I don’t know how they do it—the organisers, the guests, the exhibitors; all the people who make Oz Comic-Con a huge event across two cities and two big weekends. Last weekend I attended the Sydney venue; this weekend is Brisbane’s turn. And while I can’t predict the cosplay, I can definitely give you a few tips, based on my review: Awesome.
Oz Comic-Con isn’t limited to just two cities. Like other popular conventions in Australia, Oz Comic-Con presents in ‘batches’, where special guests are usually shared across multiple cities over a two weekends. Face it, Australia is kind of geographically isolated from the rest of the world. And while it will work in our favour during the Zombie Apocalypse, it’s difficult bringing guests over for conventions. If you’re going to fly some big shot all the way out here, you may as well milk them as much as you can—spread the fandom across multiple venues.
Most of the time, it works. Eg. Karl Urban will be in Sydney and Brisbane. Sometimes, it doesn’t. Sorry Brisbane. You miss out on Katee Sackhoff, who was fantastic. She was somewhere between a giggling school-girl who is still blown away by her popularity at cons, and a hard-core, rock-star actress who has seen it all and did all her own stunts. More about them both in a later post.
But don’t let that turn you off! Here’s a quick run-down of the highlights for me:
- Ken Lashley – Artist Extraordinaire. This guy is not only a veteran of both DC and Marvel, he has worked with big-name toy companies and Fox Sports. And he is downright adorable. I kid you not, his image of Batgirl caught my eye from two stalls away, and I just knew it was meant for 3-year-old Zaltu. Then I saw the bag of Tim Tams Ken was holding, and we connected. Make sure you swing by his stall and bring a packet of Tim Tams as payment for some very witty banter and dazzling charm.
- Nicola Scott—Okay, so I didn’t see her in Sydney, and I am a little bummed about that because I NEED to know what is happening next in Black Magick. Nicola will be gracing Brisbane and she is definitely an artist to seek out. Check out my previous chat with her from Free Comic Book Day.
- Imogen Sartain Art–I spent all of Saturday looking for Eevee (from Pokemon) and found this beautiful artist. Her soft prints of Eevee and the various evolutions are dreamy and so natural.
- Major Sam Cosplay—global Crown Champion of Cosplay from C2E2 this year, and last year’s National Cosplay Champion (Oz Comic-Con), Major Sam has been working hard at the technical details in her upcoming Assassins Creed outfit, just for Brisbane. I’m kind of sorry not to be there to see it. I chatted with her in Sydney, and hopefully will follow-up with a full interview when the Convention Crazy calms down.
- Karl Urban—fantastic dry sense of humour, and a really relaxed view on his contribution to sci-fi and fantasy. Karl’s panel had a really great casual vibe about it. It felt more like a chat over a beer and the footy, rather than a panel with fans. He will tell you everything about Thor: Ragnorak, upcoming Star Trek movies, and future Lord of the Rings. And you shouldn’t believe a word of it.
- Family Room—A great general area available for kids to chill out, away from the crowds. The organisers did a fantastic job of spacing it out and allowing kids to really just relax. Seriously, any convention with a space like this is worthy of my cash.
- Gaming Zone—Cross promotion for the upcoming PAX Australia, with plenty of consoles and tabletop games. Again, a good place to ‘step-out’ from the crowds. I really like this trend in Cons.
- Anime Station—This was just brilliant. They set you up with a big screen TV, your own headset, and a bunch of bean bags (Popcorn is sold at Sweet ‘N’ Sour just around the corner). If you time it right, you can watch a whole range of old and new Anime, in both original Japanese and English dubbing.
Special mention to the volunteers on the day, who truly do make the event far easier to enjoy. Two guys deserve a special mention: Mick (or was it Matt?) on the Media Desk, and That Camera Guy for the panels on Stage 1. Mick the media man was superb in helping me out over the weekend, right up to the very end with a brilliant tip about superhero socks. That Camera Guy on Stage 1 was also a dream, telling me the best seats during the panels and cosplay/fashion shows. Spot on, every time.
Sydney Oz Comic-Con was so much fun to attend, and especially in bringing the kids. Brisbane looks even bigger this weekend (17/18 Sept). I’m sorry to be missing it! Make sure you tag me in any photos you share in social media land.