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SpaceCon brings thousands to Lee Civic Center

June 20, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , Pine Island Eagle

There was one sure sign that people were there to enjoy the second-annual SpaceCon at the Lee Civic Center this weekend: Many of them were in costume.

Whether it be as superheroes, their favorite Star Trek or comic book character or in Steampunk, there was plenty of spirit to go around.

About 10,000 people were expected this past weekend, with the featured guest being Marina Sirtis, who played Lieutenant Troi in "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Article Photos

Members of the Fan Group Delta Fleet with members of Star Trek and its sequel “The Next Generation” at the second annual SpaceCon.


Sirtis talked on Saturday about her time on the show, her favorite moments and what it meant for her to be a part of the Star Trek family for seven seasons, which she said was a blast.

"One director left because he said we were so unruly, but we had so much fun. Next door was the set of Deep Space Nine (Which she called Deep Sleep Nine). Our set was like a kindergarten and theirs was like 'Did someone die?'" Sirtis said.

She also said when "The Next Generation" started, it didn't get a warm welcome from many hardcore fans. Also, it was likely she wasn't going to make it past the first season, even though Star Trek creator Gene Roddenbury liked her.

"I was the odd woman out, so I started doing conventions and built up my fan base that way. It turned out Denise Crosby quit," Sirtis said. "Now, I get to meet the people who loved us. You're the ones who help keep the lights on."

There were also countless other speakers, from former Power Rangers to the voices of people's favorite anime shows.

There was also a lot of cosplay (costume play) where people get into costume to represent a specific character and ad-lib situations where they capture a villain, the villain traps them, etc.

Amber Meyer, from Cocoa, was with a troupe called Make Them Laugh Films, which shot all their cosplay creations which were usually hatched on the fly.

"We were constructing a video that we put on our YouTube channel. We come in and dress up as our favorite characters and put ideas together and make it to where it comes together," Meyer said, who has done this for six years and was inspired by anime and conventions.

Many came just for the sake of dressing up. Samantha Jordan, from Lehigh Acres, came last year and wanted to return as Sayaka Maizono from Dangantonpa, along with many of her friends.

"I guess its about getting together with people who are like you. We're the same fans like other fandoms," Jordan said.

Nicole Wilcox, who was a little older, went as She-ra The Warrior Princess, who she adored when she was younger.

"I'm an '80s kid and I always wanted to cosplay She-ra, but I didn't know how to sew. I got into prop work and finally decided to do her," Wilcox said. "I loved that she was equal to her brother, Adam."

Amorette Dailey, of Fort Myers, went the Steampunk route, dressed as Bloody Mary the Steampunk Virgin.

"Steampunk is basically old-time robotics with gears and springs, like Victorian meets the future," Dailey said. "It's not something you see much of in sci-fi."

People also got to check out lots of merchandise from vendors. Brian Chandler, owner of Comics, Cards and Stuff of Fort Myers, was selling Star Trek and Star Wars action figures, some of which were rare and limited edition, like Scotty and Sulu figures from "Star Trek's" second pilot.

"They run in cycles. Star Trek is popular again with the new show 'Discovery.' With a major personality here this weekend, it's helped out tremendously," Chandler said.

Bill Cooper of Cooper Studio came up with the idea of tricking out Jason goalie masks and making them respirator masks, making like it like a homage to 1970s goalie masks.

"A lot of them are fashioned out of characters from comic books. Some are just from my imagination," Cooper said. "My daughter came up with this because she goes to horror conventions and saw someone doing something like this."



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