Monday, 19 October 2015

Tropicon

For anyone who has watched 'The Big Bang Theory' and heard words such as 'Comic Con' being thrown around, this post's for you. On our visit to Cairns back in April we saw some advertisements for a thing called 'Tropicon' out the front of a game shop 'The Wicked Goblin'. We figured it would be the same sort of thing as Comic Con and having not been to anything like one of these events before we decided to buy tickets, and take the day off in mid July for it.

The name Comic Con is short for comic book convention, but it is commonly referred to as a festival of pop culture for nerds. It is an event you will find fan bases for comic books, games, a variety of creative arts, anime and science fiction, all under the one roof. You will also see many a cosplayer which in short is people dressed up as their favourite character from a movie, television show, or comic strip. It is also similar to what Cam and I experienced in USA 2014 for Halloween. More often than not, a variety of actors, and actresses will be there as well.

The most well known Comic Con is the original which is located at San Diego. It started in 1970 and as I said the name is short for comic book convention. The first event had 300 people attend for a 3 day event. These days it is a 4 day event with over 130 000 attendees! Over the years Comic Con has spread with national then later international success. Australia has recently started hosting its own version of Comic Con called Oz Comic Con which is held in the major capitol cities; Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne. Perhaps it will it to one of these events in 2016!


Cairns is in the Wet Tropics of Australia, and has a population of almost 150 000 people. Cairns is a long way from Brisbane and the populations of far north Queensland is far more spread out so most popular events do not always make it up this far. This includes music concerts, sporting matches, and many other such events. Just because one does not live in, or close to a city does not mean that they do not want to attend fun events. Pop culture fans of far north Queensland decided to take matters in their own hands and create their own event for the fans in this region and called it Tropicon. This was the first year of Tropicon. It was held at the Cairns PCYC. About 1000 tickets were pre-sold, however there were at least another 1000 sold at the gate. With so many people in a relatively small building it was quite cramped, but the atmosphere was exciting. This year was a test to see if there was an interest, and given the success, the organisers are planning another such event next year, hopefully in a bigger venue.

Twerkin Gherkin's Bubba Bunyip
Evey Dantés with her new Daryl Dingo.
Many people put a lot of effort into costume design and many of the costumes were hand made. Even though it was considered a small event compared to the bigger city events there was still an impressive line up of guest speakers and cosplayers. Evey Dantés, Vicky-Vic, Twerkin Gherkin, Liam Mcleod (as the 11th Doctor), Alana Pearce, Dean Rankine, Paul Abstruce, Wayne Nichols, Shaun Paulet. Tropicon was just days after Cameron set up Li'l Aussie Monsters. Sadly we didn't have the business cards or any shirts yet, but we got talking to a few people about it. Evey Dantes and Twerkin Gherkin loved the idea and each have their own Li'l Aussie Monsters Shirt. Evey has Daryl Dingo, and Twerkin Gerkin has Bubba Bunyip. Both have generously taken photos wearing the shirts and put them on their social media sites so their fan base can see them too! Thanks ladies! It was a fun day spent looking at the exhibits, the costumes, talking with artists and authors. It was our first such event, but won't be our last. Purhaps next time I will create a contume that is a Li'l Aussie Monster Character!

- Jeni