It’s like revenge of the nerds, only less revenge and more nerds (and geeks and fan peoples, and everyone there loves it).
I am, personally, a big fan of revenge of the nerds, being a big nerd myself (in brain size, if not in stature), though without the technical savvy to call myself a geek, but definitely enough unhealthy investment in TV, film and various literatures to fall into fandomhood. Where I went this weekend, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, was a celebration of all of those things and more.
It’s hard to remember when surrounded by thousands of people, half of whom are in breathtaking, mind-blowing cosplay; that being a nerd (geek, fan, etc.) is supposed to be uncool. “Supposed to be,” because, trust me, it’s not and Oz Comic Con is my sort of nerd carnival paradise and if you’re reading this, I bet it’s yours too.
Walking through the doors on Saturday and then down the longs hall of the C&E Centre, passing people is costumes and wigged out the max (not to mention the props and makeup too) trying not to goggle at the skill and effort put in, and then into the Exhibition Hall, was like ascending through the halls of Asgard or taking a stroll through Themiscyra. If there happened to be a DC/Marvel/Everything else under the sun crossover, which would be messy and confusing and distinctly resemble the Exhibition Hall on the first day of Melbourne’s Oz Comic Con (so you see the simile works).
So much was happening the whole weekend and the talent booked to attend definitely got some workouts by the eager crowds at panels and in the photo/autographs lines. The stalls were many and varied, and those attendees with little impulse control could easily find themselves dropping hundreds of dollars on quality merch (with no regrets, except for that Wonder Woman snapback I forgot to pick up on the way out. Though, I was terribly tempted by the replica lightsabers.), testing out the controls on multiple new technologies or going crazy over the assorted artwork and poster stalls. Or if you’re a particularly resilient and energised nerd, all three.
The only problem I have with the Oz Comic Con hosted in my home city, is that I can’t turn back time to do it all again. And I want to. There’s nothing like being surrounded by your people, in a huge venue dedicated to your things, with the talent who worked so hard to make those things, and all the energy and love (and love what you love, guys!), to remind the soul that inspiration takes many forms. Also that a year is a long time to wait to go again…though hopefully enough time to put a decent cosplay together (we’ll see).
Though, without doubt, there are some dedicated fans who spring for all nerd conventions Australia wide, and to those I say ‘how do you not just buy everything,’ ‘good luck brave souls,’ and ‘Can I come?’.
But for now, Melbourne says goodbye to Oz Comic Con, see you next year, and ‘so long and thanks for all the fish.’
Article by MC Dunn