Because I went to OzComicCon a few weeks ago, and I’ve never been before, I thought I’d tell you about it, and compare it with the other two conventions I have been to previously.
Like I said, I’d never been to OzComicCon before. In fact, I only heard about it last year after it was too late to go. I decided this year, instead of going to Supanova I’d go to OzComicCon. I still haven’t decided yet if I’m going to go to Armageddon. Anyway, one of the things I preferred about Armageddon last year over Supanova was the larger presence of comics and the fact it was at the Exhibition Centre. I thought both of these things would apply to OzComicCon too. In fact, it was at the old Royal Exhibition Building! I didn’t even know they still used it for actual exhibitions!
Initially, I was a bit worried how they would organise things in what’s a relatively small space. However, it was really well used. There’s actually a mezzanine section where they had all lines for any star signings or photos, as well as the booths where those things actually happen. It meant that the clutter of people associated with them was out of the way, and off the floor where all the booths were. That said, there was still tons and tons of people walking around, and it was very difficult to find where you were going at times.
On the whole, OzComicCon was much busier and more popular than I had expected. I went with my little brother and a friend, and we got there about half an hour after the initial opening time. However, we didn’t actually get inside for nearly 45 minutes, maybe even more. The line outside snakes up & down, round & round every possible obstacle, and when we arrived it was hardly moving at all. I was really shocked to see so many people, and particularly shocked at how many of them were in cosplay. I’d estimate 2 out of every 3 people were dressed up in some sort of costume, many of which were quite elaborate. I, again, did not dress up despite the fact I really want to! I genuinely do! I just don’t know what to go as. You got any ideas?…Please?
Anywho, I think what it came down to in the end was a lack of organisation on the part of those admitting people to the convention. They were letting them in so slowly, and I think they may even have been letting people buying tickets on the spot in before those who’d pre-purchased which is just plain unfair. Not only that, when we finally got up to the front, they seemed to be somewhat unaware of their own policy of 1 free child with each adult, and I had to explain it to them to get my brother in.
Despite it’s name, OzComicCon didn’t really have that large an emphasis on comic books. They had a fair-sized section dedicated to comic book artists and stores in one corner of the hall, but some of the larger comic book booths were totally on the other side from them. It didn’t make sense, and it made it difficult for someone (like me) who was looking for something particular at a good price. You had to run back & forth, depending on what you found and how good your memory was (not that good, unfortunately). In the end, I did get one of the things I was looking for, but not all of them.
Like Armageddon, OzComicCon had panel discussions you could go watch and ask questions at. While most of the panels didn’t sound all that interesting, we did go to one with a bunch of international comic book artists. Even though I’d never heard of any of the people before, I found it fascinating to hear what they were saying about how they do their craft, and the obstacles it faces in this brave new world of technology. They discussed digital distribution, and the future of paper based comics, what tools they use, and how they approach working on well-know characters. I really enjoyed it an wished I had watched the Aussie comic artists panel too, but my brother & friend didn’t enjoy it as much and we didn’t want to spend a whole two hours in a row just sitting listening to some people talk.
Between the emphasis on smaller, unheard-of companies, the large number of cosplaying attendees, and the cosy setting of the Royal Exhibition Building, OzComicCon had a different atmosphere to other conventions I’ve gone to. It was nice; it was enjoyable with a lot of variety in the content. They had everything from a onesies booth to a real tattoo booth, to fake coloured contacts to a TARDIS. There was even a stall where you could try out the Oculus Rift! It was really busy so we didn’t get to try, but the fact that it was there at all was pretty cool.
Overall, OzComicCon proved to me that it definitely has a place in amongst the other conventions in Melbourne. I liked it a bit more than Supanova, but I’m not sure it trumped Armageddon, although if you’re considering going it’s definitely work it, particularly if you’re most interested in comics.
Did you go to OzComicCon, or Supanova, or are you planning on going to Armageddon? What did you think of the event? Did you cosplay? Did you go in a group? Did it 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.
- Oz Comic Con 2013 Photos Part 3 (supermarcey.com)
- Oz Comic Con 2013 Photos Part 2 (supermarcey.com)
- Oz Comic Con 2013 Photos Part 4 (supermarcey.com)
- Oz Comic-Con Melbourne 2013 (stumbledownunder.com)
- Video: BebexGaming – OzComicCon Oculus Rift Booth w/ Bebe! (ggvogue.com)