While much can be said about Oz Comic Con Sydney's lines, its ridiculous crowds and the unique pain of being redirected all the way from the convention centre in Glebe to a parking lot in Darling Harbour (in order to then catch the free shuttle-ferry back to Glebe), it gets one thing right in a big way. Cosplay.
From the cosplay change room run by local hero Captain Patch-It to the Bethesda themed photo walls and free professional photography station, Oz Comic Con is everything a cosplayer could want in a convention. Cosplay Central is the hub of this activity, where a display of some of the country's best costumes sits under the watchful eyes of the cosplay guests.
Speaking of cosplay guests — if conventions are a cosplayer's Disneyland, then special guest Yaya Han is none other than cosplay's Mickey Mouse. I mentioned her earlier in my beginner's guide to cosplay, simply because it's impossible to mention cosplay without including international 'Cosplay Ambassador' Yaya in some way. While this isn't Yaya's first time at an Australian con, it's still one of the biggest Aussie events she's appeared at. Unsurprisingly, her little corner of Cosplay Central was barely ever seen without a small crowd of visitors yesterday, although local talent Eve Beauregard and Variable didn't have any trouble drawing curious guests either.
Oz Comic Con is also one of the first Australian conventions to wholeheartedly embrace the cosplay =/= consent movement, with visible signage in every corner of the venue. Basically, for those unfamiliar with the movement, this is a reminder to guests to be respectful of people in cosplay, and for cosplayers to know that they don't have to put up with anything less than stellar behaviour from other guests. Simple, right?
All of a sudden, Oz Comic Con seems to have a reputation for cosplay. It's not just Cosplay Central where this was evident, but also out on the con floor. Tandy's booth full of varicoloured leather hides almost seems out of place among replica weapons and towers of Pop Vinyl figures, but it's been seeing plenty of love from the cosplay crowd all weekend. This convention has managed to draw a huge amount of cosplayers — including some of Australia's biggest names and finest costumes — and this may be more than partly thanks to the Australian Championships of Cosplay taking place this afternoon. You know, the one with the sexy gold dragon trophy? In case you forgot, here it is in its final form in the hands of Guy 'Yug' Blomberg, Comic Con's Content and Community Manager, ready to be handed off to the winner of Australia's biggest cosplay competition this very afternoon.
If you want to check out the competition, or just the hundreds of great cosplayers milling around on the con floor, it's not too late. Oz Comic Con is open until 6pm tonight at the Glebe Island Exhibition Centre.