Over the long weekend, OzComicCon held its annual event at the ICC Centre, Darling Harbour. The OzComicCon is held in three different cities yearly, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, with Sydney at the tail-end of the rotation. The convention was held over two days, Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to about 6pm. OzComicCon very kindly provided me a media pass to check out it out. From the insightful panels to the talented cosplayers, my time at OzComicCon was incredible.
Every time I go to a convention I’m absolutely astounded by the talent of Australian cosplayers. You can really feel the love and care that people put into their outfits, and how excited they are to be at the convention! Many of the cosplayers have fun with their characters, I saw a Flash cosplayer who would make a sound effect every-time he ran up to say hello to someone! It was such fun.
I say this every year, but seeing the community really makes me want to work on my own cosplay! If you’d like to see the cosplay pictures I took, make sure to check out my Facebook page, I’ll upload an album over there!
I fangirled so much when I saw these two incredible Danganronpa cosplayers!
I had the chance to sit in on two incredible panels and listen to bits of another ( I arrived late!). To have a quick moment to grumble, when I first got into the convention hall I didn’t have to line up and just went straight in (as I had my pass). This also meant that I skipped the line to get the Convention bags which had maps in them. I was wandering around trying to find the panel without a map and asked quick a few volunteers who pointed me in the general direction. Now, all the volunteers had maps and I thought it’d be smart to give them extra so they can pass out to lost people. In the end I had to go back to the entrance to get my map but that was ok.
Ok, so first panel was How anime and manga have taken over the mainstream. The panel looked at the growing popularity of otaku culture in the West and also how some Western companies (like Netflix) are creating their own brand of anime. The talk was very interesting and the speakers incredibly knowledgeable. I don’t think the set up was quite appropriate for this kind of talk. The anime station was kind of a ‘chill out’ zone where people would sit on beanbags chat to friends, talk on their phone etc. So while people are doing this, there’s four people up the front trying to hold a panel. The stations was also right next to the entrance so it was a little hard to hear them at times.
An Author’s guide to the realities of writing hosted by Tyrolin Puxty, was my favourite talk of the convention. Tyrolin went through her own publishing journal, the realities of self-publishing vs. traditional and gave her top tips. One tip that really resonated with me was ‘don’t be in it for the money’, she encouraged writers to write simply for the love of it and anything else that follows should be seen as an extra bonus.
I was super late to this talk as it was co-current with the author talk but I made it to the tail end. Community in Comics was a very insightful talk about representation in comic books whether it be from characters or creators. It was interesting (and a bit horrifying) to hear some of the female panelist’s experience within the comic book industry, but the talk ended up them discussing how important ally support is.
Shopping-wise, what really stood out to me was the crazy amount of Mystery Boxes up for sale. It was like every store had their own variation, from t-shirt bags to funko pops. I did see a Bob’s Burgers one that I would have loved to get but, it was $60. The store also didn’t have an ‘example’ box or a list of items you could potentially get. I enjoy mystery boxes but I also like having an example I can base my purchase off!
You may remember, last year, I was a bit upset at purchasing some knock-off figurines. I also mentioned that I had seen a few stores selling unlicensed dodgy merchandise at premium prices. This year, excluding mystery bag stores (which I can’t tell what’s inside), this year I didn’t see many of these. I only saw one store who was selling a bit of everything have some really weird merchandise. Next to their Harry Potter wands they had a Junko Enoshima wallet which had pretty obvious fan art on it, they also had a Death Note book pack they were selling which I know is definitely fake. My friend bought me the exact same one when she went to China for like $5.
With all that said, my shopping focused on the Artist Alley. I am trying to save money for my trip to Japan in November, but it was so hard to restrain myself. The artists there are so talented and I wanted to support each and every one of them!
OzComicCon is a great annual event for pop culture fans. Walking through the centre, hearing people call out references and jokes to one another, really makes you feel part of a community. The cosplayers are incredible and the panels inspiring and thought provoking. I can’t wait to see what happens in OzComicCon 2019! I might even be able to try my hand at cosplay by then ☺️!