Published on July 9th, 2023 | by Tim Chuma
Metro Comic Con 2023 Review
Summary: The Thunderdome of pop culture conventions will decide going fowards. Not sure if there enough people who go to them to support 3 per year in each city. A lot of things need improving before it returns.
Melbourne Showgrounds, July 8 – 9th 2023
Due to wanting to have a rest I ended up missing Supanova this year and due to trains being replaced by buses I had also passed on Oz Comic Con a couple of months ago too. This is a new event run by the same people who used to organise Oz Comic Con but due to a change of management they had a difference in opinion on what direction it should be going. This event is more focussed on comics with film, TV, animation, gaming, cosplay, collectables and publishing.
Australia is a much smaller market for conventions so there is not the circuit for guests and vendors to go around. Before Supanova took off the main one I knew of that vendors travelled to multiple cities was Sexpo. I do remember going to a comic convention back in the 1990s when it was still in the Royal Exhibition buildings. This is only the first event for this group on their own, will have to see which one will stick around the market will decide how many conventions it can support.
It was at the same venue as Supanova but only using the one hall with the artists stalls, activities and autographs/photographs all in the same venue and the theatres for the panels in the building next door.
I ended up walking around all the stalls twice and still ended up missing people I remember seeing at Supanova last year (only found out on an Instagram post).
Bit annoying that it took so long to get any food, I was thinking of bringing lunch which I should have done as it took so long I missed checking out any other panels and having a look at some of the things in detail instead of just walking past.
Seemed like a reasonable amount of cosplay people walking around. When you go to events like Marvel film premieres you tend to recognise the same people attending as they get asked every time. I overheard some people discussing the same thing about the size of the cosplay scene. There seemed to be some other professional photographers with booths just for people wanting their own photo.
I didn’t end up getting a photo or autograph from any of the guests as the one I wanted, David Harbour, was way out of my price range. Seemed to be long lines in that area all day so I guess the people who knew who the guests were made good use of it.
Ticket prices seemed to be comparable to the other conventions but not sure about the VIP and Key to the City passes. Events are within their rights to charge whatever they want for their event but the VIP price seemed way over the top given the cost of living crisis we are having at the moment.
I was only going to buy the one thing from Loopydave as I had seen he was going to be there but ended up buying a few more things from Australian comic book artists due to them being there and being able to get it on the day.
The two main panels I ended up going to where the cosplay parade and the David Harbour Q&A. Kind of disappointed with all the plebs being shunted five rows from the front due to the “premiere” ticket holders getting the front seats, couldn’t get any photos even being media as there was not area for photographers.
David Harbour was pretty funny even though he said he was tired. There was not really an interview beforehand he just sat and answered about 50 questions in a row about his life and career for the session (mainly Stranger Things related). Unlike when I saw Bruce Campbell overseas they told everyone to stop filming and taking photos after the first five minutes.
This day was OK I guess but not sure I would have paid to go with Supanova having more for the same price to get in and a better layout and experience overall. Will have to see if they make any money off this one and decide to put it on next year with some changes.