Moot contributor Tom McCormack heads to Wellington Armageddon to see what the annual geekfest has on offer.
Game of Thrones, The Avengers, Arrow, X-Men, Spiderman, Pokémon, The Dark Knight.
There’s no denying it. Being a geek is not only cool, but mainstream as well.
And where better to be with like minded people and buy cool geek stuff than Armageddon – a convention dedicated to what has become the most popular subculture around.
For those new to Armageddon, it’s a convention taking place in cities across New Zealand for all things television, film and anime. With guests from television shows and movies drawing in the crowds it’s the stalls and interactive activity that get you to stay for the day. Fear not! You may leave with your wallet a little lighter but if you’re a fan of pop culture it’ll all be worth it.
My first impression when we arrived? PACKED. You could hardly move let alone see more than a few metres in front of you. Movement was made even more difficult by fans dressed up in huge costumes; but you have to stop and admire the amount of sheer effort that went into some of the outfits. And these weren’t just twenty-five year old men in My Little Pony outfits (although that box was also ticked) these were people of all ages getting involved in their favourite fandoms. From baby Jedi to senior Iron Man, many of the kids and adults in the crowd were dressing up and getting into it. The flashes of cameras followed some of the more well known characters around the venue.
I was mainly there for the Arrow guests so we quickly lined up and managed to score a photo with all three of the Arrow stars, sticking around afterwards to talk to them for so long that security had to usher us away. With no panel scheduled for Saturday it was our only chance to speak to them and they were more than happy to stop and have a conversation.
There was no shortage of stalls selling anything from steampunk jewellery, films, posters for seemingly any interest, clothes, anime soft toys, TV show replicas and any pop culture memorabilia you could imagine. On the food front there was a variety of delicious (albeit unhealthy foods) like mouth watering donuts, sizzling hotdogs and candy. Lots of candy. The Mighty Ape stall was understandably popular – they were running a $100 giveaway. The number of stalls this year was impressive, managing to run the entire outer ring of Westpac Stadium.
Armageddon is definitely an event for people of all ages, there’s a zombie maze and air gun shooting for the kids, alcohol stands for adults and guest panels and shops for everybody!
The Monday group panels are highly recommended, especially as its a holiday so there’s a convenient excuse to get off work. Wellington Armageddon is an enjoyable experience not to be missed.
Armageddon comes to Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds 24-27 October 2014.
Find out more here.