MuggleNet Attends Supanova Expo in Brisbane, Australia, November 9-11, 2012
On the weekend of November 9, 2012, I attended Supanova Brisbane. Supanova Pop Culture Expo is the convention that gives Australian fans of “science-fiction, pulp TV/movies, toys, console gaming, trading cards, animation/cartoons, fantasy, comic books, entertainment technology, books, [I]nternet sites and fan-clubs” an opportunity to celebrate everything that they love in six locations around Australia on various weekends throughout the year. These locations include Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.
The best place to start is to book your tickets online. Tickets are available to purchase at the gate, but by prepurchasing your ticket, you will be able to make your way into the convention much faster by avoiding the slower-moving ticket purchase queues. There are three main options for ticket purchase: Day Passes, Supa-Fan Weekend Passes, and VIP Supa-Star passes. There are also separately ticketed events for each convention (available online) depending on the guests that will be attending.
Once you are in the gate, there are several things you can do. Schedules of the day’s activities are available ahead of time, and like all conventions, you should plan your day before you get there to avoid missing out on something you really want to see. Within this schedule, there are six main categories of things to do: photo/autograph opportunities, anime, cosplay theater, Supanova seminars, Film Inc Features, and the vendor room.
The first thing you might want to do when you get through the gate is to purchase any photo/autograph tokens from the Supanova Store. Because Supanova has a low entry fee, each photo and autograph opportunity must be purchased separately inside the venue. Queues to purchase these tokens tend to get quite lengthy on Saturdays and Sundays, so take advantage of Friday (the first day for most venues), when prepurchase tokens are available and usually, there is hardly any wait time.
Once you have your tokens, you are free to take advantage of the other activities, depending on what interests you. The anime area and cosplay theater have full schedules for each day featuring various screenings and activities to suit the interests of people from various anime- and cosplay-related fandoms. The Supanova Seminars also run throughout the day, featuring talks and Q&As from various comic and book authors and even a little anime trivia. Film Inc Features is the place where the attending stars have talks and Q&A sessions.
Stars attending each location vary, but some examples of those who attended Brisbane Supanova 2012 include Tom Hopper (Merlin, Doctor Who), Felicia Day (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), James Marsters (Buffy, Smallville), and Harry Potter actors Tom Felton, Chris Rankin, and Alfred Enoch.
The convention isn’t limited to stars and seminars – the vendor room is a whole other experience. I couldn’t resist splurging on some Harry Potter merchandise, but that isn’t all that is available. There is everything – toys and figurines, T-shirts, collectibles, novelties, and signed memorabilia – from Doctor Who, Star Wars, Avengers, Batman, and The Big Bang Theory, just to name a few. I suggest taking your time looking through the merchandise, but be warned: You will be tempted to buy something from almost every vendor!
There are also opportunities to attend meetups with local fan groups. The only one I attended was the Darren Criss Street Team: Australian Chapter meetup (we stood in the rain for almost an hour chatting about everything StarKid), but there are various others.
The fun doesn’t stop there. Dressing up is half the fun! If you don’t wish to dress up yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for photos with fans dressed up in amazing costumes. I saw the Doctor everywhere I looked, several Hogwarts students walking around, Wolverine, the Avengers, Batman, Superman, some Cheerios, Robin, and many, many more. The time and effort put into some of these costumes were amazing!
I was able to cover two Q&As at Brisbane Supanova 2012 – the first of which features all three Potter actors, the second Chris Rankin and Alfred Enoch – and the live tweets from those Q&As can be found on the MuggleNetLive Twitter account.
We were also given the opportunity to interview Chris Rankin and Alfred Enoch, who took time out of their busy Supanova schedules to talk with us.