ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — With each brushstroke, a painted freckle, a dash of color, Sammi Nystrom transforms into her next great character. From her middle-school days to now, she has been perfecting her art, the art of cosplay.
What You Need To Know
- Fans flock to MegaCon Orlando after a year off
- The 2020 event was called off because of the COVID pandemic
- Organizers expect a huge crowd over the four-day convention
- The event continues through Sunday at the Orange County Convention Center
“That's really how it all started, looking through a magazine, found a convention, and that's how I discovered cosplay.”
Organizers say between 800 and 900 vendors at Megacon this year. Lots of artists, cosplayers, and the video below they make all sorts of robots! (The R2D2 is uncanny) we’re live at 5:30 inside the convention center on @MyNews13 pic.twitter.com/I2nrAzoFLK— Caitlin Wilson (@CaitlinWilsonTV) August 12, 2021
Attending her first convention at age 12, she's now been going to at least one convention a year for 16 years, hand-sewing and creating all of her costumes.
Her new creation is making a debut at a convention that is making its return, MegaCon Orlando.
Inside one of the largest conventions in Florida, Sammi and hundreds of cosplayers — people who dress up like characters from a movie, book or video game — geared up for the weekend ahead at the Orange County Convention Center.
The convention, a huge comics, sci-fi, horror, Anime and gaming event, was canceled in 2020 because of safety concerns due to the COVID pandemic. Despite some last-minute guest cancellations, organizers still expected a large turnout.
“Obviously, we've all been doing our part and staying safe up till now," FAN EXPO Vice President Andew Moyes said. "it's super-exciting to be back celebrating."
For Nystrom, MegaCon is a welcome return to a new normal after nearly a year and a half away from the cosplay community.
“Being able to come back to the cosplay scene and say hi to old friends and meet new friends, it's going to mean a lot," Nystrom said. "It really is a big portion of my life, and I'm so grateful to be returning to it.”
MegaCon runs through Sunday. Since organizers are anticipating a large turnout, there is a mask mandate. Attendees are required to wear a mask at all times while inside the convention center.