Unleash your inner nerd

When FAU alumnus Teppong Teppawan went to a festival last year dressed as Japanese rock star Mana of the band Moi Dix Mois, he made sure to look as close to the real thing as possible — from the thick black eyeliner to the black hair exploding out of his scalp.

“As far as hairspray goes, I needed a lot,” said Teppawan. “Maybe at least half the spray can. Though honestly, I should have used more and spent more time on the hair to get closer to the look I wanted; which reminds me, I should buy another bottle of hairspray.”

Of course, hairspray alone does not make a Mana. He applies makeup to appear to have white skin with black lips and eyes.

“I used Avon, CoverGirl, Maybelline, and some from Hot Topic — especially the black lipstick.”

This year, Teppawan will again be dressing up as Mana to attend the fifth annual Florida Supercon in Miami. Its Web site describes the three-day event as “a festival dedicated to comic books, anime, animation, video games, fantasy and sci-fi.”

“I think being able to see that there is a large community of otaku, nerds [and] people with these similar interests here in South Florida is really cool,” Teppawan said.

Mike Broder, convention chairman for Florida Supercon, mentioned that big guests such as Bruce Campbell of USA Network’s Burn Notice and several Harry Potter cast members drew the biggest
crowds in 2009 and 2008, respectively.

“This year we have a number of really great guests … such as Richard ‘Shaft’ Roundtree, Troy Baker [of Cartoon Network’s Naruto and Adult Swim’s Bleach, Richard ‘Invader Zim’ Horvitz, Lloyd ‘Troma’ Kaufman, Ariel Olivetti, Less Than Jake [and] The Ghost Hunters.”

Broder said that the gender makeup of attendees is “probably 50/50.” He noted, however, that “there are generally more comic book fans that are men … and more anime fans that are women.”

Florida Supercon also features events like the Super Live Action Hyper Extreme Smash Brothers 3000 Super Show, which is a performance based on the video game series of the same name.

“It just wows me every time. The jokes are cool, the dances are great and the show is awesome,” gushed junior multimedia journalism major Paul Cohen.

The three-day event also features two costume competitions, which award more than $3,000 worth of cash and prizes, according to their Web site. One competition, divided into four divisions, awards cash and prizes based on how accurate a costume is, and how funny or interesting a competitor’s skit is during their time on stage. The Rock Band Cosplay Competition, awards cash and prizes based on the costumes a group wears, as well as the songs they play.

Despite the cosplay — short for “costume play” — Teppawan sees these sorts of events as similar to sports events.

“I guess you can … liken it to people going to a sports event or a football game, a bunch of people coming together because of a similar interest and being able to enjoy it together, except less American mainstream,” Teppawan described. “Another thing, at football games, you’ve got the … real enthusiastic fans that will paint up their bodies or whatever to show support for their team. Kinda got the same thing going on with cosplayers, except they are expressing their love of a character/concept/series through their costumes and cosplaying.”

If you want to go

 

• When: June 18 through 20
• Where: Doubletree Miami Mart Airport Convention Center
• How much: Tickets start at $20
• For more info: www.supercon.tv

In a Central Florida city far, far away …

If the TV shows, movies and video games you love most involve Star Wars, you may enjoy the fifth annual Star Wars Celebration. It will be featuring guests such as Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Peter Mayhew, who created Chewbacca. Molly Cook, a representative for the Celebration, estimated that 30,000 to 35,000 people are going to attend this year.

• When: August 12 through 15

• Where: Orange County Convention Center in Orlando

• How much: Adult passes range from $48 to $128 depending on when
you go

• For more info: www.starwarscelebration.com