Supanova in Melbourne. Cosplay, Autographs and Doctor Who. Again.

Howdy all. A post from home, about home. Well, something that happened in my home town. An event I attended. I mean, I was trying to think of the word that describes something like ‘Supanova’. It’s a sort of Comic-Con with a different name I guess. I also guess fans of Comic-Cons possibly would violently and passionately dispute that, but it’s the only way I can make sense of it.

It’s a convention. As is Comic-Con. I’ve attended a few different conventions in my life and they pretty much have all been Doctor Who related. And that’s what makes classification difficult, because a Doctor Who Convention is all about Doctor Who, right? As in the enormous Doctor Who Festival I attended a few years back in Sydney, which revealed Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.

Whereas Supanova and Comic-Con etc actually encompass a multitude of shows, have an incredible number of stalls selling pop culture, and really provide a place for cosplayers to head to dressed up in amazing costumes which must have been so much work you can’t help but be impressed, even if, like me, it really isn’t your thing.

Supanova was held in Flemington, a Melbourne suburb, at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds where every year in September the Royal Melbourne Show is held with rides and animals and everything in between. And Supanova utilised a lot of the spaces on the site. It was, in short, HUGE! Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie had a panel and there must have been a thousand people crammed in there to hear them speak. That’s just the Doctor Who fans, on one day, and many missed out or chose to queue for autographs whilst they talked to get in early.

Who else was there? From the world of Doctor Who they also had John Barrowman who played Captain Jack Harkness from 2005 through to 2010 or so, including in the spin-off show ‘Torchwood’ (best forgotten). There were the two main starts from ‘Smallville’ Peter Welling and Michael Rosenbaum and my how they had aged!

Bob Morley & Lindsey Morgan Supanova

From ‘The 100’ there was Bob Morley and Lindsey Morgan (who I had a nice chat with). And there were others too including Alan Tudyk who I knew from ‘Firefly’ and others I can’t recall and didn’t know.

Pearl Mackie and Peter Capaldi

I took in the Peter Capaldi & Pearl Mackie panel, and it was interesting to compare the way they talk to the panel for ‘The 100’ which featured Bob Morely and Linsdey Morgan, who are both comparatively young…. Well to Peter Capaldi. And they spoke like it and their audience was a young audience. And yes there are plenty of young Doctor Who fans, but, it’s a real mix of ages at these panels. What I didn’t like particularly was the way they were conducted – it was entirely audience questions. Okay that’s too harsh it didn’t bother me that much, but I would have like a bit of structure and to be honest, they get some brilliant questions but they also get a lot of repeated questions.

Perhaps the real highlight of such an event is to see the amazing cosplayers. And I was seriously impressed by the lengths people went to to look absolutely amazing. From Doctor Who cosplayers including a young kid dressed as the twelfth doctor with a jacket made by his grandmum which was just brilliant, to those dressed up as any manner of anime characters to Harlequin and Wonder Woman. The costumes were awesome and the cosplayers knew how to wear them.

But essentially it is, above all other things, a money making exercise. And so the breakdown of the money I spent on, in reality, not much is in some ways a little embarrassing. So I feel I should preface it by saying in his whole life this was only the SECOND TIME Peter Capaldi has come to Australia, and the other was for the Doctor Who Festival in Sydney a few years back. In Australia the opportunity to meet the stars of these shows and get autographs and hear them speak is very limited.

So yes the costings… lol… Well it was $60 for an autograph for Pearl Mackie and again the same for a photo with her. For Peter Capaldi it was up to $100 foe the autograph and I believe $110 for the photo. For Lindsey Morgan it was $50 for the autograph. With an entry fee of $32 I spent over $300 AUD. So, an expensive day. Not including lunch and drinks.

Pearl Mackie and Lindsey Morgan had just enough time for a quick chat. Peter Capaldi said ‘hi how are you’ and that was about it, and there was a big sign behind him that said ‘no personalisations’ so he wouldn’t write ‘To Andrew’. A friend of mine was there and we compared our autographs. They looked identical (although on different photos) and it seemed to us he was signing ‘Ben’ on all photos. Still, in all cases you get a photo to be signed. If you wanted a second thing (eg book, butt cheeks) you had to pay for a second autograph.

Peter Capaldi especially was going through the autographs at an enormous rate. It’s not his fault. The organisers sell as many autographs as they possibly can I guess, and then some. At a guess he’d be doing 10+ an hour, and apart from a short break he was there doing it for like 3 hours straight. Through Peter Capaldi they might be taking $6000 or more an hour, as there was a priority line for people who paid more to get it quicker. And I was in line for around an hour and forty minutes. For 30 minutes it didn’t move as the people with priority got their autographs done.

And yes, they clearly rate celebrities by their importance. I wonder if it bothers any of them? So, none of you are as important as Peter Capaldi it seems! The organisers have to fly them out and pay for accommodation, and one suspects they all get business class, but still you figure they make a bucketload of cash. Dates are planned for the next few years, and I would have to guess well over 50,000 for a single day. Supanova now moves to Brisbane and elsewhere. It is mammoth. And straight away you feel caught up in a machine.

But then, I met some idols and added to my autograph collection. Was it worth it? I honestly don’t know. All I can say now is…. May the Journey Never End….

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