The biggest pop culture celebration of the year Oz Comic-Con kicks off this weekend at the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour.
Thousands of fans will attend the event for a chance to meet international TV stars and their favourite science fiction and fantasy writers.
Rachael Craw is a New Zealand author who has published several sci-fi novels for young adults and has been invited to her first Comic-Con in Sydney.
“It’s a tradition with an immense following. One of the great things about it, is so many people will come in costumes and that immediately is a draw for perfect strangers to connect,” Craw said.
Girls and women are the biggest readers of fiction and the fantasy genre itself is dominated by female writers.
“The genre provides an amazing community for young women to be a part of. I am excited to connect with readers and other writers this weekend,” Craw said.
The convention will showcase all the latest comics, anime, and video games in the giant two-day event, as well as hosting the Australian Championships of Cosplay.
Cosplay, or costume-play, was a term first used in Japan in 1984. It refers to the subculture of dressing up as characters from fantasy and sci-fi film, literature, and Japanese comics.
Canadian Justine Gaudreau-Fewster, otherwise known by her cosplay name JusZ, will be hosting the cosplay championship.
“Cosplay is a love letter to your favourite character and it is the best way to show how much you love a movie, or novel, or comic. There is a lot of self confidence that comes when someone puts on a costume they created themselves,” Gaudreau-Fewster said.
Bianca Mileti, whose stage name is Bianca Bella, has been a cosplayer for almost seven years and is part of the Geelong Cosplay Society.
The society has many cosplay members who dress up as superheroes or movie characters, attend events, and help raise money for sick children in Victoria.
Batman and Spiderman cosplayers recently visited the Children’s Ward at Barwon Health Foundation in Geelong.
“Some kids are really ill and it is just so great to come dressed up in cosplay and try to make them smile. It’s a precious, emotional thing. A lot of cosplayers love doing that,” Mileti said
Workshops including voice acting, craft and costume making are available at the convention.
Rosalie Ruse will be attending some of these workshops with her family at what is their third Comic-Con.
Both her children, aged 18 and 20, have various disabilities including Asperger’s, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
My kids like the manga and anime side of the convention. Sometimes they get a bit overwhelmed, and especially transfixed when they see all the things they love,” Ruse said.
“And I’ll get a bit of alone time and see the celebrities I’m interested in,” she said.
Rachael Craw’s next novel The Rift will be available for early release at Comic-Con.