The inaugural edition of Supanova took place in Sydney on April 20–21, 2002. It was the successor to the comicfest! convention run by the same team from March 2000 to November 2002. In 2003, Supanova expanded to include Brisbane. In 2008, Supanova held conventions in Melbourne and Perth. The convention expanded again to include Adelaide and the Gold Coast in 2012. Currently, all six conventions attracts more than 160,000 attendees very year. The Sydney edition of Supanova Pop Culture Expo has the largest attendance. As of 2014, its attendance was estimated at 50,800 pop culture fans.
Supanova is a 100% Australian-made, independent fan event. The convention is not affiliated with any foreign expo producers, unlike, for example, Oz Comic-Con which is produced and managed by ReedPOP (a department of Reed Exhibitions). Supanova is managed by a team of permanent staff assisted by a group of volunteers. The title of event director is held by its founder Daniel Zachariou.
One of the convention’s major attractions is celebrity guests, or as the staff puts it, “Supa-Star Guests”. Famous actor, filmmakers, comic book writers and artists, authors and other well-known personalities participate in panel discussions, autograph sessions, professional photo-ops and other activities. For instance, the 2016 guest list included four actors, known for their roles in BBC’s TV shows Doctor Who and Torchwood – Eve Myles, Gareth David-Lloyd, Naoko Mori and Michelle Gomez.
Other notable attractions at the convention include competitions such as Extreme Cosplay Chess and Anime Trivia, the Supanova Cosplay Competition, Artists Alley, workshops and masterclasses, film screenings, and more. Of course, there’s an exhibitors area where attendees can buy comic books, DVDs, T-shirts, souvenirs and other merchandise presented by numerous exhibitors.
Photo by David Boldery