Oz Comic-Con – it’s cool to be a geek (not that I know anything about cool)

The X-Men at... well, I actually took this at New York Comic-Con last year, but they look so cool that I thought I'd use it here. (Oz Comic-Con also had people dressing up, but I didn't get 'round to taking any pics.)

As a kid, I only ever went to one comic book convention, because they didn’t have many in Australia. At this convention, I perused hundreds of comics on sale, and met with famous comic book artists. In fact, even though they were big shots, I casually chatted with them, handing them comics to sign without having to queue. The price of an autograph? Absolutely free.

Two weekends ago, I visited Oz Comic-Con in Melbourne. For the record, things have changed. This was much smaller than New York Comic Con (which I was lucky enough to attend last year), which is much smaller than San Diego Comic Con (which will be held later this month). Still, the Melbourne event was huge, with thousands of people queuing in the corridors just because the rooms in the Melbourne Convention Centre weren’t big enough. Before midday on Saturday, ticket sales were suspended.

As in most comic cons these days, celebrities could charge up to $50 for autographs (though many of them donate these riches to charity). When I say “celebrities”, I mean TV actors whom only geeks have heard of. Sure, there are comic book artists too, but they aren’t the main drawcard. Though there are still plenty of stalls peddling rare, collectible comics, thousands of people at Oz Comic-Con don’t read comics at all.

A number of actors were flown over for the event. There was that fine actor Sir Patrick Stewart, most famous as the bald guy from Star Trek: The Next Generation, the bald guy from X-Men and the bald guy from British masterpiece theatre. I’d name some of the other actors, but if you’ve heard of them, you’re probably geeky enough to have been there like everyone else.

I arrived just in time for a session with Sean Maher, who made his debut in a fantasy series that nobody saw, but is best-known for his role in Firefly, a science fiction series that nobody saw, but which was created by the great Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and considered by many geeks to be a work of genius. Hence, Maher’s Q&A session filled most of the fairly large conference room.

He was followed by Willow Shields, who played Jennifer Lawrence’s sister in the recent blockbuster, The Hunger Games. Her crowd wasn’t nearly as large. Sean Maher makes a short-lived TV series and gets a roomful of fans. Willow Shields gets a hit film, but there are still plenty of chairs available. This might be because everyone was outside the door, reserving their place in the queue for the upcoming Stan Lee session. Or perhaps it’s because certain TV shows bring out the devotees far more than movies, however popular the movie might be.

Still, Willow has her fans. “What was it like working with Jennifer and Josh [Hutcherson, co-star and reigning hunk]?” asked someone in the audience, who had obviously been to the Angela Bishop School of sharp and probing interviews. “They’re two of the nicest people I know,” says Shields. Normally I don’t trust any actor who says that about their co-stars, but Shields is only 12, so she probably doesn’t know anyone yet.

Then someone asks what advice she has for young actors trying to break in. “Just never give up and keep following your dreams,” she says. This old line might be true, but repeated by a preteen, to people who have probably been trying to break in since before she was born, it’s all a bit much.

I left at that point, not because I didn’t like her answers, but because I too wanted to see Stan Lee. For those who don’t know, Lee is the co-creator of Spider-Man, the Avengers and many other Marvel Comics superheroes. He has since settled into the life of a professional icon and deity. He’s the Bradman of comic-book legends, except more lively. The queue outside was like Mecca at the end of Ramadan, but with some people dressed as superheroes and science fiction characters (which presumably doesn’t happen at Mecca). I joined the queue, unsure of whether I’d actually make it inside. By the time I was at the front of the queue, there was only standing room available.

In Australia, where we never get to see Stan Lee, the crowd was even more enthusiastic than the US crowds I witnessed at New York Comic Con. At 89, he was still sharp and funny, as he walked around the stage, answering question after question. What time in his life would he like to revisit? “The time 12 hours ago, when I was flying in. I don’t know if you’ve ever flown Qantas. The staff is so nice and the food is so good.” Truly, a guy who doesn’t know the meaning of “economy class”.

He entertained us so cheerfully, leaving us so enthralled, that he could almost have been a motivational speaker. I want to make it to 89, and when I do, I want to be just like him.

He then went to sign autographs, attracting a queue that zigzagged through the hall. I didn’t bother to get an autograph, however. What do you think I am, some kind of geek?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Post your comment

Tomtop|

IT Support| POS label| System Integration| Software development| label printing| QR code scanner| wms| vending machine| barcode scanner| SME IT| it solution| rfid tag| rfid| rfid reader| it outsourcing| IRLS| inventory management system| digital labelling| barcode label| Self Service Kiosk| Kiosk| Voice Picking| POS scanner| POS printer| System Integrator| printing labels| Denso| inventory management| warehouse management| Point of sale| Business service| vending| mobile app development| terminal handheld| printer hong kong| thermal printer| thermal label printer| qr code scanner online mobile| qr code scanner download| mdm| mobile solutions| mdm solutions| mobile device management|

banner| Backdrop| Bannershop| Ebanner| Eprint| foamboard| hk print| hong kong printing| Printing| backdrop| print100|

electric bike| best electric bike| electric bikes for adults| e bike| pedal assist bike| electric bikes for sale| electric bike shop| electric tricycle| folding electric bike| mid drive electric bike| electric trike| electric mountain bike| electric bicycle| electric bike review| electric fat bike| fat tire electric bike| women's electric bike |

Property Agent| Hong Kong Office Rental| office building| Commercial Building| Grade A Office| Rent Office| office for sale|

Central Plaza| The Centrium| LHT Tower| China Building| AIA Central| Crawford House| Exchange Tower| AIA Tower| World Wide House| One Kowloon| The Gateway | One Island South| Jardine House| Millennium City | Exchange Square| Times Square | Pacific Place| Admiralty Centre| United Centre| Lippo Centre| Shun Tak Centre| Silvercord| The Center| Mira Place| Ocean Centre| Cosco Tower| Harcourt House| Cheung Kong Center|

private school hong kong| English primary school Hong Kong| primary education| top schools in Hong Kong| best international schools hong kong| best primary schools in hong kong| school day| boarding school Hong Kong|

Mailchimp|​​​​​​​ Hubspot| Sendinblue| ActiveCampaign| Aweber| benchmark| SMS|