UrbanFantasist’s Review of Her First Ever Con.
Supanova for me was one great big SQUEE! The costumes! The celebrities! The merch! The ability to totally geek-out and not feel like a complete dweeb!
Forgive, I’m getting ahead of myself.
I skipped the preview night. I was being lazy but I really had a much better excuse – a couple of friends were in Sydney and doing a double meet-up. One was from BrisVegas, the other from across the pond in NZ, so a pub steak with them and 15 other of our mates was a little more important than going to the preview night! 🙂
The first day started fairly early, but nowhere near as early as some. Film Nerd would have already been in the line as I got onto the train to get there, and I was chatting with a woman once I got there who was up at 5am to get herself and her girls there from the Southern Highlands (SH). That’s one dedicated mum!
You know when you’re in a queue and there’s like an unspoken rule that if anyone has a conversation in said queue, you try to give them some semblance of privacy? That you don’t butt in and provide them with your two cents worth unless you’re a complete nerd and lacking in any kind of social graces whatsoever? Well, when you’re in a line full of nerds, most of whom actually do have some social graces, chances are you’ll start conversing because we all can’t help ourselves and have to butt in with our two cents worth! This is how SH Mum and I ended up having Line Chats even when I was joined by Fourth Verse.
While I was in line, for the hour and a half before the doors opened, I was quite surprised at how many people dressed up and how many of those were dressed as Anime or Manga characters. It was great to see and the costumer in me was at once relishing the idea that people would go to so much trouble to dress up and disparaging what some people would wear out in public. Just because I refuse to allow my butt cheeks to see the light of day shouldn’t mean that other people have to hide theirs too, I suppose.
Here are some snaps I took with my phone while I was in line of some rather good costumes. The best of the morning that I saw was the Alien, but I took that with Fourth Verse’s camera, so you’ll have to see her post for that one.
They are, in order, The Flash, Rogue, the Wicked Witch from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and Vampire Willow and the Joker.
Just before the line started to move I noticed how long the line was. It snaked around The Dome at Olympic Park for rather a long way and I began to appreciate how close to the front we were. At least from our vantage point, we could see the front doors…
Once in, Fourth Verse (FV) and I made a beeline to find Film Nerd. He was much further ahead in the line and had got his pass at the preview night the day before. And where do we find him? First in line for the celebrity photos and already chumming it up with his fellow queuers and the event volunteers. I swear that man can talk to anyone!
I then went to go to the Q&A with Mark Lutz (Groosalugg from Angel), but that was postponed until 11.30, which meant that I was supposed to choose between him and Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia on Buffy and Angel), as they would mean they were on at the same time. Dang it!
Since I had an hour at least to kill before the Q&A session with Charisma Carpenter, I caught up with FV and we had a look around and mostly geeked out. I bought a few things from local artists and even a lass from work who had a stall selling her own graphic novel. I had no idea! I also had no idea there was a Sydney chapter of Can’t Stop The Serenity. There was also a dark/Steampunk comic based on Sherlock Holmes. It was a lot of fun and I took some photos of some more costumes and such. I did take more, however…Have I mentioned by camera isn’t too crash hot yet?
At Charisma Carpenter’s Q&A, she was charming but… well… aloof, I guess. She didn’t share many stories and I honestly have no idea where Charisma stops and Cordelia starts. It was a bit disconcerting to be honest. I have an expectation that stars are nothing like their characters (Nathan Fillion being the exception; from the stories I’ve heard, he’s everything like Captain Mal and Castle). Having said that, it wasn’t an unpleasant experience in anyway and it was even funny in parts.
Below is the only photo I bothered to take. I began to appreciate the difference between a dedicated camera and a camera in a phone…
After that session, there was a voice-over announcing that Mark Lutz was about to start his Q&A. I guess I must have not been the only person to complain about the organisers making me choose. Or no one showed up and they put it on after Charisma’s in the hopes someone would. I think the latter was the most likely, unfortunately.
At this point, FV and I parted. We both got a desperate cry of help from Film Nerd. The poor chap needed lunch and couldn’t vacate his spot in the line to buy any! Thankfully, FV came to his rescue while I raced to the other side of the venue to get to the Director’s Suite.
I really wanted to go to Mark’s session. I had read online that his were entertaining and that he was a really nice guy. They were right.
We heard about the audition for his part on Angel, the movie he wrote and starred in, how crazy his mum was in seeing him married off and even how he faked his own death at uni. He was decidedly entertaining and I think I’m now a fan.
And I was beginning to really not like my camera. Why oh why could it not take a photo in perfectly good light?
I met up again with FV (thank all that’s holy for the advent of the mobile phone) and we went to a session by Marianne De Pierres on fiction writing. I only lasted about 15 minutes. I was rather disappointed by this. I read a lot of blogs by published authors and I wanted to stay and hear her take on the writing process. Alas, about this time my blood sugar level hit magma and I desperately needed sustenance. I was becoming grouchy. Poor FV had to witness me getting really tetchy at people who would be silly and stand in the way of me and food.
Eventually, we made it to the cafe in The Dome and the service was incredibly efficient, especially considering how long the line was when we got there. It was a bit daunting, but we weren’t standing there for long before we got served. And the chips were well tasty, even if I didn’t get mayonnaise.
After eating with all haste, I left FV at the cosplay competition to stand in line to buy a picture and signature coupon for Mark Lutz. I really did feel sorry for the guy. Mind you, after I bought the picture, everytime I went to get it signed Mark wasn’t there. I had to wait until the next day.
In fact, I felt sorry for all of the celebrities who weren’t Summer Glau, Eliza Dushku or Charisma. Oftentimes, I’d walk pass their lines and no one was in them. Thinking back on it, I should have just gone up to shake Lou Ferrigno’s or Michael Winslow’s hand just because they were what I watched on TV during my childhood and to thank them for being a part of it. Never mind the fact the Hulk sacred me out of my wits. Oh well.
I hung around at the edge of the crowd trying to listen to Lou Ferrigno’s talk before Summer Glau. It was a hard thing. It was hard to hear over the noise made by the spectators for the cosplay competition. If there was one thing I learned from the weekend, it was that the back area of The Dome was not a good place to hold two events that required microphones and speakers. It was a Fail. Not an Epic one, but a Fail nonetheless.
At any rate, I scored Film Nerd and me a seat in the back of the bleachers for Summer Glau’s talk. By that time he had his pictures and could finally stop being in line! And let me just say, Summer seems to be a real sweetie. A bit shy, and well, sweet. It was obvious she holds both Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion in high esteem. Shows she has good taste.
Here’s a picture taken on my excremental camera. Yes, I was really over not being able to take good pictures by now.
Aside from checking out some of the stalls with Film Nerd, who up until this point hadn’t seen any of the expo, we were all pretty much done for the day.
By the time I got home, I was so fragged! It was early to bed for me so I had the energy to do it all again.
And I did. I was later to the expo than I was on Saturday. I got there about 9.30 since I didn’t plan to be anywhere until Eliza’s Q&A at 2pm. So there was some stall checking out with Film Nerd and Bride of Film Nerd during which we ended up chatting about a proposed film called Iron Sky, which was being promoted at one of the stalls. The movie is going to be about Nazi’s in space. Allow me to repeat that – Nazi’s in space. They went to the dark side of the moon in 1945 and in 2018, they’re coming back. No doubt to get their arses kicked, but it’s Nazi’s in space! It sounds like it will be made of win, quite frankly.
At this point, I made sure I got lunch early. There was no way I was going to have a repeat of the day before, so I ate far too many chips on the mezzanine with Film Nerd, Bride of Film Nerd and FV where we indulged in a session of character spotting. We couldn’t find Wally (he was there the day before apparently) but we did see the Serenity crew, a family dressed as characters from the Batman franchise, the Terminator with laser eye and all, a pixelated Mario and a very good version of Wolverine, just to name a few.
FV went off to see another cosplay display while the rest of us went to the session with Lou Ferrigno. The main reason was to be in a good position for the Eliza Dushku session directly afterwards and we had heard he was a really nice chap. I agree with Bride Of Film Nerd, though; Lou was a bit too ‘new agey’ for me as well. He spoke a lot about how looking after your body made you a better person and by looking after he implied working out and eating all the right foods. It would be inspiring for some, but I’m a firm believer in improving yourself through your brain as well and he didn’t mention that at all, so he lost points as far as I’m concerned.
All in all, though it was an interesting talk and I can see why he’s so popular on the convention circuit.
And then it was standing room only for Eliza Dushku. To sum up, I think I have a new girl crush. I think Eliza is a great role model for young lasses. She’s smart, sexy, humorous and at home in her own skin. She is many kinds of awesome. She was friendly, personable, completely self-aware and yet absolutely humble at the same time. She was in no way delusional about her status as a star (something I honestly doubted about Charisma Carpenter) and thanked us, her fans, for our support and for allowing her to be at the convention. And her thanks were sincere. Or it could have been the great acting of which I know she is more than capable, but in my gut I’m sure it was the former.
At this point I dashed off to see ‘The Victor Davis Story’, the movie written by and starring Mark Lutz. After the first half, there were some technology malfunctions which ruined the flow of the movie and I felt really bad for the guy. He was obviously quite proud of his movie (which won two Canadian Emmy-equivalent awards) and I think he was showing it at the expo in the hopes of securing an Aussie distributor. I was chatting with Charisma’s mum, who was sitting behind me and she said she thought that that was why he was showing it. There was a whole lot pf *facepalm* moments when the film kept stopping but, for Mark’s sake, I stuck around until the end and the payoff was worth it.
Because of the technical difficulties, I missed most of Dichen Lachman’s (Sierra from Dollhouse) Q&A and only made it to hear the last three questions. She seemed really sweet, too, and incredibly shy. I just wanted to give her a hug and tell her that a home crowd of Joss Whedon fans wouldn’t be too hard on her and she could win us all over easily!
That pretty much wiped us all out. We were done. By the end of Sunday, I’m pretty sure we were beginning to feel like seasoned professionals to this con thing but I know I was keen to go home.
All in all, I was well happy with my first con experience. And I’m well keen to dress up next year just for the heck of it. My mind is swimming with possibilities; Inara’s ballgown from ‘Shindig’, Kaylee’s coveralls, something Steampunk (which was grossly under-represented this year, in my opinion)! Oh my!