I made it to Oz Comic-Con again this year. It was at the beautiful Royal Exhibition Building. It was as good or even better than last year, but it was also more expensive and crowded.
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. There are a lot of extras you can buy. If you want to meet your favourite celeb and get an autograph or photo, you have to buy tokens. There are also passes for various up-close experiences and extras ranging from $200 to $600. My geekness has limits and I’m satisfied with a general admission ticket.
The vendors are set up inside the building. The stages were in large tents outside. Once we entered the event, my friend Graeme and I headed out a side door to one of the tents, Stage 1, for our first panel.
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. It was funny listening to him describe the challenges of delivering different emotions. His character only ever speaks one word, “Hodor”.
At 11am, we saw Max Grodenchik and Aron Eisenberg who play Rom and Nog on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I’ve seen two episodes of Star Trek in my life. I didn’t know these guys, but Graeme is a fan. They were in costume because few people would recognise them otherwise. Entertaining and funny, they slipped in and out of character as they engaged with the audience. You could tell that they love their fans.
I wanted to stay for the 12pm panel with Jennifer Morrison. She plays Emma on Once Upon a Time, but the the Comic-Con crew made everything leave. We would have had to go to the end of a long queue with no guarantee we’d make it back inside. We decided to check out the vendors and get some lunch instead.
Inside, it was packed. We moved slowly, dodging swords, staffs, and fairy wings, and careful not to step on Princess Elsa’s train. We inched up to the vendor tables glimpsing all the cool stuff – clothes, toys, books, DVDs, art, autographs. I bought a TARDIS-inspired Doctor Who scarf.
When lunch time came around, the queues for the eateries stretched for what seemed like miles. There was nowhere to sit and enjoy your lunch. Superheroes sat on the floor eating overpriced sandwiches. 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. Sometimes celebs like to tell stories and talk about themselves. He went straight to audience questions. Darvill was interesting, funny, and charming. He picked up his guitar and closed by singing a melancholic cover of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”. That was 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. The kids were very cute and the adults were clever, funny, and creative. Some them performed with their cosplay. I love seeing what people come up with. The cosplay is my favourite part of Comic-Con.
Have you ever been to Comic-Con?