Supanova Perth 2009

by Ryan Blackmore,

Supanova is easily Australia's largest pop culture expo. In fact it's four events done over several months in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth with guests, traders and entertainment galore. So what exactly happens when you shove Chris Sabat, Spike Spencer, a massive traders floor and an even larger anime theatre than last year into the Claremont Showgrounds in Perth?

The Friday preview night of Supanova is a prelude to the weekend where you get glimpses of all the stars and some cool stuff to watch. After a very slow entry process the opening ceremony kicked off where most of the guests took to the stage and gave their impressions of local attractions wine. Then after most of the guests went away, Spike Spencer got on stage again and a panel called "What happens at the con, stays at the con." which featured some of the stories Spike has come across while doing Anime conventions (all taken from the book he was shilling at the time -Ed). Madman then screened a preview of 5cm per Second that was plagued with technical difficulties for some bizzare reason (no subtitles or english track) but a fair number of people hung back to enjoy the lush visuals.

Saturday was a completely different affair with a hectic start and huge lines forming hours before the opening, this wasn't helped by the badly organized entry area. Every vendor was out in force with most of them offering ranges of merchandise that were different to their competitors and the eastern states vendors brought along stuff that we usually don't get here, which was nice.

Chris Sabat's first panel was "Vegeta goes beyond over 9000" where he talked about his work as a voice actor and some the people he gets to work with as well as fielding questions from the audience, filled with a myriad of humour it definitely entertained thepacked out seminar room. Spike Spencer followed with his "Un-Frickin-Censored... Sort Of!" panel where answered questions from the audience and plugged his book "How to be frickin genius voice actor: Step 1" and audiobook "What happens at the con, stay at the con." before being nearly overshadowed by a deep-voiced audience member.

The National Cosplay Championship was quite good with a lot of excellent performances and apparently the largest lineup so far in Australia but by the end of the regular cosplay competition the room was very hot and sweaty. By lunchtime the queue for the single food vendor was rivaling the lines from before Supanova opened. Towards the end of the afternoon, after the cosplay competition was over, the whole event sort of fell felt whih was kind of a let down.

The Sunday was pretty cruisy with the anime dubbing panel being quite entertaining. It started off with John Robertson and Chris Sabat dubbing over an episode of Gurren Lagann, then Chris tagged out with an audience member and later on Spike Spencer dropped by to show off his skills and everybody there seemed to really get into it. The Madman panel was well attended with many good questions being asked by the audience, some of which can be read here. During the day we sat down and interviewed Spike Spencer and Chris Sabat and we'll have both of those interviews up really soon. Sunday's Cosplay competition once again had a packed out room, but not to the sardine can level of the previous day so I found it much enjoyable to watch. They managed to get another food van in to help out, but it still wasn't enough for the amount of people attending.

Overall Supanova was a good convention where everyone was having fun, but it could have been even better if they had just worked on the logistics more. The venue itself wasn't that good, but it's about the only place you could hold Supanova as there aren't that many venues in Perth equipped to handle that many people. At least it had free parking.

Supanova Perth 2009 Picture Gallery

Ed's Note: I would like to welcome Ryan Blackmore to the ANN|AU team. Ryan has previously been the WA based photographer and more recently he's been editing and posting news and articles. This is his first event report.

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