The geek trumpet sounded this weekend in the most isolated city in the world, and the geeks answered. And how. I’ve gotta say, I wasn’t sure of what to expect. The Supanova pop culture convention has been successfully operating on the other side of Australia for a few years now. (I went to the Gold Coast one in 2004) but I wasn’t sure how many people would turn up in little old Perth. I was pleasantly surprised. On the train to Claremont in the morning, I saw a few girls befriending each other as one of them boldly got into (some kind of anime) costume. That put a smile on my face, along with a few other commuters. My joy grew further as the train stopped and a gaggle of geeks departed. Though, none of them looked like geeks. We marched noisily through the eerily departed Showgrounds towards the convention site and got on the end of a queue. We weren’t there for long though and thankfully the rain didn’t intrude. The number of people in costumes was quite inspiring. Apart from a few Naruto and Star Wars get-ups, I didn’t know who most of the characters were. That cos-play craze is getting everywhere these days.
We then got our wrists stamped, like some underground disco, except, it was in the daylight and no-one could dance. I spent three hours there doing laps and inspecting the goods. Games, old and new comics, action figures, busts, novelties and DVDs were all well represented. Both on-line and inter-state retail outlets had a presence and Perth’s comic and toy shops managed to make their presence known to new customers. Hellboy 2 trailers were looping, and the new Indy Jones Lego, Dragonball Z and Metal Gear Solid games had many thumbs and fingers delving into their worlds. I didn’t stay long enough to see Star Trek and Heroes actor, Nichelle Nichols and I wasn’t really interested in talking to the Stargate and Firefly actors either. I waited about 30 minutes to get painter Joe Jusko to sign my X-Men print, but saw him do two great Hulk sketches as I did so. Jusko’s almost as buff as the characters he draws. I mentioned that I had his Fleer trading cards from back in the day and he said he’s been singing those his whole life. Howard Chaykin signed all 6 issues of my City of Tomorrow mini-series and my Hawkgirl TPB. He was a funny guy and was firing one-liners to everyone he saw. He, Jusko, local lad Ben Templesmith and David Yardin all looked like they were having fun chatting to fans and talking about their work. I didn’t buy much as I must save up for next month’s San Diego Comic-Con, but I easily could of. At least I ended the day with a free coffee.
All in all, a good day. The future of pop culture fandom is in safe hands in Perth. Most of the gathering were high school kids and there was a general excitement in having that many people loving the same thing, in the same place. Next year’s will surely be better, now that it’s off to a good start. Next month I’ll be going to the world’s largest comic convention in San Diego. It’ll be like going from a paddling pool to the Pacific Ocean I’m sure. This is a nice warm-up though. Perth fanboys and girls-you can pat yourself on the back. You did us proud.