Supanova Sydney has come and gone for 2011 and it proved to be a popular and entertaining show. I managed to attend and check out the exhibition floor along with some of the panels and autograph booths, which were in full swing for most of the weekend.
Saturday turned out to be a day with huge crowds for the morning and most of the afternoon, the convention floor was filled with various booths making the most of the floor space on offer at the Dome at Olympic Park in Sydney. There was everything from comic stores, gaming stores, clothing vendors, wrestling displays, and representation from the various Star Wars and Star Trek fan clubs around Australia.
Following a sweep of the convention floor including a look at an early build of the ‘Darkness 2’ video game, I attended the panel for guest Sean Maher who came off quite natural taking questions in a relaxed fashion most of which centred around the TV series ‘Firefly’ and the film ‘Serenity’. Maher was happy to engage is some back and forth conversation with fans and with a laid back manner made himself approachable to fans and thankful for their support.
Heading over to the comics area I found that ‘King Comics’ had secured a strong presence and made several comic based talents available to attendees for autographs and sketches. Among the guests were David Finch, Billy Tan, Dave Johnson and Nicola Scott all keen to engage with fans and discuss their work as well as the comic industry at large, a great opportunity for fans to take advantage of!
Sunday turned out to be another hugely popular day with long line ups at the start, but quickly diminished as the doors opened. First up I attended the James Marsters panel who as expected proved to be a very entertaining convention guest. Marsters worked the crowd in a charismatic fashion and was keen to answer as many questions as possible for the fans. Not only that but he also guaranteed he would stay for as long as required to see every single attendee who wanted to purchase an autograph or photo from him.
Following this I took some time to watch some of the cosplay competition, and it was great to see the cos players out in such force. There was a fantastic display of excellent outfits which had obviously had so much time and effort put into them. A great effort!
Following up James Marsters was the very full panel for Tom Felton of Harry Potter fame. Felton received an energetic crowd mostly of young females filling the hall with their enthusiastic screams. Tom took questions for the entire time answering some queries he had obviously received numerous times and being thankful for the more interesting and detailed questions that raised some good discussion points.
I filled the remainder of the afternoon with the ‘Crossover Chaos’ panel, which had David Finch, Nicola Scott and Billy Tan, three comic talents discussing everything from out of control cross overs to the upcoming reboot of the Detective Comics Universe as well as industry deadlines and the challenges of nondescript comic book scripts.
By the end of the weekend I had obtained two fantastic sketches, an additional signature for my ‘Serenity’ DVD and met some interesting and fun people. Congratulations to the whole crew at Supanova who put together a great show, which was both organised, and entertaining.
During my weekend at Supanova I was taking notes thinking of some things to be aware of for the Perth event which is taking place next weekend. Here are my top tips for the Perth attendees at Supanova 2011;
1. Get there early.
I can’t stress this enough, the numbers for Supanova appear to be growing each year and with higher numbers come longer queues however it does tend to take some time for them to build up throughout the day. If you get there early you’ll have to contend with a wait to get into the convention venue, but it could save you a decent chunk of time waiting to purchase a ticket for an autograph or a high profile sketch. If you’re a comic fan for a sketch, get your order in early, depending on the popularity of the artists they can be booked up pretty quickly and depending on how much time the artist spends on each sketch, you might be heading home empty handed so get in early for your high priority tasks, which brings me to my next tip.
2. Have a plan.
Check out the timetables before the weekend and make a note of what you want to attend, what autographs or photographs you’d like and who you want to meet. Prioritise your list and organise how and where you want to spend your time.
3. Pack a lunch.
Let’s face it, conventions being conventions aside from being expensive the food is just plain average or worse, and if you have an intolerance (gluten?) to manage you’re probably screwed. Think about throwing some snacks into your bag to get you through the day. Not only will it taste better and save you money it might also save you some time while you are waiting in line for that all important autograph.
4. Visit the bathroom before you get there.
Another time saver, you don’t want to be watching that panel that you’ve been looking forward to for the last few months only to have to run out and spend 15 minutes waiting for a free stall before getting in to nearly pass out from the previous attendees noxious gases hovering around. Think ahead, know your habits…and make the best use of your time at the convention which doesn’t include waiting around in crowded bathrooms.
5. Be polite.
To your fellow attendees. Conventions such as these attract some passionate fans and everyone is super keen to secure their desired photographs, autographs etc. But the last thing you want is to start having an argument with a fellow attendee while in line for one of the guest stars so make an effort and help perpetuate the great feeling that comes from experiencing Supanova.
To the special guests of Supanova. It’s a great opportunity for Australia to be getting the talented performers that travel out for this convention circuit, so be respectful and remember you’re at a pop culture convention, not really the place for questioning the guests on how they feel about a universal health care system.
6. Enjoy it.
You’re at Supanova, you’re a passionate fan…embrace it!