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Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Story of A Sci/Fi Convention Virgin: My surprise trip to Supanova.

It was any normal Friday afternoon, working away at my place of employment. Suddenly I received a phone call from my wife.  She promptly instructed me to leave work and head home.  After voicing my concern that this wasn’t possible as I simply had too much to do, my boss strolled over to me and told me to leave. It seems my wife had a cunning plan. So out the door I dashed and quickly headed home. Once there I found the family car packed, my bags included, and my wife waiting patiently to hit the road to our mystery location.

So it was with a quick de-tour via school to pick up my youngest son we headed off for my surprise trip. It was clear fairly soon that we were heading to Sydney and therefor I assumed that we were going to visit my parents for the weekend. I was right (or so I thought.) and after a slow drive due to an accident and road works, we arrived at my parents flat. We quickly followed the usual routine, dragging the bags up stairs, settling in for a drink and to watch the footy. It was then that my wife surprised me a second time with a ticket to Supanova.
With a grin on my face I continued getting comfortable; assuming that we would catch the train to Homebush in the morning and my parents would look after the kids for the day. Just as I got my laptop out my wife told me to pack it up and grab my bags. It turned out there was one surprise left, which was a hotel room for 2 nights in Kings Cross. My parents had agreed to have the kids for the weekend and Amy and I were going to get a weekend together.  So after a bit of a train ride into town we quickly found our hotel room, grabbed some dinner and drinks and hit the hay.
Just a small part of the line up to get in.

After rising at a reasonable hour, we had a quick bite to eat and jumped on a train to head to Olympic Park and the Supanova pop culture expo.  The first thing I noticed was the size of the line to get in. It was enormous, at which point I almost thought it would be better to do something else for the day. But after a few seconds we noticed that the line was moving through quickly and we took our place at the rear as we headed into the event. After a short wait of about 20-30 minutes we reached the front, paid our entry and went into the event.

Some of the great Cosplayers
My god there were a lot of people, and the cosplayers were out in force. Some were simply outstanding and I could do nothing but applaud the effort they went to in order to look like their favourite Sci/fi hero. Ezio to Aliens, Ariel to Poision Ivy. The variety of characters was amazing. My personal favourites were the girls who came as the weeping angels from Doctor who and the two lads dressed as Alien and Predator.

Moving on from simply gawking at passers-by, I went about checking out some of the stores and displays. GAME, Madman Comics and JB HI FI were probably the biggest stands there but there were many, many others to check out.  As I made my way towards the centre of the expo, I was greeted by a wrestling ring, with two very bad performers pretending to hurt each other in the middle. After seeing this, I can see why professional wrestling never took off in Australia. To be honest the acting in a Uwe Boll was more convincing, and even more entertaining to watch.

After a quick marvel at how bad the so called “wrestlers” were I moved quickly to the theatre section of the expo to try and catch some of Amy Acker’s Q and A session. As my wife well knows I have somewhat of a crush on Amy Acker’s “Fred” character in the TV show Angel and I was surprised to see she was even better looking in person. Even my wife commented on how good she looked. Yup my nerdy dreams were coming true. So my wife, being the greatest wife ever, lined up to get us some autograph tokens. An Amy Acker token for me and a James Masters token for herself.  While she was lining up I proceeded to wander around the expo, checking the sites and buy a few things here and there (I bought a Mario and Yoshi plush toy for my boys.) After almost 2 hours (I kid you not) my wife calls me and says she has finally gotten to the front of the line. So we both line up for our chance to meet our chosen crush and get their autograph. Apparently Amy Acker isn’t as popular as James Master s and I managed to get in, say a few polite words with Amy, and get out in under 15 minutes. My poor wife had a much longer wait.
A sneaky shot of Amy Acker

So once again I went a wandering while my patient wife waited in line, luckily for her she had her Kobo with her, giving her something to do while she shuffled forward ever so slowly.  I went off and decided to try and get in to a demo session for the upcoming game “The Darkness 2” (Which I wrote about in my last blog entry) which went for 35 minutes. While in there my wife finally managed to meet “Spike”, went weak at the knees when he called her a “pretty little thing”, and come out to the front of the expo and waits for my demo session to finish.  As I exited the demo I spied her seated on the overhead balcony, exhausted from all of the waiting she had to do. 
The Expo floor

And that was it, both of us a little tired and hungry we decided to call it quits and begin our train trip back to the hotel room. I had a great time and it was a wonderful surprise and early birthday present. While I am glad I went, the expo its self was a little hit and miss, some things I loved and some things were poorly organised to the point of frustration.  I don’t know if I will go back again, I think it would depend on which stars were in attendance as I can’t see it being too different year to year. In saying this it is something everyone with a little bit of “nerd” in them should do at least once, even if it is just to see to sights and maybe meet one of your crushes.

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