I made it to Oz Comic-Con again this year. It was held at the beautiful Royal Exhibition Building. In some ways, it was just as good or even better than last year, but it was also much more crowded and expensive.
General admission for one day was $30 if you purchased tickets online or $35 at the door; it was $22 at the door last year. That’s for the basic event with access to vendors and panels. Beyond that, you have to buy tokens to get an autograph or photo with your favourite celebs and then there are a variety of passes for various up-close experiences and extras ranging from $200 to $600. I’m a fan and a geek, but I’m not that hardcore and I’m not a collector. I don’t care about taking photos with celebs or getting their autographs so I was satisfied with my general admission ticket.
Aside from the big price hike, I didn’t like that they didn’t let us in when the doors opened. The event started at 9am, but they only allowed ticket holders to enter. Those of us that were purchasing our tickets at the door weren’t allowed in until 9:30am. Once inside, my friend Graeme and I made our way to Stage 1 for the panels we wanted to see.
At 10am, we saw Daniel Portman and Kristian Nairn who play Podrick and Hodor on Game of Thrones. Nairn was delightful – sweet and funny and, yes, quite a big guy. We stayed for the 11am panel with Max Grodenchik and Aron Eisenberg who play Rom and Nog on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I think I’ve seen two episodes of Star Trek in my life so I had no idea who these guys were, but Graeme is a fan and they were hilarious. I wanted to stay for the 12pm panel with Jennifer Morrison who plays Emma on Once Upon a Time, but the the Comic-Con crew cleared the room so we were forced to leave and would have had to join a very long queue to get back inside. We decided to check out the vendors and get some lunch instead.
Did I mention it was crowded? It was packed actually. We walked very slowly through the vendor area. There was a lot of cool stuff – clothes, toys, books, DVDs, art, autographs. I picked up a TARDIS-inspired Doctor Who scarf. When lunch time came around, the queues for the eateries were huge. We went across to the Melbourne Museum and that was better, but we decided to bring our own lunch next year.
After lunch, we went back to Stage 1 to see Arthur Darvill who played Rory Williams on Doctor Who. He went straight into questions and was funny and charming. The best part was at the end when he picked up a guitar and sang a really cool and melancholic cover of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”. That was definitely the highlight of the day for me.
After Darvill, we stayed at Stage 1 for the cosplay competitions. The kids went first and then the adults. This part needs a little more organization, but it was really good. The kids were very cute and the adults were clever, funny, and creative. A number of them had little performances to go along with their cosplay. I love seeing what people come up with. The cosplay is my favourite part of Comic-Con.
At the end of the day, we’d had a great time and we will attend next year. We’ll purchase our tickets online to save a few bucks and bring our own lunch to avoid long queues. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll dress up.
You can see these and other photos from Comic-Con over on my Flickr.
Have you ever been to Comic-Con?