As a seasonal con-goer, I always feel like I’m on a plane. Whether that be jet-setting internationally to the rainy heart of Vancouver, Canada, or somewhere a little closer to home: Melbourne, Australia. While these conventions are larger in size in comparison to the fandom-specific ones, Oz Comic-Con Melbourne was a delightful treat of pop culture interspersed with a personal touch. The event took place at Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre on June 8-9, and I was lucky enough to attend on behalf of Nerds and Beyond, starting my festivities with the Platinum cocktail party on Friday.
A Night With The Stars
We nerds always do things a little differently in comparison to those ordinary folks. In this case, the after party took place at the regal Crown Melbourne. Upon the twenty-eighth floor sits the 28 Skybar Lounge, which set a moody ambiance with a warm fireplace flickering throughout the night and a bar to the side that acted as a meeting ground. While it’s no MET, the event was incredibly exclusive, and the only people in attendance were Platinum ticket buyers and celebrities.
However, when meeting, there isn’t a divide between the two. Rather, it was more like hanging out with friends I hadn’t seen in a while and passionately conversing about Pokemon. There was a sense of intimacy as if I was standing in the fray of those Hollywood parties inked in glamour.
A variety of panels took place over the weekend, and the first I attended came Saturday morning when Shadowhunters‘ vampire Alberto Rosendo was able to sink his teeth into a stadium-sized crowd of attentive youths alongside Dominic Sherwood. Sherwood’s mother was in attendance, having flown out from New Zealand, which allowed for a space of censorship (ahem, or somewhat), as the two discussed the bro-ship between Jace and Simon, Star Wars, and the legacy of the series.
“I think a lot of what this show has been and hopefully with what it will continue to be with the legacy we leave behind does inspire hope for people who maybe feel hopeless or feel lost or feel they don’t have anywhere to turn to,” Sherwood explained.
As the panel came to a close, we were left with a few interesting details about what the two have coming up in terms of their careers. Both actors have something in the works, and it looks like Sherwood’s next role is in a completely different genre than sci-fi.
To whoever puts on their detective caps, he’s currently binge-watching the first three seasons.
Although the convention’s floor can be viewed as a maze of celebrity autograph and photo booths, candy stalls, and merchandise vendors, if you walked to the very end, you’d have found a plethora of comic guests and authors. This section was brimming with creativity as it was decked out in a variety of books and artwork (all of which could be signed). Day 1’s highlights featured Melbourne-based digital artist, Bosslogic. Either going by his stage name or simply Kode, you may know him from his creation of photoshopped images that see Marvel and DC characters and cast alike in unusual settings or random mashups. His pieces were able to be purchased throughout the weekend. However, one caught my eye: the entirety of the Marvel squad having their last supper before their world crumbled in Endgame.
If you prefer a tingle up your spine, then minutes before the highly anticipated Supernatural panel featuring prophet Osric Chau and Nephilim Alex Calvert was a special immersive experience for It Chapter Two. Thankfully, there weren’t any physical clowns involved, but as the lights shut off completely, a hundred red balloons were let go from the ceiling above, with the mechanical laughter coming from a deranged clown. Whilst they coasted down below into our seats and then traveled to the front of the stage, a scene from the movie was played on the big screen.
This was one of the immersive experiences at the convention, with another being a Dragon Ball Z miniature museum set up by Tamashi Nations. The small walkable unit had a wax figure of fan favorite Goku surrounded by Shenron the snake coiled up into a ball and its eyes set on the Saiyan.
There was also a wall of collectibles both out on display and protected in glassed boxes.
Strike A Pose
Concluding my day, I visited the two booths set up for celebrity photographs. Tickets could be purchased at the convention, but because the lines got rather hectic, going the online route through Epic Photo Ops was the best option, since it saved time and helped to calm nerves. Watching on before it was my turn was heartwarming, because I was able to see how much it meant to that person as the guests were incredibly sweet to do an infinite number of different poses. When it came time to walk out of the booths, there was a long table set up with printing machines since the photos were accessible immediately, whether they may be digital prints or JPEGS.
Day One of Oz Comic-Con Melbourne was incredible, and the question lingered if the next would be able to top it.
Stay tuned for coverage of Day Two coming soon!