That is me above at Sydney Supanova this weekend. I will start with a few notes on the structure of this page. I will start with a few general comments on the event, a more specific review of each day, including photo opportunities and panels attended, and in each of these sections include a cosplay gallery. As such, if you are looking for a photo of yourself and only attended one day, you can skip immediately to the relevant heading.
A regular feature of the conventions I have attended to date have been concerning the level of organisation of the event, with some comments from readers giving their own feedback. In general, the organisation of Supanova in both Sydney last year and Brisbane this year getting some very poor comments, especially in comparison to the organisation of Armageddon. Sydnova this year was certainly not without problems. There was confusion of where to line up for those that had arrived early on Saturday and Sunday. There was a large crows in the venue that perhaps was too large for the allotted space. There is no question more people attended this year as it got a little claustrophobic at times. This said, there was a great improvement in organisation in comparison to last year. Despite the occasional expected technical difficulty or late running celebrity, things ran pretty close to time, and the fact that photo times were made readily available in the showbags of attendees meant that this year I was not lining up for 4 hours for my photo of choice. I can also understand why photo tokens were photo session specific, as they could easily co-ordinate a manageable number of photos for each session. This was most apparent for Tom Felton photos, which I believe they had to stop selling early Sunday morning.
So in summary, there are still some areas the Supanova team can tweak, especially at the entry to the venue, but they have overall learn from previous mistakes and made a more enjoyable event this year.
Getting in to the event did run on Supanova time, though I recall we were let in within half an hour of the listed opening time. I rushed straight for the photo tokens line, and was first in line of the non-special ticket holders. This was both a curse and a blessing. Many VIPs were attending the event, so I was in line for the entire opening ceremony. In the end however, i think I made the right decision, as the lines for autograph and photo tokens on Saturday and Sunday were heart-breakingly long. I did get into the I dream of Jeannie cast panel just in time though, and overall that was quite entertaining.
The actors in real life shared parallels with their characters. Larry Hsgman was the straight man, a bit cantankerous old man, but he still seemed to be enjoying himself and got into the spirit of the event. Barbara Eden was simply adorable, and still looks beautiful despite her years. Bill Daily was the comic relief, and certainly provided a lot of impromptu laughs. My favourite moment was him asking a young lady that complimented him before her question if she was single. A charity auction was held for a replica Jeannie bottle signed by the entire cast, which went for $1100. When Larry Hagman saw the winner was with his family, he invited them all up for a photo with them, a move of generosity which I admired him for. Here are a few of my less blurry panel photos.
Following this panel, we were told that due to technical difficulties, the promised viewing of the first two episodes of SciFi’s Lost Girl would not be happening. This being the case I went to get a few cosplay pics, and was about to leave when the technical difficulties were solved and the show went on. Most people had left already, and there were 10 or 20 people left watching it. I intend to review this sneak peek in a future post. I will say my first impression were very good however.
Now for the cosplay…
I had an early start and was in line by 6.15am. I was not first, but I was very close to the front. We were allowed in out of the cold before 10am, which I appreciated, however we were held up prior to entering the main area of the Dome until official start time. I t seemed a little cruel, but being at the front, I got a good look at Green Hornet’s Black Beauty, which was on display.
When we were allowed in, as there were no early panels I wanted to see, I wandered the stalls. There were all the regular favourites of mine from previous conventions (Cernat Collectibles, Kings Comics, Global Gear), and one that I think was there previously but I only noticed, and spent a lot of money in, this time (Popcultcha). Having seen many before a little of the novelty has worn off, it is true, but it is great to get geeky things for less than website retail. It is also nice to see the merchandise of interstate stores without guessing quality from internet images.
My first photo-op was with James Marsters. There is not a lot of time to say much at these times, but he came across as very relaxed, and his enthusiasm to meet the fans was high (an enthusiasm that never dies the entire weekend).
I then rushed off to get my spot at Amy Acker’s Q&A. She was absolutely delightful, and very much like her character in Angel. She was very giggly and giving, informing us of David Boreanaz playing pranks on set, and claiming credit for Summer Glau’s career (her ballet history led to the ballet episode of Angel, in which Glau starred). I apologise I could not get many good pics, but here is what I could salvage.
After grabbing a bite to eat, grabbing photos and hugs with multiple V for Vendetta fans, and letting my money burn a bigger hole in my pockets, I attended Sean Maher’s panel. I will admit, I attended more out of my Firefly love than I did for Maher himself. I will say I found him quite engaging on stage. He was somewhat of a comedian, and really engaged with the fans. He even allayed some people’s fears that Morena Baccarin will never get to Australia (she has cancelled last-minute on numerous Australia conventions), indicating that she was devastated to cancel again, but she really had no choice. I will admit, I identified actor with character, Simon Tan being so straight-laced. Sean Maher was not the best panel of the weekend, but I am sure glad that I did not miss it. Sadly every single shot I got was blurry, as I was far back, but here are the two best shots.
This was the only occasion which I wanted to see two panels back to back, with Gareth David-Lloyd up next. There was a bit of a nightmare that they kicked everyone out of the theatre and had them join an already long line to get back in. After initially being peeved at losing my prime real estate (4th row), I acknowledged the fairness of this for those that had been standing in line waiting. One girl was not so forgiving, who was in crying hysterics claiming she would not have seen Sean Maher if she knew about this. She jumped in front of me mistaking the curve in the line for the end of the line, but given how she was I was not daring to say anything. To her credit, she did apologise though.
Speaking of Gareth David-Lloyd’s panel, he did not disappoint. Being the first Whoniverse actor I have gotten to see, I was a little star struck. It was also one of the most unique Q&As I have seen, with David-Lloyd giving prizes for the best questions (or asking stuff to be taken for absolutely stupid ones… hilarious). He opened the session by answering the one question he gets asked all the time before anyone had a chance, and he claimed John Barrowman is a rubbish kisser. This definitely tied for first place for my favourite Q&A, the next being on Sunday.
I stayed pretty late, but did not have tickets to the James Marsters concert, which given the reaction I have heard since, was a big mistake. I will be looking up his material online now, that is for sure.
Cosplay time… and I warn this is the day I took a LOT of pics!
Much of what can be said for the Saturday can be said for Sunday. The only part that sucked is that the early starters that arive at 6am and earlier lined the same place as yesterday, only to be told it was the wrong dore and join the long line that existed at 9.30am. This is an area the conveners can really work on for future events. I was lucky that Bride of Film Nerd joined me on this day, her exams over for another semester, and that I coulds join her in the fist place of the cash line for early entry. Her first goal was to get a photo with Tom Felton while I saved our seats for the James Marsters panel.
James Marsters panel was the one to tie with Gareth David-Lloyd. He was really there to satisfy his fans, and was really full of energy and loving being a part of the event. One answer he gave to a question stuck with me, when he was asked, with the audience in his thrall, what would he do. He went on to describe the celebrities as the excuse for like-minded people to get together at events such as these. He identified the real magic of the even came from friendships made just by chatting in lines (something that is very true for those that embrace the event).
I had another period of lining up after this getting the two other professional photos that I had purchased.
The main reason I signed up for this was that the two stars I was most interested in seeing at Supanova, James Marsters and Gareth David-Lloyd, were appearing at this event. I expected to be segregated from the stars, and having a panel with fewer people, with canapes being served. It was much better. For me this was the highlight of the event, the celebrities heading to each group if people and having a chat. So yes, I sat next to Gareth David-Lloyd. H e was even good enough to chat with Fourthverse on my phone, as she was unable to attend this event (when that phone dies, it will be encased in its own glass air tight cabinet!!). He was a true gentleman. And yes, I sat next to James Marsters, who was also just as cool, and his passion and knowledge for music was incredible. He also shared a hilarious story with us of one time when he was younger seeing The Clash. If the opportunity for a Postnova party is offered next year, I have no qualms about going again.
Supanova has picked ups its game with this event. Next year they may want to consider a larger venue, and thy may wish to more clearly signpost where patrons are supposed to line up, but aside from this it was a great event with very giving celebrities, a lot of fun cosplay, and collectibles to make any true geek salivate. Bring on Sydnova 2012 (and if cash permits Brisnova, Melbourne, Perth….)