Supanova Perth

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.

Supanova Stamp

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.

Artist Michael Turner Dead

The global comics community is still small enough that writers and artists who I’ve never met, somehow seem like old friends. I grew up reading artist Mike Wieringo’s fun and energetic pencils on Flash and Spider-Man and when he died last year, I was quite emotional. I felt the same way upon discovering Michael Turner’s death. His pencils on the new Supergirl’s introduction in the pages of Superman/Batman re-energized me about the DC Comics Universe. His covers have been seen everywhere over the last few years from Identity Crists to Marvel’s powerhouse Civil War. You noticed his work on the stands, and with his own studio, Aspen Comics and properties like Fathom, his creative output for a man suffering from cancer since 2000 is extraordinary and a testament to his dedication.

Condolences be sent to:

Aspen MLT, Inc.
C/O Michael Turner
5855 Green Valley Circle, Suite 111
Culver City, CA, 90230