Man Chi. Three-hundred hulking pounds of anime fan-flesh. His thick upper arm, a quavering mass of tattooed gelatin, reads “I Heart Mom.” But the MegaCon attendees don’t flee from his presence because of his aura of machismo—oh no. His hairy tree-trunk legs ferry him forward in complete Chi garb, a tiered white dress mountainous like a wedding cake.

The Orlando FL-based comics convention is a mecca for comic- bootleg- sci-fi- fantasy- anime- role-playing- Renaissance- LARP- jpop- collectible paraphernalia, modest in comparison to its bloated cousins, DragonCon and GenCon, among others. The MegaCon monster is, for the most part, an orgy of consumerism, wriggling with sweaty nerdkind of every age, obsession, and genre, from the cosplay toddler to the acne-ridden spawn of “Naruto.” Middle-aged, miniature war-gamers and octogenarian autograph-signing third-cousins from the original Wizard of Oz, included.

That’s right—we pay the morlocks that run MegaCon $20+ dollars a year so that we can have the pleasure of breathing carbon dioxide in a convention hall packed so full of bodies it could only be conducive to a zombie outbreak. We pay to see a slightly overweight Superman pose in shiny gold and red spandex. We pay to have every celebrity guest attendee cancel before we arrive at the gates. We pay to see Lou Ferrigno, every year, over and over again, until, perhaps, he drops dead or gets a job. In fact, we pay to pay thirty dollars for an 8-ounce plastic bottle of Robitussin (i.e., “Final Fantasy” Potion) just because it says it’s from Japan. We pay and we like it.

Ah, the little joys of MegaCon.