ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — When it comes to building a costume for MegaCon, some artists take weeks, even months. But for Dan Gruden, it's just a matter of rolling out of bed.
What You Need To Know
- Dan Gruden is attending MegaCon this year cosplaying as Stan Lee
- He looks so much like the late Marvel great that Gruden says hundreds of people ask to take photos with him
- Gruden's grandchildren were the first to point out his uncanny resemblance to Lee
His face is all too recognizable to MegaCon fans, eager to snap a photo, and he takes a lot of them in a day.
“Maybe 600 or 700," Gruden said with a laugh.
But it was actually his grandchildren who first pointed out his head-turning resemblance.
“Him my name is Dan and I'm a Stan Lee lookalike," Gruden said.
A former general foreman for Ford for 35 years, he now spends his days walking convention aisles cosplaying as the late comic book legend Stan Lee.
But if you ask him, he says he didn't see the resemblance at first.
“I don't see Stan Lee when I look in the mirror, but everyone was telling me I looked like Stan Lee. So, I guess I look like Stan Lee," Gruden said.
And despite having to join other "masked heroes" at this year's MegaCon, due to the mask mandate, he's still making a lasting impression.
“The imagery ... if it's not there people will forget .. and they'll see pictures, but they'll forget Stan Lee ... I want it to be like he's still out there walking around, even if I am just a lookalike," Gruden said.
Now wrapping his second day of MegaCon, Gruden is certainly feeling the love.
“I get a lot of hugs ... some tears ... double takes,” he said.
He is enjoying getting back with his cosplay community, a hobby he plans to continue.
“I'll do this as long as I can do it ... so hopefully a number of years into the future," Gruden said. "At least I don't have to change wardrobe too much.”
Anyone who wants to see what else Dan is up to can check out his Facebook page.
MegaCon closed Friday at 7 p.m. but will resume for Saturday and Sunday. Anyone planning to come to MegaCon should remember there is a mask mandate in place for when you are inside the convention center.