I came. I saw. I spent LOTS of money.

11138661_571178302985612_356106978686828501_nThat’s right, geeklets, it’s Con season, and yesterday I kicked things off with my yearly pilgrimage to the Melbourne Showgrounds for Supanova Pop Culture Expo. The event was comparably bigger, busier and more diverse than previous iterations, with a seemingly greater emphasis on gaming and community participation. With this came a host of new vendors and stalls to visit, but with consequently bigger crowds to grapple with. The weather was unseasonably mild, which meant perfect conditions for cosplayers to parade out the front, but uncomfortably warm temperatures inside. Here’s my run-down on the highlights:

This year the gaming community had a stronger presence at the convention, with EB Games occupying a mammoth booth for selling off left-over stock from their Christmas sales and Origin PC hosting demo’s of Battlefield Hardline and SMITE. Given the success of PAX last year and the growth of the gaming community in Australia it makes sense for fan conventions to diversify; however, what will this mean for dedicated film and television fans, or comic-book fans? Will we begin to see the emergence and proliferation of niche conventions serving medium-specific needs like the newly branded Australian Movie & Comic Expo? Only time will tell. Personally, I welcome niche specific conventions as they allow fans to become truly immersed in the scene.

Without question my favourite section of the Expo was the fan-craft or DIY alleys. Each year exhibitors for this scene grow in numbers, filling the niche market created by the massive success of sites like Etsy and MadeIt. Best of all, many of the exhibitors in this space cater to traditionally feminine interests, such as lingerie (check out Licorice and Cream, one of my favourite stalls), confectionery services, jewellery and other accessories. This is great to see, since fan conventions typically cater to masculine interests or serve a predominantly male audience. Of course, that’s not to say that woman can’t be interested in masculine products and services or vice versa, but female geeks are often viewed as incidental by major entertainment corps., so its nice to see the female audience being catered to directly. This year I scored a pair of adorable galaxy earrings by Nekochii.


Like all good Conventions, Supanova delivered in spades on the cosplay front, or should I say, the fans did! I saw so many amazing costumes, including: one of The Ood; Marty McFly; a Vulcan; Captain Jack Sparrow; numerous Doctors; and, a first for me, Gandalf. As always, I enjoyed the vast range of costumes including those I didn’t recognise, but my heart still beats for 90s nostalgia, of which there was a distinct lack of representation. I plan to remedy this with preparations for my own cosplays thanks to a couple of inspirational purchases from the fan-craft section. Keep your eyes peeled for these two at the next convention or event.


Despite a plethora of detailed and elaborate costumes, my favourite cosplay for the day was this adorable family of three I met on my way in. What can I say? I’m a sucker for the classics – and adorable kids dressed as Batman.


20994_571178349652274_2610694867512838480_nIf the fan-craft section is my number one pick, rounding a very close second is the community itself. These conventions are some of the only events were I can confidently attend alone and be certain that I won’t spend the day on my own. That’s a wonderful feeling. Geeks are incredibly social so not only do these events provide an opportunity to connect with friends of old, but for the uninitiated, you’re bound to pick up some new friends along the way. This year I spent the majority of my time with the Whatcha crew (stay tuned for a our live Supanova podcast!), but dropped in on the talented Tardis Guy and befriended the Fly The Colour Fantastica crew who were there selling shiny new copies of their Kickstarter comic anthology. If you’ve not heard of it, Fly The Colour Fantastica is a local anthology featuring a serious of short stories all based on single words. Not only does it boast an all-female line-up of writers and artists, but Alisha Jade, producer and guest artist for the project won a Platinum Ledger Award for Comics Advocacy, MiniComiccon and Women in Comics! I’m starstruck!

Whilst I’m on the topic of Amazing Women at Cons (there’s a comic-book that writes itself!), my favourite new-comer this year was the Play Apparel Crew and their effortlessly chic nylon geek apparel. As a lover of Black Milk Clothing, I’m powerless to resist the swan song of nylon and I left there with a bag full of stretchy goodies, including this Poker Face Joker skirt – my Best Buy for the Con. I can’t wait to wear this over Autumn with some black stockings and ankle boots.


11071953_571176416319134_8097988100206254483_n (1)What I noticed most about the local community presence this year was that we were given a space all to our own. Whilst the guests usually occupy the back third of the venue, this year, guests (including the charismatic George Takeii) were re-located to a separate space, meaning that the entire main room was reserved solely for fans, vendors, clubs, exhibitors and shows. In future, I would love to see the organisers further exploit the extra space with more community-based events and activities, like the Origin PC gaming space, instead of extra vendors. Sure, we all love the opportunity to purchase merchandise (Joker skirt, anyone??), but having a space to geek-out with fellow fans is what really brings people together. Following the success of PAX, which boasts massive spaces for participatory game-play and consequently facilitates a strong sense of community I’m not surprised to see this happening already.

For this fan-girl, this post marks the end of this years Supanova adventure and whilst I know many con-goers will still be revelling late into the evening, I’ll be relaxing with a glass of wine, admiring my new geek threads and reading my shiny new copy of Fly The Colour Fantastica.

Stay geeky, people.