Celebs enjoy Florida Supercon as much as fans

 

For The Miami Herald

The ninth annual Florida Supercon was definitely the place to be, if interested in reminiscing, people watching or embracing ‘your’ inner geekness.

The South Beach area, July 3-6, welcomed that embrace as Florida Supercon attracted upwards of 40,000 comic book, animation, science fiction, superhero, TV, video game and cosplay fanatics to the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Stars of the large and small screen were well represented during the crowd-pleasing convention. Whether into “Star Wars” or “Star Trek,” “Game of Thrones” or “Walking Dead,” “Power Rangers” or “Ninja Turtles,” Big Bird or Goofy, Superman or Batman, you did not leave disappointed.

Stars felt just as excited as fans to be at this event. Take Stephen Dunlevy and Ellen Hollman of “Spartacus: War of the Damned;” they were thrilled to appear at their first Florida Supercon.

Dunlevy said: “It’s amazing. When you’re on a TV show, you’re stuck in the studio all day, and you don’t get feedback from the audience, and you don’t get to meet the fans. Being able to meet people who love the show is awesome.”

Dunlevy, Hollman, Anna Hutchison (“Spartacus: War of the Damned”) and photobomb/videobomb specialist Nick Tarabay (”Spartacus”) were four of more than 250 guests who filled the convention center halls.

Bill Farmer, the voice of two iconic Disney characters, Goofy and Pluto, was also there. The 61-year-old was happy to travel to Miami from his home -- close to Disney Studios in Hollywood, Calif.

“The fans are why we do this in the first place,” he said. “Without their support, we wouldn’t be working...People want to hear the voice of Goofy, not out of this body, but they close their eyes and imagine, and it becomes magical.”

Caroll Spinney, 80, the puppeteer of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch of “Sesame Street” fame, was also a popular media guest at Florida Supercon.

He said: “I hear the nicest things from the people who like Big Bird and Oscar about what a difference these characters have made in their lives.” He added that he is lucky to have the opportunity to “make the world a better place.”

Speaking of a better place, Star Wars groupies felt right at home being entertained by the 501st Legion Everglades Star Wars troupe, personally endorsed by Star Wars creator George Lucas. This is a charitable costume organization that has been performing in South Florida for close to 20 years, appearing in character at Disney World, hospital pediatric wards, sporting events and even weddings.

In an area of Hall D at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Star Wars fans and other Florida Supercon attendees posed with their favorite Star Wars characters and perfect replications of the original Star Wars costumes and equipment thanks to the Everglades group.

Because of the significant rise in the number of Florida Supercon attendees, event organizers moved it from the Miami Airport Convention Center to the Miami Beach Convention Center. Plenty of parking outside and the added square footage inside gave patrons more room to walk through the aisles, the halls and the rooms, which were getting cramped at the MACC.

Miami’s Jake Varquev, a cosplayer dressed as Miroku from “Inu-Yasha,” and Miami’s Jason Blanco, dressed as Kenny Ackerman from “Attack on Titan,” agreed that “the difference was worth it, making the event greater than last year.”

Florida Supercon at the Miami Beach Convention Center also allowed fans to surround themselves with even more people who share the same passions.

Along with Fort Lauderdale’s Morgan LaRue (as Poison Ivy), Fort Lauderdale cosplayer Johan Amy, dressed as Gray Ghost, a superhero in Batman: The Animated Series, voiced by Batman TV show original Adam West, summed up the four-day event. “It’s a great atmosphere here because nobody judges you.”

YouTube videos of Florida Supercon at Miami Beach Convention Center

Part 1: David Sharp of 501st Legion Everglades Star Wars Group

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEGqsjf9_-M

Part 2: David Sharp of 501st Legion Everglades Star Wars Group

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEWwUYe9iWw

Equipment on display by 501st Legion Everglades Star Wars Group

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnXtaRj1WPo

Joann Sebastian Joust

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc7tAk0MiSU

Caroll Spinney (Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch puppeteer for Sesame Street)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_uLbCixk1Q

Bill Farmer (voice of Goofy, Pluto)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WzJPm6eqMA

Anna Hutchison (Spartacus fame)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2Jka9vP99s

Ellen Hollman, Stephen Dunlevy (Spartacus fame)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BXxCZZP0ko

Top cosplayers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIlclMXVjx0&list=UUkZcqolV-VK14tHoxetIiow&index=1

Miami 305 Ghostbusters

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlbLeG0bzpk&list=UUkZcqolV-VK14tHoxetIiow

Visit Miami 305 Ghostbusters

https://www.facebook.com/miamighostbusters

Visit 501st Legion South Florida Everglades Star Wars Group

http://fl501st.com/

Twitter @FloridaGarrison

Visit www.floridasupercon.com

• Florida Supercon organizers are now gearing for the Magic City Comic Con in January in Miami.

For information, visit http://www.magiccitycomiccon.com/.

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