Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending my first Supanova, a multi-day pop culture convention that comes annually to Brisbane and the Gold Coast (as well as Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth). It brings together international film and television stars, artists and authors with the people who love them and their work.
While we chose to skip the photo and autograph portion (a little bit outside of our price range, up to $60 for a photo with the big stars) we had an amazing Saturday wandering through the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, which was packed with amazing artwork, local/indie comic books, roleplaying games, performances, workshops and tutorials and hundreds of hours of work on costumes!
There are plenty of free events to attend during the day – panels with the ‘Supa Stars’, wrestling matches, tutorials on wig styling, sketch-offs between comic book artists…you couldn’t see it all if you tried!
The cosplay contest was a personal highlight – I love all things crafty and I spent a few hours on my costume but most of the competitors had spent hundreds of hours. Sweeping gowns, painstakingly painted foam armour, six-foot-tall fake weapons, wings made of wire and fabric and sweat and tears. So impressive, and some group costumes had even prepared a skit to present their cosplay to the audience.
There were rows and rows of local/indie comic book artists (Bazza the Bogan Barbarian, anyone?) and Etsy-esque sellers with everything from Pokemon gym badges to Star Wars replica helmets and One Punch Man prints. The business cards were artworks in themselves.
1. Get into costume! Whatever you love, whether it’s anime or Dungeons & Dragons or indie horror video games, someone will recognise your costume, and then you get to have a chat with a stranger about something you both love. Plus, the whole making process is heaps of fun, especially if you do it with friends!
2. Buy your tickets online – it’s cheaper and easier!
3. Arrive early – we got there ten minutes before the doors opened and the line snaked for at least a hundred metres around the Convention Centre. However, unless you’re busting to see a certain panel or event that’s on early, there’s no real pressure – the staff and volunteers were super efficient and the line moved quickly.
4. Take some food and water with you (especially if you have any dietary needs!). Like most big events (the Ekka, for example), food is a bit pricey and the options are not broad – pizza and icecream, mostly. You can buy bottled water, but it’s better to take your own – especially if you’re in a hot/heavy costume all day.
5. Let out your inner geek! Get excited, get involved. The best thing that I found about the event was that everyone was keen and open to everyone else’s favourite things. It’s about having fun with the imaginary worlds that we love, so make the most of it.
Maybe I’ll see you there next year!
|BB-8 brooch from Moxie Lou (L), business card from Hungry Designs (R)