The end of 2016.
The end of another convention season, or in some peoples minds – due to the recent events in the US, it’s the end of the world. For me, I think either 2 things are happening. 1. Its been a long year and people are just getting tired, busy with the Christmas lead up, or 2. The time of conventions are starting to wind down. If not winding down, then they are certainly starting to change.
Brisbane Supanova has long been the final leg for us at Beyond Cosplay and personally for me, being in Brisbane myself, it’s my home town event. This is the first year where I seriously feel underwhelmed and a little let down with the energy within the scene and its starting to make me think.
Beyond cosplay has been around for approximately 4 years. Covering all manner of events, being invited to conventions, movie premiers, celebrity interviews , cover parades, and at times to even JUDGE cosplay competitions. We pride ourselves on having our finger on the pulse to the community and not trying to turn our team into a money hungry corporation. We don’t make money from our site and we don’t get paid – because we do this for the love of it and for the community. We get a lot of great feedback from community members, which helps us grow each year, expanding what we do and how we conduct ourselves. This year, we have taken a bigger step into our Youtube channel (with my last video being the artist alley snapshot). If you missed it or didn’t share it, please head to our channel and have a look.
Personally, I’m seeing a lot of the same thing every year. It was great to see Nathan Fillion back again for a second time, however honestly, those who have already seen him, would you really go back a second time? Apparently, yes! We tried to get into his panel on Sunday and missed out unfortunately due to the hall reaching its capacity. Simply amazing for someone who was here 12 months ago.
There are other great stars who attended but I feel the total number of screaming fans seemed to have died off after they had Carrie Fisher a few years ago and the shocking episode of the “Twilight” convention. Why? Again, it seems it’s all about money. We all know the actors are paid per signing and per photo, on top of the full admission fee. I recalled reading another article earlier in the year, quoting that some actors make more money on the convention circuit than they get actually acting. From what I saw around the signature lines over the weekend, there were never huge lines for a particular star besides Matthew Reilly’s line, which is amazing as he never charges for his autograph and always has time to talk to every fan.
What I’m hoping is that Supanova has just gotten so proficient at signatures that every time I walked past, they had given everyone the time they wanted and managed it all really well. I’m sure after all this time and the amazing volunteers they have, this is the case.
However, it’s not all about the actors, there are stall holders as well. They have everything you could possibly find and demand. Albeit, not at a cheaper price than you will get online or at their physical store – according to some guests we spoke to. Nonetheless, most people get caught up in the atmosphere, see something they like and by impulse, bought it – I am guilty of that too. I don’t know how much artwork I have from artists at the artist alley, sitting at home. Nevertheless, the feedback from vendors cited that they have no choice but to charge more due to hiring fees for their stall. At the end of the day, they need to make a profit and it also comes down to the number of attendees getting through the front door since Friday. When they charge $70 for a weekend pass, pre-purchased and $90 at the door, I can see why some people opted for a one-day entry and just try and squeeze everything into the one day.
As with most conventions, there is a generous amount of cosplay, colour and more variations that one individual could even think possible of the same character. From the seasonal, experienced and novice, that’s what they come to these events for, including the cosplay comps. Which again, looking over the years, have changed and evolved into something different.
Certainly as AK Wirru said during his panel, “You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have an expensive looking costume” – but ultimately, you do need skill and confidence. It’s not easy for anyone to get up on stage. I’m certainly not saying the cosplays that are on stage aren’t great. they are! With this years winners of the local comp from Saturday going to the following:
Craftsmanship: Laura Macloy
Judges award: Tori Toms
Cosplay: Major Sam Cosplay
Performance: Angelic Muses
Group: Highschool Level Sisters
Best In Show: Vikramnaiker
Judges award: Allisa Samasora
Craftsmanship: Ken “Drogon”
Cosplay: Bela Murray
Performance: Liam Maccloud
Group: Twerking Lizard
Best in show: Vikings: straight out of gataka.
(apologies for any incorrect spelling)
Winners of the Madman Cosplay Competition:
First place: Emerald L King
Second Place: Thendm Cosplay
Third place: Mangalphantom and XXpuffy
It’s hard to take away the fact they put in some serious hours and effort to build their cosplays, however I think they really need to bring back a beginners class once again. Make it simple. If you have never been in a cosplay comp before. Beginner class. Regardless of your skill level. That might actually encourage new people to start and give it a go. There would need to be some basic rules, however, something along the lines of “keep it to like at least 50% self crafted” or “at least 3 elements of the cosplay need to be crafted from some form of base material (worbla, wood, foam, plastic)”. It’s your community people, you tell Supanova what you want and I honestly think they will listen. The management is changing, the hosts are changing, lets keep the changes rolling for the good of all cosplayers and make this happen.
Is the world coming to an end? Probably not. Even if there is some weird stuff happening around the planet at the moment. Is the convention scene changing? I definitely think so, but it’s not always a good change. I think the tables are turning once again and the scene is changing. The only way we will know for sure is in 2017 and see what comes out in the wash of reviews and comments.
A small teaser is to stay tune to Beyond Cosplay regarding some weapons policy changes over the Christmas break. I had an amazing conversation with Luke from Supanova HQ over the weekend and there are some pretty cool things in the works.
From me, I’ll simply say, have a good Christmas, be safe, don’t eat too much or you won’t fit into your cosplay. If you hear about anything cool happening between now and April, please feel free to contact the team at Beyond cosplay.