The 5th annual Central Florida Comic Con was spectacular

Central Florida Comic Con 2023 in Lakeland, Florida was yet another success, with the 5th annual event surpassing convention organizer Ben Penrod’s expectations. “I knew there was a big enough fan community to support this kind of event, but it was up to us to create an event worthy of their support,” Penrod said.

Last year’s event drew more than 7,000 people, and this year’s attendance was similar. “I didn’t really know what to expect when we started the event, but I was hoping to have fun and see what we could do in the RP Funding Center, which is a beautiful venue,” Penrod added.

Penrod, whose company is called Nerd Street, hopes that Central Florida Comic Con is providing fans in Lakeland and surrounding areas with a much-needed event. “Fans in the area aren’t really served as much throughout the year as fans in Orlando or Tampa,” he said.


Central Florida Comic Con founder Penrod runs other conventions

Central Florida Comic Con is one of several conventions founded by Penrod, including another in Florida. Below is a list of his annual events. And further below is Penrod being interviewed below at Awesome Con, his event in the nation’s capitol.



Central Florida Comic Con 2023 cosplay Part 1

As usual, we did more — snapped more photos and did more interviews — than will fit into one blog. So, this blog will serve as Part 1 of the cosplay coverage. And we’re serving up Part 2 in Florida Cosplay Digital Magazine’s February issue – read it here.

Chainsaw Man cosplay

Upon arrival, we ran into a gang of Chainsaw Man cosplayers, which included one who crafted the helmet and prop from scratch (watch my interview to learn more). In a relevant blog, Florida Comic Cons explores the emerging subgenre of ‘anime horror.’ The blog, titled ‘Anime Horror 101: Chainsaw Man, Tokyo Ghoul, Attack on Titan,‘ makes the case the three shows are legit horror by any definition. Read it here.



Talented cosplayers were everywhere!

There seemed to be an unusually high percentage of attendees who were cosplaying, which is exactly how we like it!





Cosplay that made us look twice

Here are some of the cosplayers that made us stop, look twice, and ask permission for a photo (If you’re new to comic conventions, it’s extremely important to first ask permission to take a photo of someone. Doing so without permission is considered very rude, and at some events can get you thrown out).






Want more Central Florida Comic Con 2023 cosplay?

Here’s part 2, brought to you in the February issue of Florida Cosplay Digital Magazine. You’re welcome.


Need help finding cons in Florida?

Florida Comic Cons has the Con Calendar, a curated calendar of comic, anime, horror, and other pop-culture conventions to keep you, the fandom, informed and apprised (you’re welcome). Quit wasting time with internet searches that take too long and still leave you asking questions.  The Con Calendar’s event listings include all the con info like ticket prices and links, vendor registration, and lots more!



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