Event Review: Supanova Comic Con & Gaming – Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre – 21st-23rd April 2017

Supanova has had a little bit of a makeover, now rebranding themselves as Supanova Comic Con & Gaming. And their first convention of the year hit the sunny Gold Coast on the weekend of Friday 21st through to Sunday 23rd April 2017. The convention brings with it guests from film and television, comic artists, book authors, gaming exhibitors as well as a huge number of cosplayers showing off their best dressed character costumes.

The convention begins on Friday night with the Opening Night ceremony as well as some of the guests making panel appearances. This included voice actor Vic Mignogna and Aussie actor John Jarratt discussing his forthcoming film Boar. As well as the Supanova Book Club and a concert performed by geek pop star Meri Amber

Thanks to the convention using all the entry/exit points, getting into the convention on Saturday morning was a breeze. Having all of these through-ways open meant that the traffic flowed quite comfortably even though it was busy. Our morning began early with a panel – Creating Comics with Stewart McKenny, Wayne Nichols and Paul Abstruse. They all take turns to discuss their career, their art and design as well as their influences. They then give the audience suggestions on how to break into the comic world if you’re a fledgling artist. It’s a great introductory lesson for those wanting to take up a career in comic art.

Wandering around the floor to take in some of the fantastic cosplay is the highlight of the entire weekend. Representation of all sorts of fandom can come along to the convention and show off their cosplay. From television and film to comics, gaming and fantasy, you can bump into any number of characters. If you pop briefly outside of the convention to the lawn and garden area, a lot of the cosplayers stake sunny spots outside for their photoshoots by a number of photographers.

One of the celebrity draw cards to the convention was David Boreanaz, an actor whose filmography credits include Bones, Angel and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Boreanaz is surprisingly humorous and reminds the audience he is definitely not a vampire. At one point he calls a fan up onstage to join him on the couch and he challenges her to an impromptu made up scene from Buffy. As well as telling us about a particular incident on the set of Bones where he discovered a fart machine and kept setting it off, cue of course Boreanaz making an array of fart noises. But one of his stirring comments came when a fan asked about dealing with anxiety. Boreanaz replies that embracing the nervous energy is a good thing and can be useful and that it’s important to be yourself.

We rounded the day out with one last panel, a DC villains panel featuring Manu Bennett and Cory Michael Smith. The former having played Slade WIlson/Deathstroke in Arrow, the latter playing Edward Nygma/The Riddler in Gotham. Bennett of course brought a special guest up onstage to join him, his 10 year old daughter Huia and he got the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to her. He then goes on to discuss how he got into acting to help him cope with the deaths of his mother and brother and that his main goal is to portray emotions onscreen that has the audience empathising with his characters, even if they are villains. While Smith describes the beauty of his Gotham as exploring the early days of The Riddler and fleshing out his character.

The location of the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre affords Supanova Comic Con & Gaming one very special thing. The Sunday morning hosts a parade where cosplayers can join in walking from Kurrawa Park across the road to Surf Parade, and early birds who manage to get a good spot can see all the action. Once the parade is done attendees can then back their way across to the Centre and begin entering the expo.

Supanova Comic Con & Gaming – photograph by Steven Yee ©
Supanova Comic Con & Game – phtograph by Melanie Adams ©

Our first panel for the morning – Welcome To The Wolf Pack with Patricia Briggs, Maria Lewis and Keri Arthur – sees these three authors discuss werewolves and werewolf mythology in popular culture and particularly in their books. They touched on how the idea of fictional monsters like vampires and werewolves are a safe analogy and way to explore the dark notions of mental illness or physical transformations. As well as how a lack of strong female werewolf characters drove them to creating their own.

Jumping across to the Cosplay Theatre, the largest seminar room of the convention, we ducked in to catch the end of video game superstar Nolan North who voices a number of characters but is best know for the voice of Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series. He revealed that a lot of his performances stem from the animation of the characters themselves. He also went into detail about meeting an animator for one of his games and how they had to animate a every single muzzle fire for all the various guns. Not to mention the squib shots for every possible potential place a bullet could hit, as well as vary the resulting impact based on bullet calibre, distance shot from and surface it landed on. Giving us all a new-found appreciation for the depth and detail involved in creating video games.

We rounded out the weekend popping into the Supa-Screening for new Australian film The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One. The film, by director/screenwriter Shane Abess looks like a sci-fi adventure film, Abess along with some of the cast including Kellan Lutz, Isabel Lucas, Teagan Croft and Temeura Morrison joined him onstage to answer some limited questions since they didn’t want to spoil too much. Getting to discuss the making of process with the cast and crew is a great experience for young up and coming filmmakers or actors that want to learn more about the process from those behind the camera as well as in front of it.

With going from panels to photographing cosplay to wandering the numerous Created Collectables aisles of handmade wares it can be tricky to try and squeeze everything in. We didn’t even get a chance to check out the Garrison 7 showcase of international illusionist Apollo Jackson, or the AWF wrestling. There’s also plenty happening in the gaming area that’s being broadcast via Twitch also. Not to mention the Anime Theatre or all the other Supa-Screenings on offer.
A word of advice to those attending the Melbourne convention this weekend. Be sure to check the guide and floor plan and plan your weekend accordingly. Supanova is a perfect family event for kids of all ages, both young and young at heart.

Supanova Comic Con & Gaming was held at the Gold Coast Convention And Exhibition Centre from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April 2017.

The convention will be held at the Melbourne Showgrounds from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th April 2017. For more information visit the Supanova Comic Con & Gaming website.


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Carina Nilma

Office lackey day-job. Journalist for The AU Review night-job. Emotionally invested fangirl.

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