Oz Comic Con

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By Daniel Coomans

Comic Con, an event steeped in legend, dare you set foot into the vault? Unlock the secrets of the galaxies, fight for justice in a league of heroes, or travelling across time saving the world? Then come, take your step across the threshold and go on a journey the likes that only your wildest dreams could grant you.

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre hosted this yearly dosage of comics, games, sci-fi and anime, on the weekend of the 28th of June, and it boasted a large crowd and even larger stars taking time out of their busy schedules to greet us; their most loyal of fans.

A traders hall and guest signings was featured in the Exhibition hall, with a few small stages for guests and workshop panels. While the main attractions featured on Stages 1 and 2 in the Convention Hall, the likes of Jason Momoa of Game of Thrones, David Wenham of Lord of the Rings, David Nykl and David Hewlett from Stargate Atlantis, Bruce Campbell of Evil Dead and plenty more.

A packed traders hall greeted you if you attended the Saturday, many traders offering their wares to hungry conventioners, workshop panels for attendees to get a little taste of the arts, a play area for the kids to get a feel for the action and a giant chessboard because who doesn’t want to imagine they’re in a game of Wizard’s Chess?

Fans wandered around the centre for a glimpse of some amazing cosplays, some who put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into making near on accurate renditions of their favourite actors and cartoon characters.

On the Friday I was gifted the opportunity to a media only session to interview some chosen guest stars who would be attending the weekend. Unfortunately many were not doing media, one could not attend the event as a whole and a replacement was found and two experienced delayed flights.

However I did get to interview two of my chosen stars, David Nykl (Stargate Atlantis) at the Crown Metropol hotel and Stephen Hunter (The Hobbit) at the convention itself after a delayed flight. Both shared amazing experiences working on the sets of their major pieces, their careers growing into the fine actors they are today and the many fun bloopers behind the scenes of some roles.

On the Saturday, I spent much of my time patrolling the grounds, snapping up some awesome pictures of cosplayer’s and the scenery around the halls, before attending some panels for some laughs, experiences and audience questions.

The lines were long to get in but worth the wait as there was much to do, but you also didn’t feel locked into a schedule, as many of the guests had appearances on the Sunday too. On the Sunday, I snapped a few more shots but spent most of my time checking out the stars that I’d missed the day before.

My only grievances that I experienced over the weekend were that the traders hall at times was too packed to move around much in, if it were at all possible I’d have hoped they had access to more of the Exhibition building to space things out a little better and with the guest stars.

The wait times for guest stars was at times longer than necessary, I understand that they need to get from signings to stages, however I think they shouldn’t allow a whole hour time slot if the guest star might only appear for forty-five of those, it’s disappointing to the fans who pay good money to attend every year.

All things considered this convention has been on my radar for some time and now I’ve crossed this notch off my list, it has been a better experience than some of the other recent conventions that have been somewhat poorer in their organising and running of their respective events, I would happily attend another year – 6/10.

From here many of us look on to our next conventions, Animaga Anime Expo in September and Pax Australia at the end of October. I hope they can be equally as good as Oz Comic Con of 2015.

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