This post was written by Brice. Follow him on Twitter here.
Picture a big convention centre full of people buying life-size Iron Man collectibles or a local artist’s life-like rendition of a Pokemon. Everyone is expressing their favourite fandoms by the way they’re dressed. Some are simply in Star Wars shirts, but some are wearing cat ears, or in homemade, full-blown homages to their favourite video game or TV show.
If any of the above does not sound too frightening to you, then Supanova might be right up your alley.
Supanova is a haven of geek culture, and there’s something for everyone. Do you want to check out some great costumes? Is the local art more up your alley? Do you want to attend a panel from a pop culture celeb? Or get photo and have a chat with them?
In terms of the creativity side, there’s so much to encourage you to get out there with your efforts. Artist’s Alley contains about thirty tables, each with independent, local artists selling their wares. These can be prints or drawings of pop culture characters, knitted plushies, or hand-made jewellry based on that one necklace that one character in that one obscure one TV show has. People construct prop swords or guns to sell to people trying to make the perfect costume, or who want a replica sword from a video game or tv show.
If you’ve ever looked at a prop in a geeky TV show, you could bet you’d find it here.
But it’s the costumes that bring in the hard-core patrons. Someone could spend months making something to wear for these weekends, creating it from scratch, then spending a while hanging out while the other attendees beg for photos.
There’s cosplay too, which is probably the biggest part of Supanova. This is where the costumes go a step further, and include a role-playing element. Take a photo with them (which you’re welcome to if you ask nicely), and prepare for them to strike a pose. There’s even a cosplay parade, where entrants walks across a stage conducting a small skit in character. It’s a pretty big deal, and for some the main event.
Then there’s the cosplay championship, which is a whole different deal. Madman, a media company known for distributing a lot of Japanese stuff, sponsors a national competition (which is slowly creeping in New Zealand as well) for the best cosplay, and a few conventions include a heat contributing to the overall final. It’s a step up from the cosplayers walking around the floor, and pretty interesting to see.
There’s also local authors, video game companies, and wrestling. The list goes on and on. Really, there’s something for everyone.
This year, for the first time, I was walking around with a 6 year old. This made for a pretty different experience. It turns out that kids under 12 get free admission, and I quickly figured out why. The stall workers know that there’s a potential for encouraging a more embracing mind. I know what I’m into, and I know I’m not huge on, say, Transformers, but there’s a wide-eyed child who’s willing to look at everything. The workers know this, and might spend some time trying to find out what they might like. It’s a good way for kids to find some new things, and it’s pretty neat.
Really, this weekend comes down to how much creativity is in this world. Sure, for a lot of patrons there’s a chance to pick up a rare collectible, or that comic to fill out a series they’ve been grabbing, but for a good part of the public, it’s one of the few weekends in Brisbane where a lot of hard work can pay off. You can be recognised by cosplay sites, or get a lot of online followers who are introduced to your art, all because they bought a page of stickers you made from that obscure tv show from the 1990s.
Check out some Cosplay pictures.
The next SupaNova is to be held in Adelaide. Check out all the details here.