The halls of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre had a definitive pulse flowing through them this past weekend. Hundreds of thousands dressed in costume (and some typically dressed outliers) spilled through the doors, excitement levels rising in anticipation of Australia’s biggest celebration of pop culture. Somehow, participating in Oz Comic-Con is akin to entering another world. Darth Vader suddenly stands before you, superheroes casually parade past merchant stalls, and figurines and collectibles shine like precious metals, just waiting to be discovered. It is a place where fiction and reality collide, and much like the Room of Requirement, it only appears to those who know of its existence. But luckily, Gameranx was there to capture some of the magic.
Cosplay Sewing for Beginners (Kelui Cosplay)
Whether you’re dealing with polyester, cotton, or satin, picking the right material is essential when making a costume. Kelui Cosplay knows this all too well. The Twitch Workshop Stage became her classroom as she informed the audience about different types of stitches and the importance of having the right tension. Beginning with a simple piece of blue fabric, she quickly folded its edges (also known as salvage) into a fabulous looking Batman themed cape.
Q&A with Wayne Nichols
Best known for his work on IDW Publishing, Dark Horse Comics and Marvel Comics, Australian illustrator Wayne Nichols says he’d like to be “the comic book version of Banksy”. Growing up, Nichols “always had a pencil in his hand”, and yet, he never felt especially talented. Obviously, publishers and editors at San Diego Comic-Con thought otherwise, and gave him work offers straight away upon seeing his work. Nichols describes the experience as “mind blowing”. Earlier this year, the Brisbane-born artist was selected to lend his artistic talents to GOMA, the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. He contributed a gigantic Spiderman mural that’s sized five by eight metres and will headline the largest Marvel exhibition ever presented. Nichols’ advice for aspiring artists is simple: “Do it. Go for it. Without the struggling, the high moments don’t seem as good. There’s a lot of uncertainty, but it’s almost necessary to trigger the next idea”.
Rhiannon Fish Q&A Panel
Anyone familiar with The 100 will know Ontari, a ruthless grounder introduced in season 3 of The CW series. But by her own admission, actress Rhiannon Fish is nothing like her character in real life. In her panel, she revealed she was “over the moon” when she was chosen for the role after a single take, and feels like The 100 is such a great show because it subverts the rules; unlike the repetitive cycle of soap operas, sci-fi has “more opportunity to be different”, Fish said. Her advice on getting into acting is to “believe that you’ve got it. Sometimes, people try too hard to stand out, but what makes you unique is what you’ve already got.”
Satire & Sacrifice: Making Games Funny
If there’s one thing that was evident at the Making Games Funny panel, it’s the hard-hitting irony that comedy isn’t always sustainable. Game designer Grace Bruxner, who has previously worked on quirky walking simulator The Fish Market, argued that “it’s more feasible to make a game with comedy in it.” This was a sentiment the rest of the speakers (Katie Stegs, Andrew Brophy, Andrew Gleeson and Sean O’Dowd) seemed to agree with. An interesting distinction between comedy in games and film was also raised, particularly, the background laughter sound effect commonly heard in comedy films which doesn’t translate to video game worlds. Instead, games must rely on well written voice-overs, breaking the rules of physics and parodying key genres (much like Undertale does with the classic RPG) to convey humour to their audience. The panel concluded with an interesting question: is there a place for a pure comedy genre in video games like that which already exists in film? Let us know your thoughts down below.
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That wraps up our coverage of Oz Comic-Con day one. Be on the look out for part two tomorrow.