Vicki Isitt writes for Bleeding Cool.
The past weekend marked Oz Comic Con's second go at a convention, after its success in Adelaide last year, and marked the second comic convention of the year in Australia, after Supanova back in April. Unfortunately, despite its best intentions, Oz Comic Con just couldn't keep up with the demands of the fans.
Punters who had been queuing since the early hours of the morning were turned away from the event as the venue reached maximum capacity, while fans inside either couldn't move or were being shuffled along with the crowd without time or space to stop at the exhibitor stands, and although Sunday was much more organised, the space was simply too small for the event and people still waiting in the queue at midday were turned away.
The problem with Oz Con was that it offered fantastic guests – Stan Lee, Patrick Stewart, Sean Maher (Firefly), Fran Kranz (Dollhouse), Julie Benz (Dexter, Angel), Jason Momoa (Stargate, Game of Thrones), Mitch Pileggi (Stargate, X Files) and many, many more. Guests of that caliber mean you're going to attract a lot of fan attention – but then the quality of the guests needs to be matched in the venue capacity and organisation.
I'd expect that if the show runners simply included an opening night, which most Cons do, many major problems with the event would have being resolved. An opening night allows people to pre-purchase their autograph and photo tickets and for anyone without a ticket to buy one. Otherwise, what happens is people spend 3 hours queuing to get into the convention on the opening day, then another 3 hours queuing to get their autograph tickets, and have therefore missed a whole day of the convention for all the queuing.
What's more, the convention didn't allow enough space for this much queuing and therefore, long lines ended up taking over most of the aisles.
But there are some checks in the pro column. Pre-show information and Q&As were well organised, the Con had that fantastic line-up and range of guests, everyone got in to all the panels.
One of the Q&As hosted by Marvel featured a Trivia round focused around The Avengers. Let's see how you fare:
1. Which character from The Avengers film was not in the original comic book line up?
2. Who directed The Avengers?
3. Which SHIELD agent met his death in the film?
4. Clark Gregg received a single word text from Chris Evans. What was it?
5. Who plays Natascha Romanoff?
6. Tony Stark wears which T-shirt throughout the film?
7. What country was Chris Hemsworth born in?
8. What is the final word in this sentence, "Genius, billionaire, playboy….."?
9. Which actor played Hawkeye?
10. What video game is being played in the aircraft carrier?
If you couldn't answer them all without cheating I'm pretty disappointed.
We don't get many big Cons in the Southern hemisphere, so I was glad to have visited Oz Comic Con. I'm now off to Google to see where and when the next con down here is happening.