The Avengers in Perth

No, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth and co. aren’t coming to Western Australia, but The Avengers comics have been putting the spotlight on Perth for some time now. The always entertaining Fruitless Pursuits has a look at their visits here, and while we’re on the topic this weekend, Perth plays host to the annual Supanova Pop Culture Convention, with writers, actors and artists, including George Perez and Chris Claremont.

Perth Avengers

Supanova Perth 2009

Supanova Perth 2009 QueueYep, it’s that time again. Last year was the first time the Supanova Pop Culture Convention came to the sunny shores of Perth after a few years in the Easter states of Australia. The turnout impressed everyone, so here we are again. There wasn’t much difference from last year’s event, but the weather was better. This year I actually knew a few more people, thanks to this here blog and my Extra Sequential mag so I spent the bulk of my time saying hello and catching up with friends. Just like last year, the number ofsuperhero costumes, and presumably fans, were overshadowed by the swarm of teen manga and anime readers. Most of the stalls seen last year were here once more, with Kings Comics and Madman Entertainment being the biggest booths. The local geek scene was proudly represented by Quality Comics, Comic Zone, Empire Toys and snazzy publisher, Gestalt. $25 is perhaps a bit much to ask for attendees, especially as you can see the whole event in less than 2 hours. The only things I noticed misisng from last year were the free coffee, a presence from a film studio (last year’s was Hellboy II, this year was supposed to be Paramount’s G.I. Joe, though I did see posters for the film) and a lack of considerable goodies in the giveaway bag.

Great costumes were on display, including two brave young girls sporting a Princess Leia slave outfit and a Ms. Marvel costume. Funny how all the males were all covered up. I guess that’s because every male superhero or villain makes wise costume choices. Only the foolish would come dressed as Dr. Manhattan I guess. There was also a life-size Dalek, and TARDIS, with wearers/operators inside.

I felt kind of bad for the lack of queues for the original Battlestar Galactica cast and Anakin from The Phantom Menace, but it was early in the day. The lines would’ve been longer for Karl Urban and two of the Twilight cast. I did say hello to Urban who was strolling around in a nice suit and who said, “G’day mate,” to me. I also chatted briefly with artist Tim Sale and Secret Six’s Nicola Scott, which was cool, and chatted to a Stormtrooper from the cool looking 501st Legion.

I also saw Dave Gibbons who was understandably popular. There was a sign saying no photos, no sketches and a limit of 3 signed items per customer however. Perhaps he’s just fed up with all the Watchmen film attention. One female fan gave him her copy of Watchmen and asked him to sign his favourite page. He closed his eyes, opened up the book and chose a random page. Nice.

I didn’t buy anything this year, as nothing screamed out at me. If I were a fan of Japanese animation I could’ve bought a lot. It’s good that readers of American comics aren’t the main focus, as it is a pop culture exhibition after all. Well done once more to the event organisers and volunteers for another job well done. They obviously know the pulse of Perth’s pop culture savvy consumers and cater for them. The guests were  a big draw for a lot of people this year that didn’t go last year and the advertising stepped up a notch too. Of course, after going to Comic-Con I’m spoilt, as I’ll again realise when I go to San Diego in 3 weeks. However, seeing Perth represented and respected in this manner is a wonderful thing.

Supanova Perth 2009 Comic ZoneSupanova Perth 2009 King's Comics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supanova Perth 2009 Quality ComicsSupanova Perth 2009 Costumes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supanova Perth 2009 Deadpool, The Question, Harley Quinn

Supanova Perth 2009 501st Legion

Supanova Perth 2009 Dr. Strange

Supanova Perth Tomorrow

Actually, there’s a Preview Night on as I type this, but it officially kicks off this coming weekend on the 4th and 5th of july. It’s at the Claremont Showgrounds, and you can go here for the full list of events. As happened last year, there have been some last minute roster changes, but I’m not really concerned about the celebrities, though I know many are going for Karl Urban (Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings), Gil Birmingham (Twilight), Dave Gibbons (Watchmen artist) and Jake Lloyd (Anakin in Episode 1). There will also be a few anime voice-over people, and of course, lots of pop culture goodies on sale.

Supanova Perth

Supanova 2009

Last year was the first time the Supanova Pop Culture Expo visited the sunny shores of Perth, Western Australia. Apparently we broke Melbourne’s attendance and surprised everyone with how many geeks were hidden in the Perth suburbs.

09-dave-gibbons-feature

This year we can show ’em again. Held once more at the Claremont Showgrounds on July 3-5 there’ll be a few anime voice actors as well as Karl Urban (Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings), Jake Lloyd (Anakin from Episode 1), and Gil Billingham from Twilight. Honestly though, the big one for fanboys will be Dave Gibbons – artist on Watchmen. They’ll also be premiering the Wonder Woman animated feature (a premiere for Oz at least) and the Watchmen Motion Comic, which I’ve seen and is way cooler than you may think. The schedule for the screenings, signings and panels can be found here, which includes the details of the original Battlestar Galactica trio reunion. Of course, there’ll be heaps of vendors too selling DVDs, shirts, toys, games and comics, naturally, including our two main local shops – Comic Zone and Quality Comics, who I’ve been assured will have heaps of tasty specials for sale. If that ain’t enough info for ya, here’s the programme. See you there!

Xanadu’s X-Men Squadron

Don’t worry if that title doesn’t make sense. It will.

Madame Xanadu is a classic DC Comics character who has come back in to a sort of prominence in the last few years. She’s a powerful, blind sorceress, and now she has a new limited series written by Matt Wagner (creator of Mage and Grendel) and pencilled by the creator of the manga, Fool’s Gold, Amy Reeder Hadley. Hadley is a newcomer to mainstream comics like this, but her work as seen in this 6 page preview is absolutely luscious. She has that clean, wispy style reminiscent of Fables cover artists James Jean. The story is tailored towards mature readers and with the subject matter covering tarot reading and the like, it’s obviously not going to be for everyone. But that has always been DC’s strength over Marvel – their diversity, as seen in their Vertigo line of books that are an intriguing haven to readers who prefer to steer clear of all those crazy superheroes.

It’s no surprise that Wolverine is the most popular X-Man. He’s tough, has a great costume, mysterious past and a bad attitude. The short Canadian gets his own film soon, with the spinoff currently shooting with Hugh Jackman as the hairy anti-hero. Now it’s time for him to get animated. I fondly recall the X-Men’s cartoon series in the early 90s, trying to watch as much as I could before I had to leave for school, and a surprising number of people first became aware of Marvel’s mutant team through it, before the first film adaptation in 2000. The ‘toon was surprisingly faithful to the comics, often using direct plots from the most well loved stories, it was chock full of guest stars and had a catchy theme tune. The new series, entitled Wolverine and the X-Men won’t air until next year, but those hard core fans (such as myself!) who are going to the San Diego Comic-Con next month will see the three part premiere. For now, the new trailer will have to suffice. It looks action packed and has the usual faves such as Rogue, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Iceman and even White Queen. With Professor X out of the picture, it’s up to Wolvie to lead the way. Go Wolvie!

And finally, the squadron part of the title. Writer/artist Howard Chaykin discusses the Squadron Supreme, Ultimate Nick Fury (that guy in the Iron Man film cameo!) and other stuff on Marvel’s latest podcast. It’s an interesting chat and at least now I know what Chaykin sounds like before I (hopefully) get to meet him this weekend at the Supanova convention in Perth.

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