Report: Sydney Supanova 2014

Originally posted on All That Geek.

Supanova Popculture Expo is one of Australia’s pop culture conventions where fans get the opportunity to meet and greet their favourite celebrities from television, movies, books and comics. Buy all kinds of merchandise imaginable from vendors. Attend Q&A panels and just generally release their inner-geek in an environment especially for them.

 

Walking into the dome at Sydney Olympic Park surrounded by Batman, various incarnations of the Doctor and a whole bunch of anime characters I have no clue about but appreciate anyway, is really like going into a second home. Everyone is there for the same reason and you won’t be laughed at or teased because of your passion – chances are the person next to you is even more obsessed with something than you.

My 2014 Supanova adventure turned into a bit of a failure – at least where my ability to livetweet and post pictures was concerned. This was due to number of factors. The major factor hindering my social media spam was a dead battery in my personal wifi. Yes I charged it, but no, it didn’t last very long. I am looking into replacing it. The second factor that hindered me was a sore throat that invaded my body on Friday/Saturday and left my attendance on Sunday severely limited.

Finally, the third factor that hindered any kind of activity was the convention itself. In my “Conventions: How to remain a Human Being” post, I mentioned that lines were all part of the convention experience, however the lines this year were insane. I waited 1.5 hours to get inside on Friday, and a further 2 hours in the token line. And I had a speciality ticket.
I’m not going to use this space to bitch and moan, I heard enough of that from rude people over the weekend. I’ve not had such an issue waiting at previous Supanova’s before. Maybe it was teething problems with their first full Friday of the expo and the fact that Stan Lee was here making the crowds even larger, I’m not really sure.

However, Saturday I was in swiftly and there was a token line especially for my ticket level, so hopefully this will be kept in mind for next time. But one other thing I’d like to see is headshots put on the celebrities autograph tables. So much time at the token line is taken up with indecisive people deciding which photo they want signed. Other conventions – big and small – implement this system and it makes things go a lot quicker.

Those things aside, Supanova is always a great event and what I saw of it, I did have a great time. My main reason for attendance this year was John Barrrowman (Captain Jack in Doctor Who and Malcolm Merlyn in Arrow) and I can’t thank the organisers enough for finally getting him to our shores. Not being in a position to get overseas to go to one of the numerous US Cons he attends, and knowing what an insanely busy schedule he keeps, I wondered if I would ever get to meet the incomparable Captain Jack.

But I did, and he was charismatic like I expected and his panels were hilarious with his usual brand of humour. My one complaint is the host for Sunday’s panel got inappropriately snippy with Barrowman, which was highly surprising. Certainly no way to treat an invited guest me thinks? I just hope that guy is not hosting his panels in Perth this weekend.

After more lengthy waits for a photo with John Barrowman on Saturday, I braved the crowds to do some shopping and I soon found myself with new books, action figures, art, magnets and a handful of business cards from places I plan to spend even more money with later on.

There were a lot more vendors this year, which was great, though my wallet didn’t appreciate it. And an awesomely large artists alley featuring not only artists, but handcrafted fandom items and fan groups.

On Saturday I also attended a writing seminar about maiming and torturing your characters, which got me very enthused to keep working on the novel I started last year with NaNoWriMo. Who knew that talking about gruesome deaths and psychological torture could be so inspiring?

From that panel I was also encouraged to buy “The Rule of Knowledge” a debut novel by Scott Baker, which I am currently reading and will be sure to post a review when I complete it.

As I mentioned, Sunday was cut short for me. What time I did spend at the con, I spent in line – photos and autos with John Barrowman and the line for his panel. I was in my Captain Jack cosplay, which again I failed to get a photo of, but Barrowman did seem thrilled with it, so my day was pretty much made.
When you leave the convention for the very last time, knowing that it’s all over for another year, its a sad feeling. The real world with all its judgements are waiting for you as soon as you step onto the platform at the train station – unless you get on with a bunch of other geeks, then its time to share your con experiences on the long trip home. This is another part that makes the Supanova experience enjoyable. The fellow geeks you meet waiting in lines or on the sidelines as you take a moment to catch your breath from emptying your wallet. I met so many awesome people over the weekend. So many Doctor Who fans and John Barrowman fans, which made those long lines go by just that bit quicker.

However, amongst all those wonderful people, there are also those who like to make things miserable for everyone. Unfortunately, I was witness to some extremely rude behaviour by people in the token line. This particular person got so abusive they made one of the volunteers cry – which is completely unacceptable. No matter how long you’ve been waiting, you don’t need to be a jerk. This particular person was yelling because they were going to miss the 2pm John Barrowman photo. Boo—hoo. Could they not have attended one of the SEVEN other sessions he did during the weekend? And let me tell you con-person-with-no-manners, your idol would have been disgusted by your behaviour too.

Volunteers are worth their weight in gold and this year they were exceptional. Though there did seem to be some communication issues from above about what they were supposed to do with speciality ticket holders. Every volunteer that I encountered went out of their way to be as helpful as they could, even holding my stupidly heavy bags for me in the autograph line! It’s unlikely any of them will read my report, but I would like to say thank you and you were all awesome.

So if you’ve never been to a Supanova, or a convention in general, but have always been curious, go. You wont regret it. Australia is getting more and more as their popularity increases. The more support they get, the more likely it is you’ll see your favourite star attending one of them.

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