On 20 November 2016, Impact Comics hosted the Impact Comics Festival in Garema Place, Canberra. It was a little on the warm side — 31º Celsius with a thunderstorm on the way — but the day remained dry with cosplayers, civvies and families out in abundance enjoying the community atmosphere.
The high calibre of costumes was impressive in spite of the heat, with fierce competition in the under-16 age group and the open category. Featured characters included the inevitable array of Links to more obscure characters like that little-known Deadpool guy, there were a few of him! Jayne even seemed to have a Kaylee sibling!
Gamma Con, Canberra’s own geek expo, organised the cosplay competition, judging and prizes. You might think that, in such a small community, some Trump-ed up cossies might win but everyone on the winners’ podium and many more who didn’t make it were very deserving.
Impact Comics staff, lead by Mal and Cameron, were fantastic organisers. Mal said he’s making notes to improve the festival for next year but, from my perspective, their organisation was flawless. I arrived to find a tent with tables, chairs and electricity shaded by leafy trees in this lovely inner-city plaza. They even provided water so we wouldn’t faint from dehydration and several times during the day staff came to check that everything was working well.
Dark Matter Zine shared a tent with Love Your Sister, a charity raising money for cancer. They want your 5 cent pieces to help win a world record for the longest line of 5 cent pieces. Apparently the record is ridiculously long so they want as many as possible! The Love Your Sister crew were professional and friendly, getting in and doing everything from blowing up balloons (sometimes with a bang) to tearing around in a wheelchair. Well, maybe not the TEARING so much.
Superhero chess featured large while I hid from the sun. I am NOT a sunflower and was a-feared of getting me some sunburn so I stayed under shelter as much as possible and, sadly, missed this event. However, I caught the final of the cosplay competition. There were group photos but no parade because we were all worried about the thunderstorm hitting before we’d packed up. Maybe next year there’ll be a parade. Those costumes were amazing!
As was the artwork, handmade jewellery and costumes — anything from custom-made animal costumes to sundresses with sci-fi themes. I had intended to catch up with more creators but I wasn’t going to walk up to a tent where a creator was talking to a potential paying customer.
Time and time again I am reminded that Canberra is Australia’s most underrated capital city. I love that it’s small because it’s easy to get around — no hour and a half drive to the showgrounds in Canberra! — and the community is so friendly and welcoming. I want to give the whole community a great big hug but will, instead, say A BIG THANK YOU for welcoming us.
As usual, click on any photo to open the gallery, use arrow keys or swipe to scroll between photos then escape to exit. Please comment on individual photos identifying cosplayer and character if you’d like me to tag. Also, just comment. Cosplayers love to feel the love, as do we at Dark Matter Zine.