Monday, July 1, 2013

Supanova 2013: Day 2 Review

Weary as we were we all trundled off early for day two of Supanova Perth 2013! What a day it was, going from long lines and singing spidermen all the way through to an en masse Harlem Shake with the cast of Merlin.

Follow me under the jump for my day two convention coverage.

Conventions can completely undo a person; there is endless walking and standing in choking lines, there are people who don't eat properly or work themselves into such a state over a guest that they pass out or start crying uncontrollably. There are also crushing masses of people to get through, children wandering around underfoot and men dressed as wrestlers roaring in your general direction. I saw a lot of this on day two of Perth's premier pop-culture convention Supanova, but I also saw a lot of wonderful things. I saw many children being excited by the prospect of seeing cosplayers and meeting stars, I saw many people dressed up and having a good laugh with their fellow con-goers, I saw lots of strangers chatting in lines and showing each other the photos and autographs they had gotten done, exchanging stories and helping each other out. The lines on Sunday were massive and the waits were long but I was so happy that even though I was sore and tired, so many people were being friendly and helping each other to pass the time.

Sunday morning started hard. My con buddy had pulled a muscle in her leg and was finding all the walking really difficult, there were plenty of things to heft around all the way to Claremont and there was no morning coffee.

We started the day sitting in Alan Tudyk's autograph line for a very very long time talking to fellow fans and watching the Weasley Twins line become some sort of otherworldly behemoth. We saw Karl Urban standing on a balcony being a total bro and waving to people and chilling out. People cheered for various superstar guests as they made their way out to the floor to begin their day of endless signatures and photographs. We appreciate what they do for us.

Alan was wonderful to meet. I had a Wash comic signed by him and my Firefly companion. He was very tired but very warm and friendly asking how I was going and what I had been checking out at the convention. He'd not seen the Firefly companion before and had a little flick through as he talked to me. I thanked him for coming to Perth because historically I have had to fly to see the guests I really want to see and I was so glad that this time I didn't. I soon came back and gave him a little bit of a jetlagged shock as I needed to help with absentee packs for those people who couldn't make the trip to Perth. He was very funny exclaiming that he was worried he was losing it when he saw me again thinking... "wasn't she just here a second ago? Oh God; I've lost it."

Oh my goodness this cosplay makes me so happy because TINY LITTLE GIRL WAR MACHINE!!!

The floor was absolutely choked with people looking at stalls and posing for cosplay photos. We'd spent so long in the Alan Tudyk line and were about to spend some time getting the autographs of the Merlin knights that going to Clare Kramer's panel became untenable. I am so sorry Clare Kramer; I really wanted to come to your panel but I just couldn't get through the throng of people and get everything done that needed doing. I think we are saved though because fellow Fruitless Pursuits contributor Luke Milton managed to talk to Clare in an interview for you all so stay tuned for that!

It's Jon Snow and Ygritte straight from colder climates.

My Excalibur pass meant that I could skip a lot of the Merlin cast lines and get all my autographs done as quickly as possible. Again, I will give more details in my comprehensive Merlin Knights post later in the week, however here I will say a few things about these great actors.

First up was Bradley James; King Arthur no less and he came complete with Tim Tams that he was sharing with his fans as they came up for a chat and an autograph. I got Bradley to sign my part one season one UK edition boxset which has already been signed by Colin Morgan so I was very happy. I also got a personalised signature on a photograph with all of the knights on it. I'm now missing one from that picture (Lancelot is in it but not Elyan or Mordred). Bradley was very enthusiastic, very chatty and seemed very happy to be there, which was nice.

Next was Rupert Young, who plays Sir Leon in the Merlin series, who had loot of his own from many of the Perth fans. Rupert was soft and well spoken, signed my autograph and had a long chat to me about wombats and the various attractions of Perth.

Eoin Macken is a dude. Seriously, if you ever get the chance to see this guy in person then please do it. I promise you will not be disappointed. He is a lot of fun and he takes the time to talk to people and connect with them. He's also a massive Game of Thrones fan! I had a long and excellent conversation about Thrones with him, especially as we both love the book series, and came away feeling very happy to have met a fellow fan in him. He makes a damn good Sir Gwaine in the show as well so big props.

Tom Hopper, who plays Sir Percival on Merlin, was last on my Merlin cast list and I caught him right after he'd given big hugs to a couple of sisters who were talking to him. It seemed hugs were flowing left and right! Tom had a tally with a question on it that he was using to see how many people who had lived in Perth their whole lives liked it here... apparently there was a lot of hating on Perth on the Saturday but he was pleased to report that the Sunday was full of Perth lovers and he counted himself among them.

After these were done I headed to Karl Urban's line to help out with some more absentees. We talked about New Zealand because I am in love with the place and he seems like he's really proud to be from there. To be clear, Karl Urban is a wonderful human being and loves the convention culture so much and is so warm that he's a bit of a fan favourite for people here. I am sad I missed his talk on Saturday but there was no way of getting there. Fellow Fruitless Pursuits contributor Jacinta checked it out and said he was very funny with some great stories about Viggo Mortensen, The Lord of the Rings filming and Dredd press junkets.

We got more of a chance to wander the floor on Sunday, despite the crush of people, and check out some cool comics, artists, corset shops, cosplayers and other vendors. The mix gets better and better each year and I picked up some nifty Iron Man earrings & Doctor Who stockings. Even with a limited budget there is a lot to see and do on the floor. My highlight however was this Spiderman and these Tony Stark and Thor puppets breaking out into an impromptu SPIDERMAN SPIDERMAN DOES WHATEVER A SPIDER CAN rendition. I love conventions.

I got into the ridiculously large Weasley Twins panel line despite the pain in my back and was pleased to be let in, even if it was standing room only. People lined up for a very long time to see these guys and I think the volunteers did a fantastic job of keeping everyone calm, in order and safe. Thank you so much to those guys because that was no mean feat.

I'm going to be doing a separate Weasley post for all of you Harry Potter fans out there so that I can include some shots that our photographer Jacinta took (teaser above!). Needless to say they were entertaining professionals and there were a lot of very excited people who were really happy to see them both.

After the Weasley's it was food and rest time, especially for my friend and her leg, and then it was time to line up for the public Merlin knights panel. Again, I was glad for my pass because that line was massive and after the Weasley Twins I wasn't enamoured with the idea that I would have to stand in a mad line again. But the volunteers again did an excellent job of ushering people and providing information and making sure everyone got in.

There will be more in the Merlin specific post, I promise, but let me say a few things about this panel here.

I was in the second row chatting to some people with me and there were a lot of excitement around. Lots of kids too which always makes me happy but this certainly wasn't the kind of panel that Colin's was in Brisbane which was very children centric. We all noticed a camera poised on the stage behind where the boys were going to be sitting and that was a bit odd but we weren't prepared for what came next; which was the introduction of the boys and Bradley James telling us we were going to be filming a Harlem Shake. There was a cosplay knight brought to the front and knighted by Bradley James, some flashing glasses and special guest appearances from Kai Owen from Torchwood and Anthony Montgomery of Star Trek fame. These guys all mingled with the crowd and there was some trademark crazy dancing going on by actors and fans alike. On the big screen we saw some guys up the back taking their shirts off and really getting into it. Tom Hopper later called them out with a mixture of amusement and gentle reproach. So that video is up on You Tube now and I know a lot of you are hanging out for pictures from it (if mine and Jacinta's twitters are anything to go by) so stay tuned to the site today for more on that front.

Following this craziness we headed back onto the floor and up to the signing and photo areas that were beginning their final push. We caught up with Alan Tudyk again to get some absentee stuff sorted and he discussed what a Harlem Shake was back in his day. We also had a photo with the amazing Eoin Macken who was working magic and even had a photo behaving knightly towards a woman dressed as Princess Jasmine from Aladdin.

Happily we ended up at the Fruitless Pursuits booth for group debriefs and photographs; tired but happy to be well positioned to bring you the most comprehensive local coverage of the weekend possible. Thank you to all the wonderful guests, volunteers and to Supanova for bringing the event here.

Separate posts for the Merlin Knights and the Weasley Twins are coming! Like Winter. We swear.

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