Comic Con Fans Love Their Comics—A Little Too Much

Comic-Con Fans Walk Off With Customized Signs

Thousands upon thousands of comic book, anime fans and cosplayers descended on the Tampa Convention Center. Each year, the Tampa Bay Comic-Con goes into full effect boasting nearly 60,000 people through out the duration of the three-day event.

While the Convention Center usually stays pretty quiet when cons aren’t in session, this is a high peak time for the staff at the convention center and Comic-Con brings out the best, creatively dressed people who want to share their love for anime and all things geek.


It can be a fun time for some of the staff but it can also be a bit challenging as security checks for designed costume weapons have to be checked but it can also be a bit odd. Christine Gunn, who works for the UPS print shop loves seeing some of the interesting costumes.

“You get a whole new walk of life that comes through. Where most of our conventions are teachers, medical or science or government, and now we get everyone that comes through,” Gunn said. “It’s really cool to see what certain people would be into when you wouldn’t expect them to be into it. “

Like many who happened to be on site for the Con, Gunn has her own favorite costume that she’s seen.

“There was a mother who was dressed as Daenarys from Game of Thrones,” she said. “She had her little baby dressed up as a little dragon. I thought that was really cute.”

For those who aren’t hip with HBO’s Game of Thrones, Daenarys’s role on the show has her being the “mother of dragons” hence why there was a baby dressed up in a dragon costume.


It’s not every day people dress up supporting their favorite superhero or anime character. However, it’s not without it’s own security issues as fans’ “weapons” have to be tagged and some times put into plastic bags. Those seem like normal concerns involving the Comic-Con, but occasionally the staff has to deal with an odd situation such as what the UPS center had to deal with this year.

Every year, the UPS center tries to create signs that would help let the cosplayers know to get all of their printing needs done. Whether it’s artwork fans just bought or getting something copied, the store handles all kinds of requests.

Well, it seems the UPS center had to create some new signs because some of the Comic-Con fans ran off with the signs. It’s just another strange story that happens at the Con.

“The signs that we create have a Comic-Con theme to it,” Gunn explained. “They had Spider-man on them, Deadpool, and it was to promote our store. Fans come in and get a lot of their artwork printed during the Con and we wanted to do specialized signs for the event. But after last year’s Con, some of the attendees ran off with our signs. Fans like what they like, if it’s not nailed down they will take it.”

While Gunn and her coworker Luci Alexander don’t mind seeing these costumed enthusiasts parade about and share their passion for all things comic and anime related, it does put a damper on the fact that they had to make some new signs for their store.


But as Alexander says, it is kind of an honor that some fans enjoyed her signs, who wouldn’t enjoy some of the creative graphic work that she did for them?

“It’s nice to know that they appreciated the concepts that I made,” Alexander said laughing. “They really should have asked, we could have printed one for them.”
It’s something that crops up but you can bet both Gunn and Alexander is definitely keeping an eye on their signs. This year all but one of the signs returned according to Gunn.

Cosplayers but please, don’t take the signs home—it makes it difficult on the staff.

Photos courtesy of Christine Gunn, Lucia Alexander

Thomas Fernandez is the managing editor for Sports Talk Florida and News Talk Florida. He started his career in media by covering the NHL and the Tampa Bay Lightning. After covering the NHL for two years, he hopped on board the news cycle and has been covering both sports and news for the last year. He has covered major sporting events as well as politics which affects the Florida audience. Thomas is a Tampa native and graduate of the University of South Florida with a bachelor of arts in Public Relations.