Page 1 of 1

Supernova Perth 2011 - the con experience part 1 and part 2

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:09 pm
by Sean
So I've been to my first ever comic con here in Perth. Well it's not so much a comic con as a 'popular culture convention' of which comics make up about a third of it.

Anyway, so after finding a place to park in the Claremont Showgrounds venue around 11.00am and making my way to the pavilon I joined the entry line. Thankfully this wasn't that long and only took about 5 minutes to get in the door after getting slugged the $25.00 entry fee. You could book tickets online but that only saved you $1.80 off the entry fee.. wow, bank buster that one... where would I spend it first?..?

First impression of the inside of supanova...? Not overwhelmed. Lots of people in cosplay of various kinds and some of the Drizzt anime guys are walking around trying to be enigmatic and other-worldy but really just getting in people's way plus I reckon some of those costumes are very painful and impractical to wear, especially for the girls, not to mention revealing.... There're the usual stalls and sections of various comic shops, book stores and other interest groups flogging their wares as expected. Kings Comics had the biggest and most involved display while the 501st Regiment (Star Wars fans dressed as stormtroopers of various types) had a pretty good display. There was the local guys from the WWF wrestling setup there with the guys carrying on in their usual manner in the ring, but they were only there because the WWF have a new PC game coming out and they were there to promote it. Topcow's "Darkness II" was being promoted for the new game out in October and for some reason I couldn't fathom there was a huge queue of guys waiting to get into their mini-cinema to see a demo of the game being shown on a 40" flatscreen TV... You couldn't play a beta version of the game or anything yet these guys were prepared to wait for 20-30 minutes to see a 10 minute non-interactive demo...*shrugs*

Wandered off down to the various guest stars area to see what was going on down there. This year's main celebs were Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden from "I Dream of Jeanie", a bunch of anime/manga voice stars I've never heard of, and the guy who plays Draco Malfroy in Harry Potter. The voice stars were largely being ignored at the time I was there, and Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman had about 5 people waiting to see them each. Larry looked like he'd been sold a bit of a 3 legged horse IMO and was probably wondering why he'd bothered to come. I went up and said hello and how I loved the show growing up to Barbara Eden anyway as there was no one there at the time, but didn't get her autograph or anything. They're charging for these of course and I don't like her *that* much to care for it.... The line for the Draco Malfroy actor though was running off into the misty distance and I heard people say that the wait time was approaching 4 hours!!! It kind of boggles my mind that people would pay $25 to get in, then stand for 4 hours in a queue to see an actor for about 3 minutes while you hand over another $15 or so for a signature and a 'Hi how are ya, great to see you" kind of comment after which he's forgotten that you even exist 10 seconds later when he moves onto the next person... But we'll get back to this queueing thing later as I'm not entirely innocent myself later on.

So off to Artists Alley!!! Bunch of people there from the anime/manga art world that I don't know of but I did see jeffrey cruz from who was drawing a commission picture of "Death" and not really talking to anyone. Sure he's social enough if you talk to him first but otherwise Jeffrey wasn't very forthcoming. His stall was being largely passed over as a result. Jeffrey probably sees it differently but I got the chance to watch his spot for quite a while (the queueing thing I mentioned and to which I'll get to in a minute) and that's how I saw it.

Going up and down the alley I got to talk to Wolfgang from the local Gestalt Publishing comic publishers. I showed him this portfolio book I'd brought along which shows off some of my better coloured stuff (but not after totally embarassing myself by being a complete klutz and wiping out hs display table with my backpack bag...gawd...but no damage done, just a mess for a minute or so... gah!) and passed over this flyer I'd made up with my contact details etc. Anyway, Wolfgang really liked my colouring and gave me his card in return and said to send him an email and we can *talk* some more...!

I chatted to Stewart McKenny for a while who recognised me from the forums which was cool, and then I went along the line and found paul abstruse who is a great guy and we had a good long chat about comics, conventions (he reckons I should get my own table one year...) and colouring stuff in general which was cool. He even asked me to look after his table while he went off to the toilet for 5 minutes and so I impersonated being him for a while. There are now about 10 girls and guys out there that think Paul is far more handsome, not to mention older, than he really is :P Anyway, we chatted for a bit more then I went off to see if I could get to see two of the main celebs for the comic side of things - David Finch and Billy Tan.

So, I join the queue... See? I'm not immune to the concept of standing for very long periods of time for little return overall, and started waiting... and waiting... and waiting... It seemed everyone ahead of me wanted Dave to draw a fully rendered 3/4 page shot on the back of the poster they'd just bought, and each one took Dave about 15- 25 minutes to draw. As people will know and from what I've been told from other convention reports, Dave doesn't draw things by half which is lovely of him but makes for a VERY long wait in the queue to see him. Billy was pretty much the same but his line was shorter.

Got chatting to the other guys in the line around me to pass the time and showed off my coloured portfolio book again. I also spent a bit of time watching Jeremy draw as his booth was directly opposite the Kings Comics Celeb box where Dave and Billy were sitting. After about an hour though I did some mental math and worked out if the 4 guys ahead of me also wanted a fully rendered 3/4 shot of some character (they did..) then I was going to be there for at least another 2 hours in line! And there I was dismissively pooh-poohing the HP fans over the Draco Malfroy dude and then doing the same damm thing myself for my own little bit of fanboy worshipping only an hour later!... yeah call me hypocritical...

All I wanted to do was show Dave my portfolio book which has a bunch of pictures of his that I'd coloured for fun and pass over my details flyer (He *might* not have binned it that night and accidently taken it home with him, and then found it in his pocket one day and thought 'Yeah that guy from Perth was really talented, I should pass this onto my editor..."!! - Hey..a guy can hope!!..? Can't he..?) and basically just thank him for being such a great artist as his art is what got me into colouring and what I essentially learnt my skills on (Look at my gallery here, you'll see I've coloured a LOT of Finch art!) - So yeah, total fanboy-geekiness pretty much. I had also printed off a copy of a page inked by a girl I know named Ambra (from Italy) and who does inks for me and I was going to get him to sign that as well so I could send it to her as a gift, but alas! It was not to be....sorry Ambra. (It was the spiderman-blackcat one... :) )

But after the hour and the math, where my legs hurt from standing and my head hurt from the mental math, I gave up and left the line, so all of that never happened. However I *did* get to see Dave from a distance of no more than 2 meters (about 2 yards) and watched him draw about 4 commission pictures. It's stunning to see how he just gets the proportions dead right straight off. Lets hope that the people who commissioned them have a scanner and post them somewhere on the net in high res! :P Most popular characters were Batman and Batgirl it seemed. Figures, as he was selling prints of the Batman 700 cover as well as that Gnomon DVD picture he drew a while back.

So back to Artists Alley where I spoke to Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night fame) and who is also a local Perth boy originally. Shane McCarthy (Transformers writer and another local boy) was around as well but I didn't see him there. I then went back to paul abstruse's booth and chatted some more. Paul asked if I was coming again tomorrow but I said the $25 entry fee was a killer - at which point he gave me one of his spare exhibitor's entry badges so I could get in for free!!!!!! THAT was seriously cool of him!!!! I then wandered back past David Finch where absolutely no-one had moved an inch in the line after another half hour and left the con.

Unfortunately as it turned out I haven't been able to go Sundayas A) We're moving house in 2 weeks time and the wife said I have a whole shed-load of crap to throw out after 12 years of living in this same place and that had to be done and B) I had to write some stuff up for my day-job as a teacher. By the time I'd done all that it was about 4.00pm and getting too late to go over to the Con again.. However the free entry badge WAS very much appreciated Paul....

So there you have it. My first ever comic con of sorts. We only ever have the one here in Perth and it's pretty small overall. About 10-15 000 people only will come through in the 3 days but I'm sure I'll be back next year doing it all again :)

Re: Supernova Perth 2011 - the con experience part 1 and par

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:12 pm
by Sean
Part 2 - Sunday

Ok, so after not making it to the con on Sunday, I get a call on the cell phone from paul abstruse He says there's going to be a podcast recorded at the Parmelia Hilton that night with various artists and guests from the con, and would I like to sit in? It'd be a chance to cruise and schmooze as it were!... Of course I said yes...

My wife and daughter decided to come along as well, so we piled in the car and drove into the city. Sure enough, the podcast was being set up and present included Ben Templesmith, (Rev) Dave Johnson, Neal Kaplan who does the voice of Optimus Prime in Transformers, a couple of other anime/manga voice actors who I don't know, authors Tom Taylor and Alison Goodman and most of the Gestalt Publishing crew who I'd met the day before.

So the podcast begins and people start talking about their various con experiences in travelling the world, plus what were their worst con experience and the stories came thick and fast. Someone they nicknamed "Scuba-guy" featured prominently but not for a good reason - he's a little "strange" it seems at the cons. During the show actor Sean Maher (from Firefly) crashed the podcast for a while and then had to go and catch his plane home.

Then I got to meet David Finch afterall....!!!! :D

Since we were all in the bar near the entrance of the hotel I could see the people leaving the hotel and spotted David Finch out the front loading up the family into the hotel courtesy bus to go to the airport. I quickly headed over and as politely as I could told him how big a fan I was of his work, how his drawings got me into colouring and that working on his artwork is what taught me how to colour blah blah blah, and then I managed to give him my little flyer of personal details....! Total geek-out fanboy stuff and something which I was sure that I personally would *never* have resorted to, but when the time comes, there I am, just as bad as everybody else... gawd..

So by now Dave's wife is starting to give me increasingly evil looks as Dave's little boys are getting grizzly and they need to catch the plane so I said thanks again and let them go. Yep, I just know I'm going to get a call from Dave's editor any day now because he's got my flyer!!!! Woohoo!!!... Because me and Dave, we're like this now - *crosses fingers* (not!) ....Either that or a 'cease and desist' restraining order from his lawyer...

Back to the podcast and people are coming and going depending on their interest, desire for more booze, or as flights out of town require and by 11.30, with no sign of it ending, I decided to call it quits and go home because *some* of us have to go to the day job in the morning at least...

So yeah, got to hang out with some *names* in the business. Got to hand out some more of my flyers and did a little schmoozing. Probably nothing will come of it, but what the hell, it was a fun night.


Re: Supernova Perth 2011 - the con experience part 1 and par

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:31 pm
by Frankyh
This thread, while very interesting to me, is pretty old now.

Re: Supernova Perth 2011 - the con experience part 1 and par

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:11 am
by Sewersaint
This post is so old that it's time for Supanova in Perth again.

Sean, it's a pity you couldn't make Sunday because the line for Finch and Billy Tan was quite a bit less. I also agree that when the artists are working on their commissions I felt really bad bothering them. I spoke to Billy Tan for a bit while having him sign stuff but because of the way it was organised I didn't get Finch to sign anything. Well that's not true exactly I got Billy to sign a pin-up he inked over Finch's pencils, which he then handed to Finch to sign which leaves me kinda stuck in the middle talking to the two big drawcard artists while the dude in front of Finch just stands kinda out of the loop. Like you this was my first convention so I really haven't worked out what proper etiquette is supposed to be in this kinda thing.

Oh and Ben Templesmith was cool too. I wish I gave him money for something last year because he's not making it this year.