more information head to TBCC’s website at www.tampabaycomiccon.com and don’t forget to check out our other articles on TBCC and our in-depth coverage of the annual costume contest.