It’s been a while — a long while — since I posted something. So I figured I should change that.

Last weekend I attended the Armageddon Expo in Melbourne.

 

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If you’re not familiar with the Expo, think of the American nerd-conventions you’ve seen in The Big Bang Theory and scale them way, way down, and you’re getting the idea.

These days, I’m no stranger to Australian conventions. I’ve attended several, both in Victoria and interstate, and I’ve begun to get a feel for them. Armageddon was a blast — but not for the reasons organisers would like, me thinks. This convention had, probably, the worst attendance-level of any convention I’ve got to this year. But that’s what made it so enjoyable. I could breathe.

There were also some slight, but invaluable changes to the layout. Food vendors were moved to a car-park on a different side of the main hall. This doesn’t sound all that important, bnut this side was also the wall with retractable doors. This means that a couple of large doors were able to be opened to both provide access to the food vendors, and provide much-needed ventilation to the expo hall.

The drawback was that the traditional locations for artist alley had to be moved, and suffered for it. They were really scattered everywhere.

Still, the lower attendance meant that I was able to browse the booths far better than at even the best organised conventions. So that kinda made up for it.

My real reason for wanting to attend this convention, however, was to meet Kevin Eastman.

Quick history lesson:

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles made their debut in 1984 as an independently created comic book.

After the massive — and unanticipated — success of the initial comic, that single issue went on to become an ongoing comic series, and later cartoon, toy-line, and film franchise, bringing the creators sudden fame and wealth.

These creators were Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.

Being a long-time fan of the Turtles since I was four-years-old, I had to meet Kevin.

I’m not ashamed to say that I dropped a lot of money on autographs.

 

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Me getting my comics signed by Kevin Eastman

 

Meeting this man — even though I said very little — was a real highlight. I would have loved to have been able to talk shit with him all day: chat about comics, ask questions about the Turtles, and just discuss creating characters, worlds, and talk in general. But, of course, when you’ve got someone of this level you don’t really have that option. Not with a massive queue of people behind you who have already been patient enough to endure your thirty autographs worth of time.

I will say that I thought the con was pretty well handled. There were issues with queues, but they were minor. Of course, the poor attendance would have made this less of an issue.┬áBut the Kevin Eastman line was handled very well. Right from opening there was an area already roped off for people to wait the 2-hours until his first signing. And when that area was full, newcomers were informed that there was no-more room, and they would have to try again later. Lines weren’t allowed to get to a point where the guest couldn’t facilitate them.

My only gripe? I didn’t have 1.5-2 grand spare to drop on some original TMNT art. Dude had pages from the original over-sized comics! I would have had a first born just so I could sell it to buy one of those pages!

Great time. Thoroughly enjoyed the con.

-TM