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Tampa Bay Comic Con Review

Review of Tampa Bay Comic Con For the Traveling Nerd

Whew! This past weekend I was so glad the air conditioning was going strong and not in need of an AC repair at the Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014. 40k super fans from the Tampa Bay area and beyond gathered at the Tampa Convention Center for an all-out nerdtastic playdate of costumes, celebrity Q&A, breakout sessions, and nearly 400,000 sqft. of expo space for the whole family!  That’s right, you can now use your 6-year-old as a cover while you scope your favorite superheros, and stock up on your favorite big kid toys. In my mind, that plays out perfectly. Not to mention I’ve yet to meet a 3 1/2′ Superman I didn’t like.

Tampa Bay Comic Con Review

Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014 Review

This year, Tampa Bay Comic Con really took it to another level with a nice blend of fine artists, comic illustrators/storytellers, and vendors ranging from next art prints, comic books, movies, hand-made accessories, and collectible toys/action figures. So, I got up at stupid o’clock in the morning to set out and beat the masses. What I found was no lack of kick-ass to be seen.  I met some pretty sweet artists, posed for a close-up with a few zombies,  and stocked up on some killer prints for my Fairytale Traveler office cave (which is a rendition of a Bat Cave complete with pirate maps, my collection of vintage fairytale books, the Little Fairytale Traveler’s preschool art, and one unicorn head). After that, I popped into a few celebrity Q&As to get the skinny on some of my favorite stars. Check out my highlights:

Tampa Bay Comic Con Review
While most sane people were sleeping, I came down super early to meet a few of the artists before the doors opened.

Tampa Bay Comic Con Favorite Artists

I actually think I made some friends here! I really enjoyed having the chance to talk to some of the artists about their travels, where they find inspiration, and what cons they’re headed to next.

Jeremy Bastian Illustrator and Comic Book Creator

Jeremy Bastian is an American comic book creator and illustrator best known for the series Cursed Pirate Girl. He received an associate degree in fine art from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. When I approached his table his stack of books immediately caught my eye. They looked so old! Opening one would prove to be even more fascinating. The amount of linework in this book is just unbelievable! Check him out here

Tampa Bay Comic Con Review
Illustrator and comic book creator Jeremy Bastian with his Cursed Pirate Girl masterpiece which I love, love love (you hear that Jeremy LooOOooVe). Thank you xx
The Cursed Pirate Girl Jeremy Bastian 2014
Some of the artwork in the Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy Bastian. The artwork in this book is beyond stunning.

Brandon Peterson, Illustrator and Storyteller

Brandon Peterson is an American comic book writer and artist known for his hyper-detailed artwork and intricate line work. He is better known for his work on Marvel Comics’ Uncanny X-Men and Top Cow’s Codename: Strykeforce in the 1990s. Check him out here

Brandon Peterson Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014
Brandon Peterson doing some line work at his table.

Michael Kulick, Fine Artist

Michael Kulick is a Florida based painter. As a self-taught painter, he has also worked in sculpture, woodworking, and drawing. Check him out here

Michael Kulick Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014
I loved Michael’s large paintings. I am a huge horror movie fan and these really spoke to me. No two are alike!

Will Pigg and Jacob McAlister of Mutagen Press, Fine Artists

Will Pigg is a freelance illustrator, paper crafter, screen printer, moving images maker, pictures, narratives, stop-motion funnery, designer, music, and any other. Jacob McAlister  is an illustrator, teacher, actor, and singer in Central Florida. Check them out here

Jacob McAlister Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014
“You know nothing, John Snow!” John Snow did by Jacob McAlister. I loved this screenprint. It must be mine.
Will Pig at Tampa Bay CC
One of my favorites. Will Pigg works with papercraft, charcoal, and print. I’m looking forward to seeing his fairytale set coming soon.
Mutagen Press Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014
Will and Jacob being silly. Comic Con is a good time every where you turn.

Jaime Torraco of Kittens of Industry, Fine Artist

Jaime Torraco (aka JaimeKittens) brings you “Art for the Sunshine Noir”. Kittens Of Industry creates paintings, drawings, and prints large and small. Her art is mostly made with pencils, fine-lined pens, acrylic paints and the occasional watercolor/gouache action. The subject matter is cutely morose, magical, hilarious, peculiar, and full of an imaginative story. Elven girls, ice cream cones, sugar skulls, cats and other animals combine in an organized chaos of color and clean line work to build new worlds for viewers to explore. Check her out here

Jaime Torraco at Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014
I LOOOOVED Jaime’s little “meownicorns” these things melted my heart. Her whimsical artwork made me all warm and fuzzy.

Morgan Wilson of Lux Nova Studio, Fine Artist

Morgan is a fine artist, painter, fabricator, and creator of artastic things with a dark twist. I really liked her rendition of Maleficent. Her logo sign was pretty rad too. Check her out here

Morgan Wilson at Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014
Morgan Wilson in front of her latest work. Check out her pretty painted ladies.
Morgan Wilson at Tampa Bay CC
I love Morgan’s rendition of Maleficent.

Dredmor’s Plunder, Custom Pirate & Medieval Leather

Dredmore Plunder is a leather maker to pirate and medieval enthusiasts. He crafts accessories, home goods and even crafted a mug for the Hound of Game of Thrones.  Check him out here

Tampa Bay Comic Con Review
Dredmor’s Plunder. Coming soon, a feature on his totally sweet leather-wrapped mugs with metalworking.

Tammy Pryce of Sad Little Dragons & Fantasy Art

Born in Ohio and currently living in Woodstock GA, Tammy has been a freelance artist for the past 6 years.  Growing up she was always doing arts and crafts and anything creative.  She also worked at Fenton Art Glass Co. for 5 years as a decorator, during that time she did hand painting on all types of glassware including things such as bells, baskets, and lampshades. Check her out here

Tammy Pryce Dragon Eggs Tampa Bay Comic Con
Daenerys Targaryen’s dragon eggs by Tammy Pryce. I have met her several times and I love her little dragons.

Tampa Bay Comic Con Celebrity Q&A

You’ll never truly gather the lung capacity of a 14-year-old girl until Richard Madden walks into a room. Holy eardrums. The famed Game of Thrones (now dead), King of the North graced the adolescent masses at Tampa Bay Comic Con for a series of autographs ($50), photographs ($50), and a Q&A with Pedro Pascal. Between the two it was a swoon fest. It was hard to compete with questions like “What color are your underwear?” and “Will you follow me on Twitter?”, but I barreled through and went in for the win, seized my moment and asked him about Ireland’s new Game of Thrones Territory and if he had any favorite locations along the trail.

Bring a jacket! Ireland is beautiful, it’s a lovely place. It’s not too far from home in Scotland for me and so while I was there I liked being on the coast. On a clear day, you can actually see Scotland. It’s just a beautiful area where we filmed.” -Richard Madden, Game of Thrones, Klondike, Cinderella (2015).

Richard Madden Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014
Richard Madden and Pedro Pascal having some fun on stage, laughing at the wealth of ridiculous questions pouring from the audience.

Just when I thought my decibel capacity had reached its max, Evan Peters came into the room. The American Horror Story and X-Men star had yet another (or perhaps even the same) group of swooning girls pouring into the room to ask him questions like “Who’s your favorite Hollywood couple?” and “Can I have your number?”. They just don’t stop, it’s madness! I was able to squeeze by the trembling tweens to ask him if he had any advice for the Little Fairytale Traveler as he enters a career in television.

Keep a close eye on him. The film industry is a pretty shady place. Look out for him and yourself, and keep him in acting classes.” -Evan Peters, American Horror Story

Evan Peters Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014
Evan Peters was hilarious. He answered the Q&A with a sense of humor, despite the myriad of innuendos made right in front of his mother.

There’s a definite difference between the audience of the above celebs and Lord of the Rings Gimli dwarf star John Rhys-Davies. Being a much older film star, his Q&A was not nearly as ridden with innuendos and flirtatious tweens. Instead, it was a show of appreciation for film, on character building, and an obvious and proclaimed respect for J.R.R. Tolkien, the author behind the Lord of the Rings fantasy series. When standing with John Rhys-Davies one must ask, “Star Wars or Lord of the Rings?”

Lord of the Rings, though they are both absolutely amazing films, I have to say this due to the literary roots of Lord of the Rings. J.R.R. Tolkien was a profound author. -John Rhys-Davies, Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, Spongebob Squarepants.

John Rhys-Davies Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014
John Rhys-Davies was a delight to listen to. He spoke about everything from Lord of the Rings to Indiana Jones.

Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014 also featured celebrity appearances from Caity Lotz of Arrow and Mad Men, Brighton Sharbino of the Walking Dead, Kyla Kenedy of The Walking Dead, and Daniel Cudmore of X-Men: Days of Future Past, X2, and X-Men: The Last Stand. For a complete list of celebrity appearances click here.

Costumes, Costumes, and More Costumes

There was no shortage of talent at Tampa Bay Comic-Con. It seemed like the was a small mob at every corner enjoying photo ops with their favorite fantasy, comic, superhero, cartoon, and movie characters. I’m not going to lie, I was right there with them!

Tampa Bay Comic Con Review
A flawless Chewbacca.
Tampa Bay Comic Con Review
The day after the opening of Guardians of the Galaxy and I got to see Peter Quill, Groot and Rocket all in one!
Tampa Bay Comic Con Review
Maleficent and Bane. An odd pair lol.
Tampa Bay Comic Con Review
I had to get my shot with Stewie.

Tampa Bay Comic Con Review

Tampa Bay Comic Con Review
This zombie girl was awesome! I love zombies.
Tampa Bay Comic Con Review
Another great lineup.
Tampa Bay Comic Con Review
Chillin with the Ghostbusters!

What I Took from Tampa Bay Comic Con 2014

Tampa Bay Comic Con was a blast. I would have liked to see more food options there, but that was probably just the convention site. Besides, who needs food when there’s killer costumes, zombies, toys, comics, and celebrities? The weekend was a whirlwind of awesome. We are totally looking forward to the next Comic Con, and hope to see you there. Till then, my new office wall art will have to do.

Tampa Bay Comic Con Review
There’s no shortage of creative here.

Want to Plan for Tampa Bay Comic Con 2015?

You can start by checking into the convention hotel at Embassy Suites conveniently located across the street from the Tampa Convention Center. Its catwalk will take you over the street and land your comic book, nerdism loving feet right at the convention. Embassy Suites has valet parking (the way forward) for $13 (check for up to date prices), an in-house Starbucks with wi-fi, with breakfast included and afternoon refreshments. Equally as convenient as its location is the Tampa Trolley just in front of the entrance which will take you straight into historic Ybor City for the after event shin-digs. If you’re wanting to stay put, you can walk across the street to the outdoor bar and catch the sunset on the bay. If you’re looking for a spot that requires a few more buttons on your shirt, stroll over the itty bitty bridge to Jackson’s on the water. Dine by day, party by night. Embassy Suites and the Tampa Convention Center are located in one of the prettiest parts of downtown Tampa on the water overlooking the premiere residential neighborhoods of Harbor Island.

Tampa Bay Comic Con Review
Conveniently located directly across the street from the Tampa Bay Convention Center.
Tampa Bay Comic Con Review
The trolley out front will take you to Ybor City.

Wanna Get Your Nerd on Sooner?

The Cartoon Convention November 8-9 2014


Indiana Comic Con March 13-15 2015


Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

7 thoughts on “Review of Tampa Bay Comic Con For the Traveling Nerd

  1. Thank you for sharing this incredible experience! Meeting you was definitely one of the best things to come from my time at TBCC. I’m glad you had a good time–Tampa Bay Comic Con is among the most well-organized events I attend and it’s good to hear that everyone had a blast!!!

      1. do you have any pictures you didn’t publish from tampa bay comic cin 2014? I’m trying to find pictures of lucasfilm London crew that were there incldovding Mathew denton, Joshua lee, oliver steeples, and lee towerzy.

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