A 'Walking, Talking Rainbow' Of Characters Descend On Fort Lauderdale for Florida Supercon

Jul 30, 2017

Thousands flocked to the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center for the 12th Florida Supercon last weekend. 

"It's pretty much a walking, talking rainbow of colors," said Nelson Francisco Jumelles, a Supercon volunteer in charge of supervising the line to get in. "I've seen a fair share of Spidermans, a Deadpool in a hotdog costume ... a few Power Rangers, several Sailor Moons, several Gokus, and an armada of Jokers." 

Princess Leia looks on as Andrew McClary maneuvers his R2-D2 robot through the Supercon crowd.
Credit Holly Pretsky / WLRN

For Andrew McClary, this Supercon was an opportunity to show off the R2-D2 robot he built from scratch in his garage.

"My son has cancer," he said. "He and I started this R2 together as a father-and-son project."

When his son, Nicholas, 18, was too sick to help with the robot, McClary continued to work on it. 

"It kind of became my therapy of how I dealt with everything that was going on is to continue building R2 at night when I'd come home from the hospital," he said.

Now McClary volunteers with a Star Wars-themed charity organization. He and R2-D2 visit hospitals, including one where his son has been treated. At Supercon, McClary and R2 stopped every couple of yards so someone could take a picture with the lovable droid.

"I actually want to take him home with me," said Patricia Machín, who was dressed as the Red Queen from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

"I think that you can enjoy more doing your cosplay by yourself," said Patricia Machín, or "Patty Cosplayer," of making her Red Queen costume
Credit Holly Pretsky / WLRN

She made her costume, an elaborate gown and red wig, from old fabric and clothes. She said she worked nonstop for about a week.

"I have to stop sleeping and stop doing a lot of stuff," she said.

Machín, who also goes by "Patty Cosplayer," moved to South Beach from Cuba less than a year ago. Before that, she helped to organize the cosplay scene in Havana.

"We started creating ourself our own activities because we didn't have events like this one over there," she said.

Organizers estimated more than 40,000 people attended over the course of the four-day event. Sandy Martin, vice president of Supercon, says when it started in 2006, fewer than 2,000 attended.

"We just love doing this," she said. "It's what we spend every minute of our lives doing."