November 22nd - 23rd, 2014
Framingham, Massachusetts

Convention Stats:
Location: Sheraton Framingham Hotel
Event Year: Seventeenth
Reported Attendance: ~5,000
Sketch's Costumes Worn:
Gryffindor Student, Harry Potter
Godric Gryffindor, Harry Potter
Shiva's Costumes Worn:
Ravenclaw Student, Harry Potter
Rowena Ravenclaw, Harry Potter
Convention Photos:

Photo Credits:
Shiva (x3), AB Staff (x2), Shiva
Super MegaFest Comic Con is a touring multi-genre pop culture convention which visits many major cities throughout the United States. Run by a private, for-profit company, the small event is able to attract relatively big-name film and TV celebrities to headline its events. The company which runs Super MegaFest visits the Boston area twice annually; its spring event, Super MegaShow, is held in Marlborough, MA while its fall incarnation, Super MegaFest Comic Con, is held in Framingham, MA. As one of the few corporate-run, as opposed to fan-based, conventions in the area, the event mainly consists of merchandise sales in its dealer's room and autographs or meet-and-greets with celebrities. Headliners this year included Hulk Hogan of WWF wrestling fame, Lee Majors from The Six Million Dollar Man, Lindsay Wagner from The Bionic Woman, as well as Marina Sirtis, Jonathan Frakes, and Denise Crosby from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Events were few, but included a costume contest and dance party Saturday night, and Q&As with the guests of honor throughout Saturday and Sunday. Over the course of the weekend, the event attracted about 5,000 people.

Sketch and Shiva's Weekend Breakdown:
We hadn’t planned on attending Super MegaFest Comic Con, but Ellystar, Christa, Kurthy, and several of our other friends were there and since we were in the area anyway, we decided to join them last-minute for some photos and partying. Saturday evening we had a quick dinner before changing into our Hogwarts student robes from Harry Potter and driving to the Sheraton, which, similar to the Sheraton which used to host Another Anime Con, was designed to look like a castle. This "Castle Sheraton" was larger and fancier than its New Hampshire cousin, although it didn't have the beautiful natural surroundings of its neighbor to the north.

When we arrived we saw several collectable cars parked in the foyer and lit up with professional lighting, including the Batmobile from the 1960s Batman television show and the 01 orange convertible from Dukes of Hazard. Inside the lobby, music was playing and lots of people were hanging out and drinking. We had a couple of cocktails with the crew before heading outside to take photos. The castle, with towers illuminated by some dramatic uplighting, made for the perfect backdrop for photographing our Hogwarts student robes. During the shoot, one of the security guards began chatting with Sketch and they found out they had gone to high school together. The guard then showed us a set of stairs we could climb to a castle turret for photos. It was a little dark at night but very cool! After the shoot we went back inside and chatted with AkaneSaotome, Leelee, and several other friends before heading home at 11PM. We made plans to take photos of our Hogwarts Founders at the hotel the next day, and had plenty of time to work on some fixes to our costumes before bed.

We were up early Sunday morning to change into our Hogwarts Founders costumes and meet back up at the Sheraton for a shoot with Ellystar, Iceman, and Christa. We made great time and ended up being early, so we took our time getting Sketch into his armor in the parking lot. It was freezing out, and by the time we were ready we were human icicles and started power-walking around the hotel. A few con workers saw us walking and told us to come in a side door to get out of the cold, so we got to walk through parts of the con proper despite not having badges. They had a large pirate display in a stairwell which was impressive and we were sent through a good-sized dealer’s room considering the size of the convention as a whole.

Back in the lobby, there were a couple of Marines collecting for Toys for Tots with pirates and a large treasure chest to house the toys. We set up in the lobby to wait for our friends, and several people asked if we charged for a photo. We were a bit puzzled and said no, but apparently there were quite a few cosplayers charging for photos as a charity fundraiser. The explanation made sense but still left us with an odd feeling as it seemed like an easy way to scam people for money as these folks were apparently ready to take our word for it.

Soon enough Ellystar and Iceman came down in their Hufflepuff and Sytherin costumes, and Christa led us outside to the tower we had taken photos at the night before. Despite the frigid cold it was a beautiful fall day with blue skies, lots of sun, and a bit of a breeze to catch our capes – perfect for photos! We also found a great spot on the lawn near a square tower, and then went up to the turret the security guard had shown us which was a much more useful location during the daylight hours. We had packed a bunch of props, including a book of Shakespeare for Rowena; we got Christa to take a photo of Sketch as Godric flipping through it like Gaston in Beauty and the Beast saying “How can you read this? There’s no pictures!” while Shiva made a face in the background. We also packed a bag of plastic gold coins and we had Salazar "make it rain" off the castle turret.

Shoot complete, we changed out of our costumes and were home before lunchtime. On the whole, this was the easiest photoshoot/con experience ever: no packing! No unpacking! Practically no traveling! Despite the convenience of showing up to this con to take photos with friends, however, we can't see ourselves paying to actually attend it. The substance of the convention seemed surface-level at best and mostly just a vehicle to make money without a lot of content. Unless we had another reason to take advantage of the location backdrop, we doubt we'd actually go back.