Convention Report

Lake Collect-A-Con, A Great Small Town Event For The Suburban Geek

 In Leesburg, Florida came the awesome Lake Collect-A-Con and with it vendors, cosplayers, and entertainers galore! According to The Daily Commercial, there had been double the expected turn out for this event and also Marketing and Events Manager Dr. Anna Marie Chwastiak, they are expecting another this fall and referred to it as “the new offline experience”. So it looks like there will be 2 this year.

Some personalities of the con were artist, illustrator, and Walking Dead walker Tim Proctor (say that 5 times real fast! lol!). Pop culture artist Athena Finger, grand daughter to Batman co-creator, Bill Finger was also front and center. There was also pop culture and comic artist Jon Pinto and brewmaster/artist Jeremy Gonzalez. In addition to comic artists, for those that enjoy the indie realm of creations, indie comic artist and writers Matt Knowles of InSymmetry Creations, LLC and Joel Rodriguez of Metal Ninja Studios, as well as Barry and Jenni Gregory ,had their tables up and at ’em! Space Ghost voiceover George Lowe also appeared at the NEW Lake Square Mall.

It was a very exciting day to be there and with it the Phantasmagoria steampunk theater troupe made their performance a la belly dancing, LED dance artistry for the indoors, and finally, an awesome performance with a sword swallowing artist. I personally had the honor bestowed upon me to remove a serpentine sword from Vera Vermillion’s mouth.

The Riley and Kimmy Show celebrated their 2,000th episode at the con and afforded the opportunity for con-goers to spin the wheel to get a shot at being on the milestone episode.

Professional cosplayers had bestowed upon us their appearance at the Lake Collect-A-Con. Rick Stafford, a.k.a. “The True Aquaman” ,was in full DC Comics attire. He shared with me his photo op experience with Jason Momoa at a MegaCon and how the Justice League cinematic celebrity addition to the Warner Bros. franchise was indeed impressed with Rick’s armored version of the Arthur Curry character.

I also had come to know former wrestler and free thinking, meme lovin’ bacon addict April Hunter. Other hats she wears include modeling, cosplaying, creating, producing, and writing. April is also a recent creative writing graduate from Full Sail University and hopes to make a mark in the industry. Also keep an eye out for her scented soaps and candles a la April’s ScentSations.

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Other Small Town Central Fla. Cons To Consider

I personally think having these small town conventions is a great idea. It is best for accessibility for those who prefer to stay local and not take the long trek to a major metro area like Orlando or Tampa. They can be affordable, geographically desirable, and can help build social connections and reinforce a community with their common interests.  This convention was proof of that as it had greater numbers than before. Of course, Lake County continues to grow per other developments occurring in the area.

In addition to the Lake County con, other noteworthy small town conventions would be the Ocala and Clermont Comic Cons. In addition to that, for even smaller towns, there is the Astor Geek Fest as well as the Leesburg Comic Con which holds their events at the Leesburg Public Library. You’d have to keep checking the library’s page for future events.

Click on the highlighted links in the aforementioned paragraph for further info.

That being said, I encourage anyone from the big cities to take a ride out to these events to support these “suburbia cons” as I like to call them.  Until then, keep being geeky!


Native Floridian who his highly passionate about all things 80s retro, geeky, sci-fi, and just about anything pop-culture. Tony enjoys writing about this very topic as well as immerse himself into the culture by attending events. There's nothing more fun than rubbing elbows with other interested cohorts of the craft.