Oz Comic-Con Sydney is great. It’s also for convention pros. Unfortunately, I’m not one.
Let me be upfront with you. I’ve never been to anything like this before. I didn’t know what to expect, but I decided to give it a go.
The day started easy enough. Right through the front gates and up to the box office to pick up my media pass. Straight up the stairs and in you go she says. This could be the easiest thing ever. Not quite.
So here I was thinking I was ready to go for Oz Comic-Con Sydney, and I realised straight away that I was way in over my head. I should had read the guide more carefully before I threw open the saloon doors of the ICC.
So you’re meant to wear a costume; it’s the Khalee-ast you should do.
I considered wearing a costume, dusting of the fedora and temple of doom the joint. But the advice of another Digital Fox writer on whether wearing a costume is imperative was, “you don’t need to really…only if you feel like it”. So I opted for casual.
Right around the first corner and already I’ve bumped into at least 17 variations of Professor Henry Jones Jr. Right now my pressed white linen shirt, jeans and desert boots is a one of a kind outfit.
Everybody’s props need to be security checked so if your Proton pack looks suspicious or your array of swords is showing you’re going to get frisked. My wedding ring is the closest thing to resemble a prop and even then it’s a stretch to try and convince anyone I’m actually dressed as Gollum.
Making an entrance
Through the entrance and I’d already dropped the ball: I failed to grab some complimentary ‘The Tick’ novelty ears. Attempting to double back and grab some proved impossible. The first rule of COMIC-CON is keep moving, unless you’re buying something.
I decided to do my part for Digital Fox by trying to snag a photo with Jason Momoa. Easily the hottest ticket in the room, I grabbed a token that resembled more of a piece of paper with a barcode from one of the desks. I figured they would spring for a Super Mario Coin or something. Come back in and hour and line up. Seems fair.
I trekked over to the Star Wars area and decided to test my skills in an X-wing, strapping on a helmet generously provided by the staff. Once I was in the cockpit however I realised this was a photo opportunity, only, I wasn’t flying anywhere. A smile and an IPAD assisted image texted directly to my smart phone, and off I went. I thought I was meant to be Poe Dameron for some challenge? I must have misread the sign.
Thor-ts so far
The whole place is overwhelming. The stalls are wall to wall, with something kitschy or potentially awesome on sale dangling from the ceiling or jumping into your eyeline. An ‘I want to believe’ retro poster from The X-Files caught my fancy, but then I realised I was paying a mortgage so I moved right along.
It’s hard to look at somebody without giving off the impression you’re nothing more than a 31 year old creep. But the outfits people have put together are nothing short of astonishing. Some genuinely look like the real thing: Batfleck is striking a pose in the corner while an oversized Groot draws awes from an adoring crowd.
My media pass is burning a hole in my pocket but I still don’t seem to fit the crowd. Still, I stand by my linen shirt despite its crinkled demeanour… although I could have used Iron Man’s help with this one. Hey-o!
Speaking of Marvel, Marvel has a section of its own. There is life sized Hulk and Thor. There is also an option to fight one of them through an iPad station. I decide to strike a jovial muscle flex with The Hulk.
Hanging on a Momoa-ent.
You see, what you’re not prepared for is the lines that line up for the other lines. I was willing to wait it out. But before long the line tightens and it’s hard to check your twitter feed.
I don’t know if Greedo or Han touched me first but things are happening in this line. “Personal space doesn’t exist today guys…keep getting closer”, says an 18 year old worker bee. Was funny the first time, but it wore out its welcome on its 89th airing.
It’s my turn to have some one on one time with Game Of Throne‘s Khal Drago. Dressed in jeans and Metallica shirt, his muscles dwarf my confidence and I forget how to smile briefly. He gives me a Shaka and I’m pushed back into the real world. I’ll come back for my photo.
There’s a talk on growing your YouTube Channel that sparks my interest, so I squeeze through the maze of lightsabers and make it to my seat. I soak up the atmosphere, watching a few coming attractions on the screens ahead. The Saw franchise is getting a reboot. How about that.
The panel is about to begin and it dawns on me, I’m at the wrong panel. Blast! It’s a Toys’ r’ Us launch for some toy. I can’t be here. But I’ve missed YouTube panel. Dammit. Perhaps I’ll try the Justice League escape room.
The Escape room looks the part but it turns out you’re meant to go as a group. I can’t exactly join forces with a strange family, as much as they’d probably enjoy having me tag along. I exit stage left.
One Hour Photo
Picking up my photo proves more daunting then it looks. It’s like a horror movie: people are tearing at the walls to get a taste, every man or woman for themselves.
Filtering through hundreds of images of people hugging and shaking hands with Aquaman proves defeating. But I’m spotted in the crowd! ‘YOU! Linen Shirt!’ It’s me in the photo. Hallelujah. I look better than expected. Probably should have just hugged the guy.
I clutch my photo like an Academy award and search for the press room so I can marvel at my achievement. Such a room doesn’t exist so I hang around The Tick‘s apartment whilst I decide the next move.
It’s getting late.
My blood sugar is running low and it’s been about 5 hrs. My showbag only has microwave popcorn so I can’t heat this bad boy up here, I’ll have to head back to my own Wayne Manor. Tummy is rumbling, I must flee.
I probably should have not gone to this solo. I had fun, and each line had its own unique brand of superhero. But I didn’t have anyone to share the moment with except the grandma that wanted to be a Jedi for her grandson. God bless.
But I did get to feel Aquaman’s bicep and have photo proof we shared the same room. At the end of the day, what more could you want?