Oz Comic-Con 2014: Pop culture has never looked so cool!

AFTER enormous success in previous years, Oz Comic-Con is gearing up for a stellar event in 2014. Juliana Mare has this year’s superstar guest line-up.

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Fans of series’ like Stargate, Smallville and the X-Men movie franchise will be star-struck come July when Oz Comic-Con rolls into Melbourne!

If you’re lucky enough to live in or attend the events in Adelaide or Sydney however, you’ll get the chance to meet and question the enormously talented British actor, Benedict Cumberbatch – famous for his roles in Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness and most recently, 12 Years A Slave.

For fans new to the whole convention experience, Oz Comic-Con is an annual expo celebrating all the facets of pop culture in all its glory. From film and television to graphic novels, comic books, animation artists and writers, Oz Comic-Con covers all bases of the geek experience.

Oz Comic-Con 2012 event. Image: Leif Wilsan, all rights reserved.

Everything on offer at 2012’s Oz Comic-Con event. Image: Leif Wilsan, all rights reserved.

Events like this offer a unique experience for fans to shake hands with their idols, snap a professional photo with them and the opportunity to pick their brains during stimulating and often, humorous Q&A sessions.

It’s a safe bet that if you’re a fan of any popular fandom, Oz Comic-Con will have something to impress you with; whether it’s a guest appearance or a piece of epic, exclusive merchandise.

A general admission day or weekend ticket allows fans entry into the venue and access to guest panels and stalls. Tokens for autographs and photos with special guests can be additionally purchased on the day though it’s subject to availability.

A fan meets Shannen Doherty, star of hit shows Beverly Hills 90210 and Charmed. Image: Oz Comic-Con's official Facebook page.

A fan meets Shannen Doherty, star of hit shows Beverly Hills 90210 and Charmed at Perth’s Oz Comic Con 2014 event. Image: Oz Comic-Con’s official Facebook page.

For the more die-hard fans, select guests have exclusive tickets and dinner package tickets for a seriously intimate experience so make sure to check out the full list of ticket options available.

Meeting such talented actors and artists in person is an adrenalin-pumping experience and taking a professional photograph home with you is a priceless souvenir.

In addition, the many stalls exhibited throughout the space will be packed full of any and every piece of merchandise. Things such as time-turner key rings from the Harry Potter franchise, t-shirts with every house sigil from George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, shelves upon shelves of comic books and even cans of orange, fizzy Duff beer from The Simpsons will no doubt be on display for all to browse through.

Shawn Ashmore (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Following) will appear in Melbourne's Oz Comic Con event in July alongside his twin brother, Aaron Ashmore (Smallville, Veronica Mars). Image: Thibault via Flickr

Shawn Ashmore (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Following) will appear in Melbourne’s Oz Comic Con event in July alongside his twin brother, Aaron Ashmore (Smallville, Veronica Mars). Image: Thibault via Flickr

Oz Comic-Con and DCA Enterprises organiser, Carissa Avenhouse says “Aussie fans are in for some real treats,” regarding guest appearances and the Melbourne leg of the 2014 expo is no exception.

The stages of the Royal Exhibition Building will feature Gary Jones, twin brothers Shawn and Aaron Ashmore, Richard Dean Anderson, Wilson Bethel, Jim Cummings (the voice of Winnie the Pooh) and an impressive list of comic and publishing guests.

Oz Comic-Con is a must-do experience for all pop culture fans. With exquisite cosplay (dressing up as fictional characters) competitions, gaming stations (Nintendo will be attending all five cities in 2014), collectibles, stalls and exclusive ‘meet and greet’ opportunities, fans simply couldn’t ask for more.

Oz Comic-Con will roll into Melbourne on July 5 – 6 at the Royal Exhibition Building. For more information on all things Oz Comic-Con, including event times, venues, exhibitors and special guests, head over Oz Comic-Con’s official website to learn more

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I wrote this article for Meld Magazine. Keep an eye out for my review of Oz Comic-Con Adelaide (coming soon).

Review: Oz Comic-Con 2012 Melbourne

Geeks, assemble!

There were people dressed up in every single superhero costume known to man, with the Avengers characters by far the most popular choices; there were merchandise stalls that had every gift from every fandom (Game of Thrones house sigil coasters anyone?) and there were ginormous queues that went from one side of the building to the other and back around the outside. If you had the patience to wait 90 minutes just to get in the door and then wait another hour in the line to get photo or signature tokens, you would have had an amazing day.

With nearly 40,000 sci-fi and comic fans showing up across the weekend, it’s no wonder some photo ops sold out before 11am, leaving thousands of late-comers disappointed. Tokens for the event’s biggest guest, Stan Lee (pictured), were the first to go, and those who managed to score one forked out $60 to be whisked in and out of the photo-booth in about 25 seconds. Patrick Stewart attracted just as much attention, as did Game of Thrones’ Jason Momoa.

Stage 1 was packed to max capacity for Mr Lee’s panel. It was just one man, one chair, one stage, but everyone hung on his every word. He told wildly animated stories about how he created Spiderman, the supposed rivalry between Marvel and DC, his in-movie cameos and how he simply couldn’t pick his favourite character. “I love Thor, I love Captain America, Iron Man, I even like Daredevil – whose movie wasn’t even that big a hit,” he said. His panel ended with a standing ovation, with fans overwhelmed by the presence of the 89-year-old comic legend.

Rows of merchandise stalls filled the Exhibition Centre and the aisles were packed to the brim with fans eager to hand over hundreds of dollars. From lower priced items like golden snitch earrings and Sheldon Cooper bobble-heads to the more extravagant collectibles such as life-size Nimbus 2001 broomsticks ($300) or signed and framed photographs of any celebrity (Heath Ledger as the Joker was $650) – there was something to catch the attention of every fan.

Despite the frustrating queues (even the bathrooms had about a 10-minute wait), lack of proper signage and no one stopping queue jumpers, Oz Comic-Con was a huge success and event organisers have already booked dates in July 2013 to return to Melbourne at the larger venue of the Royal Exhibition Centre.

My review is on the Time Out website too

Pictures coming!