April 6-7, 2024
With so much packed into an exciting Supanova weekend, it can be daunting for veterans and new attendees alike to plan ahead. So, our team’s put together a quick cheat sheet covering everything from our stellar Supa-Star guests, cosplay, getting there, what you should bring and more.
Images by Steven Yee & Bruce Moyle
Adelaide Showground has its own train station, accessible by a number of train routes and bus stops within short walking distances. There are no expected disruptions to either mode of public transport, so both are viable options to travel to Supanova. Please check ahead for all timetables and updates by visiting Adelaide Metro’s website, downloading the metroMATE app or calling 1300 311 108.
To park your ride, Adelaide Showground has an automated paid parking system on site at the venue. There are also parking options in Rose Terrace and Leader Street, across from the showgrounds. Always check out online booking options for secure parking in order to snap up great prices beforehand.
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre is conveniently located next door to South Brisbane train station, while the Cultural Centre Bus Station is also a short walk away. There are no scheduled works expected to impact the surrounding area over the weekend, so public transport is looking to be a great option. Please check ahead for all timetables and updates by visiting Translink’s website or calling 13 12 30.
For those driving, there are a number of secure carpark options around the area. You can park at the Convention Centre itself, SW1 carpark across the road from BCEC (make sure you book online ahead for the best prices), as well as parking at the nearby State Library and QPAC, which are also short walks away from the venue. Most carparks are 24/7, so it gives you time to go out for that post-con dinner at one of the many food options in the South Bank and South Brisbane precinct.
We’re edging into summer for the Adelaide and Brisbane events, so make sure you dress for the heat. Check the forecast before heading in, though, as you never know when some unexpected rain or a drop in temperature may occur.
There’ll be a lot of walking, standing and waiting, which means comfortable footwear is a must, and you should even consider wearing two pairs of socks. A key recommendation for cosplayers – bring a change of clothes in your bag or leave one in your car to change into when the day is over. More on cosplay below!
The basic items you should bring are your tickets, water (stay hydrated!), deodorant (especially in the searing heat of Brisbane) and cash to avoid ATM lines, if you’re looking to shop.
If you want to really be prepared, take it from the regulars and make sure you also have a portable phone charger, hand sanitiser and some extra food or snacks.
We also recommend bringing a protective plastic case to put all the photos, autographs and artwork that you will be collecting throughout the day. You don’t want to get home to find your treasured signed photos and artwork in a creased mess!
Are you bringing your mini pop culture enthusiasts, a.k.a. children, with you? Give them lanyards with key contact details written in permanent marker, as they’ll come in handy if you get split up at any point.
Plan ahead, but don’t try and pack it all into the first hour because it won’t happen that way. Spread your photo ops and panels throughout the day or weekend so you’re not stressed out.
You can buy autograph and photo tokens online via Moshtix or from the Supanova Store on the day. Be sure to check out the event schedule for all the panels happening across our stages and set an alarm on your phone so you don’t miss out.
Supanova offers not only the opportunity to enjoy your fandom but the chance to explore other geek realms through activities, stalls and exhibitions.
Need something new to read? Join Supanova’s Book Club on Friday and maybe you’ll find your new favourite author!
Watch the wrestlers of AWF Wrestling with three shows daily, duking it out in the ring. Novalaide goers can visit the exclusive Pop Up Exhibition of Franco-Belgian Comic Book Characters showcasing classic characters including Asterix, Tintin and The Smurfs and more.
Not familiar with cosplay? See what all the fuss is about at Cosplay HQ, and watch cosplayers get into character at the Saturday Cosplay Competition and the all-new Supanova Cosplay Odyssey national competition. Experience first-hand the amazing craftsmanship and skills that go into bringing characters to life. Again, you’ll find a stack more info on cosplay below.
Being November, it’s a good time to start thinking about Christmas pressies, and what better place to do that than our Exhibitors Hall and Artist Alley! This is your chance to find that unique something for your pop culture-loving friends and family, be it a vintage piece or something brand new.
Photo ops are also available at our exciting new WWE Superstar Photo Zone, as well as the famous Star Wars costuming club 501st Legion, which raises much-needed funds for charities across Australia.
If you have any questions, feel free to approach any of our helpful volunteers or head to the Information Booth. If stressed, please remember to take a breath and be kind to our volunteers – they will do everything they can to assist you.
Rub shoulders with your favourite celebrities by attending panels, signings and photo ops throughout the weekend. Providing answers to your burning questions, our Supa-Star guests will be celebrating everything from their respective fandoms and more!
HOT TIP: There’s some serious talent on this year’s bill, so that may mean lining up a little while for autographs and photos. To kill the time while you wait, count how many cosplayers you can see wearing costumes related to the Supa-Star you’re in line for. For example, if you were in line for Dean Cain, count how many Superman-related cosplayers you see while in line.
Worried about where to start? How about delving into some 1990s nostalgia with Christina Ricci (Addams Family, Casper, Speed Racer) and the aforementioned Dean Cain (Supergirl, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), both of whom are widely recognised for their contributions to the small and silver screens.
Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries, V-Wars, Lost) and Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals) will be on hand to chat about their blood-sucking agendas, whilst John Barrowman (Torchwood, Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Gareth David-Lloyd (Torchwood, Warehouse 13, Dragon Age: Inquisition) and Bonnie Wright will shed some light on the extended Whoniverse and magic created by Harry Potter.
If live-action doesn’t take your fancy, voice actors Drake Bell (Ultimate Spider-Man, Drake and Josh), Josh Grelle (Attack on Titan, Yuri on Ice, RWBY), Mogan Garrett (Attack on Titan, One Piece, Tokyo Ghoul), Arryn Zech (RWBY, Red vs Blue) and our latest Supa-Star addition, Ryan Potter (TITANS, Big Hero 6) will have your animation fixation on standby.
You can get a taste of what to expect from some of our Supa-Star features:
“This will be my fourth time going [to Supanova] and they can expect, I don’t know, hugs and awkwardness and all kinds of great things! I’m actually really awkward in person, I don’t know how to talk to people.
“I’m going to get myself a Woolies chicken. I am really obsessed with Woolworths. Woolies chicken is the best; it’s got that stuffing. You can’t beat it!”
He can act, sing, dance and write – Torchwood and Arrow Supa-Star John Barrowman really can do it all. And the talent in the family doesn’t end there, with his sister and fellow November Supanova guest Carole Barrowman also being a beloved author. They teamed up several years ago to work on John’s memior and it quickly snowballed into a regular thing, with the siblings going on to pen Torchwood and Arrow comics and novels alongside aclaimed book series Hollow Earth, Orion Chronicles and more.
“What’s the Braveheart quote? It’s, ‘Every man dies, but not every man really lives.’ I kinda take it as every character dies, but not every character really lives.”
“Every show is about something specific and if you’re coming in as a peripheral character, it’s never going to be just about your story line. So I think you just always hope to get a good run on your storyline, and something that will leave a mark on the show.”
The Originals began as a show about a powerful family – the original first vampires in existence. A spin-off from The Vampire Diaries, the focus is on the Mikaelsons, a thousand years old and intent on taking back their former home city of New Orleans after a lengthy absence. Over the course of the show’s five seasons one character in particular became a fan favourite; Elijah Mikaelson, portrayed by Supa-Star Daniel Gillies.
Making her film debut at just nine years old, Ricci has acted in some of the most iconic films of all-time. From The Addams Family to Sleepy Hollow, she has shared the screen with Cher, Johnny Depp, Tobey Maguire and so many more, and with her talent and charm, Ricci also managed to sneak the spotlight out from under them.
Ginny has always been one of the more talented witches in the series, particularly during her school years. J.K. Rowling has stated one of the reasons Ginny is gifted is due to the fact she was a seventh child and the first female Weasley born in generations, which ties into the superstition of the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter.
Supanova Comic Con & Gaming. As always, you can expect gaming to play a big role at the show, and this year we’ve leveled up.
We’ll be hosting a number of gaming and tech panels, as well as the AEL Grand Finals in Adelaide and the ESL Championships in Brisbane. There’ll also be Nintendo, Mwave, ZQRacing and our Free-To-Play Zone at both events.
You can also catch Supanova’s very own esports gamers, Supa-Stellar, battle it out on stage and provide insight on how to get into streaming and pro-gaming.
Cosplay is one of the most colourful, whimsical and beloved aspects of attending any convention, and Supanova Comic-Con & Gaming is no exception. At each and every event, we’re treated to the eye-catching costuming efforts of our dedicated denizens paying homage to their favourite pop culture characters, and the entire experience is unquestionably made all the richer for it.
This time around, the art of DIY cosplay will be championed by two Cosplay Ambassadors who will be no strangers to those of you who keep tabs on this sort of thing – namely, veteran cosplayer extraordinaire ANDYCAMCosplay, and award-winning Melbournian cosplayer, TJ Cosplay.
The pair of experienced imagineers will be joined by featured photographer Steamkittens, who’ll be on hand to catch memorable moments all weekend long, supported by local snappers on the ground.
That’s all in addition to the traditional shenanigans of Supanova’s annual cosplay competition, presented by Madman Entertainment. This year’s competition includes prizes (courtesy of Madman, Ironlak and Lumin’s Workshop) for Best in Show, Best Cosplay, Best Craftsmanship, Best Performance, Best Group and the Judges Award. If you (and/or your Supa-squad) think you have what it takes to take it all, pre-register online or head to Cosplay HQ between 10am and midday on Saturday to grab a spot.
If you’re more interested in the technical side of cosplay, there are plenty of panels to keep your grey matter purring, from a how-to on ‘glow-up’ techniques to make your costume that much cooler, to a wander through the world of ‘wigzardry’, delivered by ambassador TJ Cosplay herself, and beyond.
And that’s just the Saturday; on Sunday, there will be an introduction to the world of LARPing presented by Andrew Domingo, taking you through all the questions you never even knew you wanted to ask about how to get on board with the gleeful geek-out that is live-action role-playing.
For the general punters out there, to ensure that this all remains as vibrant and vital a part of the community as possible – and as much fun as it can be for everyone – here are some handy tips for interacting with cosplayers when you encounter them on the con floor.
DO ask for permission before taking a cosplayer’s photo. Most cosplayers are exceptionally friendly people and will be happy to accommodate you – especially if they’re already posing for other photos. Try to get in while the going’s good, and don’t wait until after they’ve just stood frozen in place for several minutes to take your shot.
DON’T touch them. Or their props. But especially them. Well, unless they invite you to. If they invite someone else to do so and you happen to be there, you still need to get permission. This is pretty much an extension of the first one – i.e. get people’s permission before you do anything – but it’s a really important point.
DO say something nice. This seems really simple but kindness goes a long way, especially if you’ve enjoyed someone’s cosplaying efforts enough to ask them for a photo and/or a chat. Verbally let them know you appreciate the time and effort they put in to recreating their character, and for contributing to the overall magic of the day.
On the flipside, for cosplayers…
DO be aware of your personal space. As much as you don’t want others to touch you without permission, understand those full-size wings you attached to your battle suit might be touching others instead just because of how physical space works.
DON’T just stop for photos anywhere. If you get asked for a photo and say yes, that’s great! Not so great is the fact you just blocked a vital central walkway to do it. Try to stand to the side, or at least find somewhere that’s a little lighter on foot traffic, rather than needlessly clogging up the joint.
DO carry a repair kit. You’re going to need it. Yes, you double-checked and reinforced your costume already and even took it for a test spin, and everything worked perfectly… Take a repair kit.
DON’T be judgmental, especially about other cosplayers. Not everyone has the same time and money, or artistic and physical ability as others do when it comes to costuming as a hobby. Respect the effort and intention.
DO have a bathroom plan. No, really. Think about how you’re going to relieve yourself if the need arises, because that is not a problem you want to only be first considering once you’re through the door.
DO stay hydrated. Again, not something you want to think about after you’ve passed out as a dehydrated husk in a lycra onesie. Keep those fluids up. That’s why the bathroom plan is important.
If everyone keeps to these simple suggestions, it should stand to make the entire experience more pleasant. And, oh, before we forget – one last piece of advice for everyone, across the board:
DO have fun.
That is, after all, the point.
We champion local creators at Supanova, and the Australian screen industry is thriving at the moment. Attendees will be able to get exclusive first looks at some exciting local TV, film, animation and more as select cast and crew from Reaching Distance and Planet Dolan appear across both shows, Garrison 7, Occupation: Rainfall, Hot Glue and Zero Point will stop by Brisbane and The Phoenix Files team pop up in Adelaide. Check out the full event guide embedded at the bottom of this article for all screening, Q&A panel and autograph times. You seriously don’t want to miss this aspect of Supanova.
Here’s another taste of what to expect:
“I experience Déjà Vu way more aggressively than most people and I tend to get little paranoid that I have definitely lived or seen a moment in time before. Reaching Distance is based on that “What If?” scenario; what if it really isn’t Déjà Vu and instead something is actually very, very wrong?”
“Have faith in yourself and what you’re creating. Some of the most successful people in the world, it’s not that they have great connections or they’re extremely smart or anything, it’s that tenacity to create things that really got them out there.”
Looking for an epic book to read? Are you a budding author? Have a novel you want signed? For the Adelaide and Brisbane events, we have some seriously awesome authors for panels, signings, photo ops and more.
For sci-fi and Star Wars fans, there’s Timothy Zahn, who wrote the Thrawn series, Quadrail series and Cobra series. Maria Lewis, who penned It Came From The Deep, Who’s Afraid? and Who’s Afraid Too?, will give insight into her latest novel, The Witch Who Courted Death, joined by Amanda Bridgeman (author of the Aurora series), Jodi McAlister (Valentine, Ironheart and Misrule) and Alison Goodman (Lady Helen trilogy, EON and EONA).
“I really, genuinely tried to write it in third-person, and probably one of the reasons that I put the project aside for so many years and thought that it wasn’t working was that there was something wrong with the voice, but when I switched to first-person, all of those problems went away.”
“Story inspiration can come from anywhere, be it a newspaper story you have read, a new piece of tech that is coming out, a conversation that you have had. Inspiration can come from anywhere, but there are still strong filmic elements embedded.”
As we mentioned before, moving towards the tail end of the year, Supanova provides the practicality of your Christmas shopping, but make sure to keep in mind one vital rule; try to buy independent and local. The convention is built on the foundations of comic creators; those who help drive our narrative via panels of vibrant imagination… so why not show some support in return and take a trip down Artist Alley.
Whether it’s getting behind a new idea such as Daniel O’Callaghan’s Kickstarter campaign or rubbing shoulders with a familiar name including Mark Raats and Phillip Tan, your contributions will go a long way. Challenge yourself to read new stories and immerse yourself in the world of the unknown.
Above all else, remember to stay supa, have an out-of-this-world weekend, and don’t forget to tag us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using @supanovaexpo
Check out the full event guides below for everything you need to know and start planning. We’ll see you there!
Read Now – Adelaide Event Programme
Read Now – Brisbane Event Programme