Oz Comic Com Melbourne
On Saturday I attended the Oz Comic Con event in Melbourne with Corin Nemec in attendance. I was interested in seeing how the show would go with there being some behind the scenes changes from previous years. I had already noticed several differences such as guest announcements had been slower coming out. There weren’t any guests that really stood out. There was also a lack of pre-show excitement. In fact a lot of the usual crowd and plenty of people I know didn’t attend. Or like me, they had decided last minute to attend.
Thankfully I did know a few people who were either going or volunteering. That was enough for me to attend. I enjoy any opportunities I have to see and spend time with friends. Sometimes these events are the biggest opportunities, so even if I’m not necessarily feeling up to it I know it’ll be worth it.
Plus Corin Nemec was going to be in attendance and he is always a favourite to meet and chat to.
As a whole I thought that the event was run well. I was informed around midday that tickets for the day had been sold out. For that to happen and there still be enough room to comfortably walk around without feeling claustrophobic. If we turn the clock back to the very first Melbourne OCC it was basically the complete opposite, overfilled and cramped to capacity.
The event had a large open area for queuing, both for photographs and for autographs. I didn’t get either myself this time around. However, I did queue up with some friends as they got theirs. I liked the fact that you were able to purchase tokens online during the day. You just needed to get the barcode scanned off your phone to get your photo or autograph. Gone are the days of standing in queues at the token booth for an hour or so, just to queue up again to get them. Now you can queue up for the photo and/or autograph and buy the ticket right there using your phone. There is still a token booth available though.
There were a few negatives of the event and my main issue was something that happened at the very start of the event at the entrance. And if I was uncomfortable with the situation then I can’t imagine how it would have made other people feel. Which isn’t really a great way for your attendees to be introduced to your event.
The issue was that upon arriving, I had my ticket scanned, a wristband placed on my wrist. Then I was forced to basically join a huge blob of people waiting to get in. We were all huddled together and it almost felt like we were being herded like cattle. Staff members were constantly tell us to “Push Up” not dissimilar to language used by diary farmers herding cattle. There were also comments like “Personal space doesn’t exist here”. In my opinion this was a terrible way to treat people who are paying to enter your event.
I never thought I would miss there being queues, but I think queues work a lot better and more efficiently that having everyone standing in a claustrophobic blob. Not only would it have been more comfortable for people, it would be easier to gain entrance into the building by having people enter in the order they arrived. I hope that they change this for next time.
The Photo System
I thought the system for retrieving photographs with the guests was good, it was set up as a round trip. Although I did speak to several friends who were getting photos with several guests and they felt it more time consuming. Especially if they needed to get to another photo straight away (which happens often). Normally you would just go from one queue to the other, but with this new system that wasn’t allowed.
I also thought the scanning out of the photos seemed a little annoying and time consuming as well. I understood the thought behind it, but I’m not sure if it necessarily works in their best interest. Normally you’d just hand your token over to get the photo and then pick up the photo whenever it was ready. This system meant that people where keeping their tokens. That then had to be scanned out once the photos where collected, along with the photo being scanned too. This would make the token invalid as it’s been used, the old system they never would have still had the token to attempt to use again. It just seemed like a lot of unnecessary extra steps.
Things seemed to run smoothly for most of the day. It started off a bit slow but then got busier around midday before people seemed to start leaving around 4pm. I did take note that a lot of the Autograph queues seemed to be rather small. Only a few guests had long queues such as David Ramsey who seemed to be signing most of the day. He was fantastic with his fans and giving each person a good amount of time with him.
I will admit that I was quite impressed with how this event was run. There were no real issues that stood out, except the issue at the start of the day. Which I really hope they re-evaluate and change for next time, because personally I don’t really like being treated like a farm animal.
During the weekend I got to spend time with some familiar faces. Chatted to a few friends who were volunteering, caught up with friends who were attending. Like Kara, who I found at the start of an autograph queue, of course. I visitor some of my exhibitor friends, such as the boys at Gifts for the Geek and Jeff at Go Figure. I didn’t even look at their stores though, I was trying really hard to not be tempted to spend money I didn’t have. Of course by the end of the day I had failed at this and had spent money.
As it was quiet I spent time walking about the event and checking out different areas of the venue. It was quite noticeable that a lot of familiar faces were missing. Normally walking through an event like that I’d see plenty of people and have the odd “Smiley” yelled out at me.
I went over and visited Tom Taylor, always good to see him at the different events. Went over and said hello to Stewart and Wendy, I always make the effort to say hello even though they are always busy. This time however I also wanted to make a purchase, so I brought myself a Spider-Man and a Baby Groot print. Which Stewart of course signed for me.
Not far from the autograph area there was an awesome Incredibles 2 set up, a backdrop and sofa with the characters. They were also giving away Edna Mode glasses and you could get photos with the set up. Kara, Jodie and I had a lot of fun with this one. I love our Trio we always have a great time together and aren’t afraid of being different or a little crazy. It’s part of the fun and part of who we are. We also scored an Incredibles 2 badge each for taking photos.
Whilst wandering around with Kara, we saw one of the best costumes of the day. A man was dressed in a Red Dwarf costume, he was dressed as Rimmer in a red gingham dress with a Mr Flibble puppet. I loved this costume as that was one of my all time favourite Red Dwarf episodes. You don’t often see Red Dwarf costumes around, so you have to enjoy them when you do. This costume was perfect and he even had his sock suspenders on, too much awesome.
Unfortunately, I did not get any real good photos because I just loved it so much I was enjoying it. Plus it is always a joy speaking to another Red Dwarf fan. It’s times like this that I am reminded of just how much of a Red Dwarf fan I am. It really is my number one favourite show.
Silver K Gallery Shopping with Friends
Stopping by the Silver K Gallery booth to say Hi was a bad move though. This is where my not spending money plan completely fell apart, like it completely crumbled beneath me. I ended up making my very first ever Silver K Gallery purchase. I was never planning on making a purchase, in fact I have spent years only looking not buying. There was just a piece that called to me and I just had to buy it, I’ll admit that I regretted the purchase almost immediately. At least I have plenty of time to pay for it, and I’m sure once I have it I will love it.
Plus I love The Muppets and it relates to one of my favourite songs, it’ll will make me want to sing. Truly if I had the money I would have many more of their pieces. They are just incredible, but I need a house or somewhere to put them first. I’m sure that this will not be my last purchase from them but it is my first.
When I was chatting to a friend who was volunteering, Corin Nemec spotted me and waved me over. I wandered over and he greeted me with a nice big hug and we had a good chat, catching up with each other like we’re old friends. Whilst talking with Corin I noticed he had a few books on the table so I asked him about them. It was a biography of sorts that he has written. I decided to buy one and get Corin to sign it for me. The book is called Venice High and I’m looking forward to giving it a read.
Brother Catch Up
During the day my brother called and he asked if I was at the event. He was nearby at a birthday party with my nieces. I decided to take a break from the event and went out to catch up with them. I’m really glad that I did, because I hadn’t seen my brother in a while. It was good to have a chat and catch up. My nieces were actually at a party at Polly Woodside which was fitting as the kids were all dressed as pirates. It was nice to take a break and spend some time with family. Plus I’ve never actually been to Polly Woodside before, so that was pretty cool.
Balloon Aliens, Friends and Corin
Back at the show, Kara had found balloon aliens and so we all needed one. So Kara, Jodie all got ourselves a balloon alien and kept walking around the venue. Carrying our aliens on our shoulders. When Kara went for a photo, Jodie and I headed back over to chat with Corin as he liked our balloon aliens. He did think that mine was giving him the finger though. I called my balloon alien Skittle. Corin got his hands on Kara’s alien he took a selfie with us and the balloons and posted it on Twitter. Got to love Corin, he is such an awesome and sweet guy, you can definitely have a good laugh with him and sometimes even a donut.
As the end of the day neared the venue started to clear out, we were hanging around the autograph area chatting to volunteers. I wandered over to say hello to Matt Doran who I’ve seen at many events in the past. A friend was actually hidden behind him and surprised me with a hug, it’s always good seeing everyone at these events. Kara and Jodie headed off to the movies and I caught up and went to dinner with a friend down from country Victoria.
Selfies with Friends
I’m generally terrible at remembering to take photos with friends, so I made an effort to get selfies with people at this event. I’ve realised I missed quite a few friends, but I still got a lot more than usual, so that’s a start. I’ll have to be better next time. Below is a collection of my Saturday Selfies.
I love all of these photos and I am so glad to have created so many memories with these people. They are all apart of my convention family. The love and friendship we all have is always there even if there are stupid expressions.