So, there’s been Supanova, Armageddon and Oz Comic-Con ( I didn’t get to go to that) this year, and in essence they’re all the same. They’re a weekend-long occasion where a bunch of geeky guys and gals gather together, often in costume, to share their love of comics, anime, TV shows, movies and general pop culture. It’s a commercial event, so there’s always tonnes of stuff to buy, but also things to see and do. In short, it’s great fun. Yesterday I went to the Armageddon Expo, a pop culture and comic convention, with the same friends that came to Supanova. And following the trend, it was quite similar in some way to Supanova, but also quite different.
To get a better idea of what this type of event is like, read my Supanova blog from earlier this year.
Armageddon is held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, which is near Crown, in the city. This choice of venue held both an advantage and a disadvantage over Supanova’s use of the Showgrounds. The advantage is that it’s much easier to get to, and should you feel like eating something better than overpriced party food, you can always hop across to Crown’s food court, or even into the city which is only 15 minutes away. On the other had, it does mean a more limited space. There’s not as much room as at the Showgrounds, so the number of exhibitors was smaller. Anything where lining up was involved quickly got messy and out of control, with crowds of people filling out the space. Although, unlike Supanova where the rows were packed all the time, at Armageddon, the crowds subsided at different points during the day. The simplest solution to this problem would be for the organizers to book two exhibition bays (rooms in the building) rather than just one. This would allow them to have, at least a few, more exhibitors and lines for autographs and photos would be more out of the way .
As I was walking around, there seemed to be more variety in the exhibitors at Armageddon than at Supanova. However, now I think about it, there was actually less variety than at Supanova, it’s just that there were some more left-of-centre stalls with things I hadn’t exactly expected to see. Supanova ‘s variety included places selling arcade and pinball machines, video games, and geeky homemade craft. They also had a few well-known, big name companies like Game and Penguin there. Armageddon had places selling corsets, coloured contact lenses (which I think are masochistic stupidity), and heavy metal t-shirts. There was also less stalls selling the same items at Armageddon , mainly because there was less stalls, meaning you couldn’t do as much shopping around. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t some really good bargains and some real rip-offs, it just means that there was less options. That said, these stalls seemed to be bettered stocked than the ones at Supanova had been. I got some bargains on comics, but there wasn’t much else that caught my eye. I also notices a strong emphasis on DC around Armageddon; I guess they must sponsor it.
One of the best things about Armageddon over Supanova was that you actually had the opportunity to see some of the celebrities and star guests that were at the expo without paying extra. Every hour, there’s at least one panel on that you could go and watch, where the crowd could ask whoever’s been chosen for that timeslot whatever question they could come up with. There were also a selection of guests that were signing for free at different points, although the lines for both things were massive. We sat and watched a panel of voice actors, none of which I’d heard of before except for the guy that does Mario, and it was great. It was surprisingly interesting hearing what they had to say and seeing their personalities.
Probably the only big disappointment with Armageddon was the amount of cosplayers. At Supanova, every second person had been in cosplay, and maybe that had something to do with the remote location, or the fact they actually had a cosplay competition, but it made the event come alive. Without as many people in cosplay, the room didn’t feel as exciting or geeky, but it was less cluttered and the ones that did dress up did a might fine job. I had promised that next time I went to an event of this nature, I would dress up. I didn’t. However, I still really want to. I’m just not sure who to go as. Hey! Maybe you have some ideas. Suggest them in comments, and if I choose them, you will be rewarded handsomely.
Overall, Armageddon was a great event, and we had a good time wandering around. In the end, it probably was better than Supanova even though it didn’t have as much stuff or as many cosplayers. I definitely would be interested in going again next year.
Did you go to Armageddon, or Supanova, or Oz Comic-Con? What did you think of the event? Did you cosplay? Did they live up to your expectations? Did you snag any bargains? Have I said anything you disagree with? Tell me & everyone else who passes through here what you think in the comment below.
- Armageddon Expo 2012 hitting Melbourne this weekend (Oct 13/14) (supermarcey.com)