A few weeks ago was the 2014 Supanova Sydney Expo and I had the pleasure to attend the city’s largest convention. Supanova is a convention celebrating all the wonderful fiction, creative stories and immersive universes out there in the world. And this is coverage of the wonderful 2014 Supanova Expo.
The 2014 Supanova Sydney Expo was held at the Sydney Showground once again, but this time they have used up all of the space, all 7,200 square metres of it. It is a three day convention from Friday to Sunday and I had the privilege of attending it on a media pass. I was unable to attend the Friday expo, but was there in full on the weekends. The convention lasted from 10am to 6pm for a total of 8 hours of nerdy and pop-culture entertainment and boy, there were lots of it.
The convention was essentially split up into multiple sections; the largest was the section for stores to allow people to buy many products from their favourite series. Another section is just outside and is the Madman Screening Room where you can watch various English dubbed episodes of various for free. The next section is the Madman cosplay theatre, where the Sydney entry for the national cosplay competition was held in addition to guest panels. Next to that is the Alley, a whole section dedicated to artists and writers, professional and fans. Near that is a workshop where people can show off their works and the describe the process of making it. At the end of the hall are for guest signings and behind that is the Film Ink features, a large hall for the screening of Star Trek Continues and Stan Lee’s panel. Did I mention Stan Lee was there?
There were many guests that appeared at Supanova Sydney 2014, from writers to actors, and from online personalities to Stan Lee. For the most part you can get the stars for autographs and get taken professional photographs taken with them, though it does costs money. The panels themselves are all great fun and information for people to learn more about the guest stars and their works. The guest stars included:
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the actor of Jaime Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones
- Ming-Na Wen, the voice of the titular character in Disney’s Mulan and portrays Melinda May in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
- Vic Mignogna, the voice actor of Edward Elric in Funimation’s dub of Fullmetal Alchemist/Brotherhood
- Chuck Huber, the voice actor of Hiei from the Funimation dub of YuYu Hakusho
- Jessica DiCicco, the voice actress of Flame Princess from Adventure Time
- Artist Ashley Wood, who drew the cutscenes of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, and
- Stan “The Man” Lee, Marvel and Comic book legend
There were also Q&As for people to learn specific, and maybe secretive, things about them. One such panel I went to was for Michael and Lindsay Jones, who are employees of Rooster Teeth and Achievement Hunter, and voice in the online series RWBY. They did a Q&A sessions with fans and it was quite fun.
I did go to another special event on the Saturday which was the Madman National Cosplay Competition. It’s not a normal cosplay competition since it requires to be a skit and the winner will have to advance to the next round and represent Sydney. There were three contestants to the competition; one was a skit involving references to Alice in Wonderland, another was based on an old Japanese folklore, and the last is a recreation of the opening moments to the Nintendo DS game Rune Factory. The competition was judged by three cosplay veterans.
Now onto the show floor itself. There were heaps and heaps of people this year, more so than last year, so getting around was a little tricky. There were also more stores this time around and each were getting flooded with customers looking at their wares. The biggest and most popular stores included Kings Comics, Sydney’s largest comic book store, and Madman Entertainment, Australia and New Zealand”s anime and manga licensor and distributor. Madman were selling blu-rays, dvds, box sets and manga, as well as advertising their new free Australian streaming service, AnimeLab.
Other anime related stores included Anime at Abbotsford, which were mostly selling anime figures and toys, and various other and independent stores that sold wall scrolls, t-shirts, posters and toys.
There was also a wrestling arena in the middle of the place, with regular wrestling matches and the like, which got the visitors really pumped up. I saw a couple matches and it was pretty enjoyable despite not being a wrestling fan of any sort. There was also a domino’s store that sold pizza on the day as well as a cafe so that people won’t have to leave the convention to get some food, Other major stores included a big Battlefield 4 setup with 64 computers, and even a big APC that people can play the game inside, and a hands on demonstration of the upcoming co-op shooter, Evolve.
I played a round of the game, which is a 4v1 shooters vs monster style of game, where the 4 humans have to team up to track a monster and kill them. The monster itself needs to hunt down food to grow and evolve, and eventually wiping out all the humans. I played the role of trapper where I can deploy sound sensors, use a hookshot to keep the monster in place and deploy a massive dome to trap the monster. Of what I played, I enjoyed very much. Though there are concerns with the game’s full release since it doesn’t offer too much variety. I hope more game modes and more monsters are shown before the release.
And now for some of the big parts of conventions for Japanese pop culture fans, cosplay. We all love that people cosplay their favourite characters from from their favourite series. Some are pretty good and there are some that are mind blowing. Though, each convention there is a theme; cosplaying from the most popular and recent shows. And for this year, that would be Wit Studio’s Attack on Titan. Yes, there were many of them. Heck there was even an entire group of 20-30 people all in the Attack on Titan costumes. I did get a photo of them, but it was after they finished posing, so I’m sorry but I tried. Here are some of the Attack on Titan cosplays I saw around Supanova Sydney 2014.
As for other cosplays, there are daily cosplay competitions at the end of the day for people who want to show off. These are different to the Madman National Cosplay Competition since anyone in costume can head up on stage and show off their long hard work and dedication. There were also skits at the competition, but its all for good fun. Some were very well done and heck, there’s even a little Elsa cosplay! The event itself was opened by people from Invincible Worldwide, where people practice martial arts and physical tricking.
So here are some bibs and bobs from the cosplay competition.
And that was my time at Supanova Sydney 2014. I would have gone to more panels and events, but there were so many people lining up, it’s insane. I have bought a few goodies for myself, nothing crazy or anything since I was on a small budget. The following is what I got from Supanova Sydney 2014:
- An Elsa t-shirt with a cool design
- A Captain America Winter Soldier edition Pop Vinyl
- A Ghost, from Game of Thrones, Pop Vinyl
- and a SMASH 2014 poster
Once again it isn’t much at all.
And that was my time at Supanova Sydney 2014. I had a great time once again and would like to thank the convention for supplying me with a media pass, and for putting up an amazing convention. All the guests that I saw were fantastic, all the people were lovely and the cosplayers were awesome. I would love to attend Supanova Sydney 2015, and hoping it will once again be as enjoyable as this years.
I will leave you with some more images of cosplay and other things from the convention: