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The new year started with a new convention which ran January 3-5. Titled Evil Con, the multi-genre fan convention welcomed nerds, geeks, fanatics, and otaku of all varieties at the Sheraton Tampa East in Brandon, FL. What makes this new convention unique is that it celebrates the bad guys, antagonists, monsters, and anti heroes of comics, anime, TV, video games, books, etc. For its first year, the theme was villainy and the clown prince of crime the Joker and his quirky queen Harley Quinn were on hand to host the festivities.
There were many shows, panels, dances and raves for attendees to enjoy. Main events such as the 18+ Bump In the Night, and the all ages Twisted Tales, and Pow! entertained and intrigued guests. Other events included fan favorite Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Picture Show brought to the convention by The Crazy Random Happenstance, the villains ball and costume contests. Panels such as Welcome to the Nightvale excited fans.
Contests and games were also in abundance at the con and attendees took advantage of having fun in the name of villainy. Attendees enjoyed games such as the interactive Minion, and the table-top games Remain Calm Zombie, and Yu-gi-Oh Roulette. Even before the convention began, the staff had an online contest in which attendees could participate in. Called “Create A Villain”, attendees had the opportunity to create their own bad guy and submit a video to the con. Those who won received weekend passes to the con and were chosen to be major players in the Minion game.
Convention guests were on hand to greet the fans and sign autographs. Guests included the voice of Zim – Invader Zim, Billy from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy Richard Horvitz, the voice of Wesker from Resident Evil D.C. Douglas, Gates from Full Metal Panic! and Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion John Swasey, and Voice Actor/Writer/ADR director and fan favorite J. Michael Tatum.
Also on hand were the Tampa Bay Squad of the 501st legion and the Southern R2 builders. Aside from having an area in which guests could take a look at Star Wars replicas, the group also paraded through the halls of the con and interacted with attendees.
In addition to there were vendors and artists who had great bargains and wonderful art and items for attendees to purchase.
For its first year, Evil Con was a good convention to attend. The staff were polite and eager to help attendees, guests and press. The convention staff picked a good hotel which was easy to get to and had ample parking for attendees. The area which the hotel designated for the con was spacious and roomy enough for all the panels and events for attendees to go to.
There is one area in which Evil con can improve upon. The con did not have a physical convention pamphlet with a map and panel, guest, and event information for attendees to have. The staff did have a table with this information on it however it would have been much easier for to have physical copies as well.
In its first year, Evil Con has proved that there is always room for new exciting conventions. With its staff creativity and decidedness to think outside of the box and create new ways for attendees to participate and get excited for the con, Evil Con will be here to stay with new opportunities to celebrate the fictional villainy of characters.