Event Review: Oz Comic Con Melbourne 2018 Brings The Heartthrob Heat

It’s an unusual time of the year for an event that is probably one of the hottest tickets in town. Oz Comic Con Melbourne 2018, being held the second weekend of winter and this year was set to be pretty big, with some rather attractive names on the lineup to heat things up.

Just some of the names on the film and television star lineup included teen heartthrob KJ Apa from Riverdale and ladies heartthrob Joe Manganiello from True Blood and Magic Mike. As well as the ladies of Lucifer Lauren German and Lesley Ann Brandt. Keiynan Lonsdale (Love, Simon, Legends of Tomorrow), Julian Dennison (Deadpool 2, Hunt For The Wildepeople), David Ramsey (Arrow), and on double duties as both guest and main stage emcee Clare Kramer (Buffy The Vampire Slayer).

The convention boasted large numbers particularly on Saturday, with the biggest drawcard being KJ Apa. They had even made a point of clearing out the main Stage 1 room prior to his question and answer panel in order to maximize fitting in all the fans that wanted to see him. Film & tv stars conducted Q&A panels moderated by actress Clare Kramer throughout the course of the weekend. It was nice to have a professional from the industry introducing and moderating the panels but on occasion it felt like she was monopolising the time (particularly at the start of the session) that fans could be using to ask questions. It may have been better served if she was there to jump in during awkward silences or reframe questions if they were stumping the guests. As far too often fans miss out on even having their question asked due to the limited 45ish minute time allocated.

There was also an emphasis on “activations” and interactive installations. A life size replica X Wing and Chewbacca from Star Wars, a Marvel display with Thor’s hammer Mjolnir and a Black Panther statue, The Incredibles 2 photo wall and couch where they were giving away free Edna Mode glasses, or the Wentworth imitation prison setup by Foxtel, all of which you could get photos with and all of which (except maybe that last one) were quite family friendly.

Another big drawcard is also seeing all the cosplayers, there’s also always a huge range of characters wandering around, from film and television to anime and video game. Everywhere you turn there will be a person in costume literally wearing their fandom passion. Ranging from little kids to adults, and then there’s also the cosplay competitions that they hold over the weekend.

The photo studio area was well organised with a display screen showing the sessions that were currently in progress, and a dedicated PA/loudspeaker with somebody making announcements or final calls, where the volunteers would then direct you to a queue to then wait to go into the studio. It almost had a bit of an airport like feel. The new photo system is an enormous improvement on the disaster that was last year’s debacle too. Their instant print system is pretty fast and enables you to pick up your photo within a couple of minutes after walking out of the photo studio. Though getting the double scan on the token was a little confusing at first.

Apart from some human foot traffic issues around the entry point for Stage 2 that kept getting a bottleneck at the top of the escalator, it was surprisingly quite free flowing. One thing that really did help was using the free Oz Comic Con app (via the Apple or Google Play store). You were able to create your own schedule for each day by selecting the panels, autograph or photograph times that best suited you and then you could set a 10 minute reminder prior to it commencing. This made planning out both days quite easy so that we could cover as many things as possible. All in all, another fantastic convention and we’ll be looking forward to the Sydney event in late September.

Oz Comic Con Melbourne was held Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th June at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Check out our photo gallery here.

Oz Comic Con Brisbane – Saturday 22 – Sunday 23 September – Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Oz Comic Con Sydney – Saturday 29 – Sunday 30 September – International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney
For more information go to the official Oz Comic Con website.