Oz Comic Con Report & Geek Goodies Haul!

After a terrible experience with the 2012 Melbourne event and stories I had heard from friends about Oz Comic Con in other states recently, I was hesitant to ever attend another one. I was expecting crushing crowds in an over packed venue, ridiculous queues with hours of waiting time and people lined up out into the main floor preventing movement, Q&A panels starting late and guests not getting their fully allotted time.

What I got, I am pleased to say, was quite the opposite, even though I thought the day was going to be as terrible as it started…

First there was a mix up at the bus station due to there being no definite signage as to where the free shuttle to the event was – they said Bay 13 on the website but as I don’t live in Sydney, I had no clue where it was. Then when I arrived, there was a very annoying mix up when a volunteer scanned my ticket multiple times while another volunteer was rudely ushering me down the line. I got told I was already checked in (that will happen if you scan the ticket more than once) and they couldn’t give me a pass. But after that was sorted the rest of the day went fairly smoothly.

One thing that I noticed straight away was what a great layout the con had. The stages were away from each other, so the noise from each Q&A didn’t filter in, making it hard to hear (something that happened in Melb 2012). Although sitting at the back of stage 1 where I was, meant you had to suffer the noise of a TARDIS from a vendor and not hear the guests. Speaking of panels, while they didn’t run overtime (miracle!) I found it annoying the crowds weren’t being moved out at the end of each one. I like this method and feel its a good one to stick with. Yes, it takes time for everyone to move out and others get seated, but at least you get a fair chance to have a good seat. And it’s more fair than letting someone park their butt up the front all day when they’re really only there to maybe see one panel. Perhaps it was because there was no area to line up for panels, so maybe something for them to think about bringing back in the future.

Another thing I appreciated were the autograph tables being well away from the main floor. They appeared to have lots of space to line up and not filter back into the crowds blocking access. I didn’t get any photos or autographs this time, but a friend waited in the token line for about an hour, which is about the standard on a general admission ticket, and certainly not the length we waited at Supanova back in June (three hours even with a priority pass).

The con didn’t seem too over crowded at any stage on Saturday, which I’m not sure was due to a lack of attendees or there really was that much space to spread out. Perhaps it was the caliber of guests this time. While its always great to see Stargate guests and William Shatner, they have all been here multiple times recently.

Overall it was actually a pleasant experience and makes me less cautious about attending future events, so well done Oz Comic Con, you’ve surprised me.

Now on to the goodies!

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Review: Doctor Who 9th Doctor #1 (Titan Comics)

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Publisher: Titan Comics
Writen by: Cavan Scott
Artwork by: Blair Shedd
Release Date: April 1, 2015
Review: Kate @ All That Geek

The Ninth Doctor is back with a brand-new miniseries: Weapons of Past Destruction!

Leaving World War II behind, The Ninth Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack discover that Time Lord technology, lost in the wake of the Time War, is being sold on the intergalactic black market!

Now the threat of a new temporal war brews on the horizon. Can the Doctor stop history repeating itself?

When Titan announced their new Doctor Who comics, I was hopeful for a 9th Doctor series. After all, he’s the one who got me into the series this time around and he is my favourite of the ‘new’ Doctors. I couldn’t have been more excited when it was announced we were getting a five part mini series, not only with the Doctor and Rose, but Captain Jack rounding off Team TARDIS. The comic fits in nicely with the series as its clear when Mickey meets up with the trio in Cardiff that they’ve had many adventures together. The possibilities are endless. Perhaps the most interesting thing for me, is that this comic series sees The Doctor traveling with a very human, very mortal, pre-Torchwood Captain Jack. Its something we have rarely seen outside of the 9th Doctor series and something I want to see more of.

Issue one of this five part series plays out like the opening of an episode. Well paced action and exchanges between the characters as you would have seen on the TV show. Writer Cavan Scott has captured the voices excellently.

The Doctor is taking Jack and Rose to the planet Excroth, only when the TARDIS lands, he discovers the world is nothing more than rubble. While the Doctor is trying to figure out what happened to the planet, the TARDIS gets pulled aboard a ship that appears in space. There they discover to warring factions which they try to escape from with potentially devastating consequences. My only complaint is lumping Rose in the ‘damsel in distress’ role, its not all a female companion is there for. That being said, its a minor thing, something has to move the story along, right?

The artwork by Blair Shedd is absolutely fantastic, the likeness of our three heroes is spot on, easily the best I’ve seen in all of Titan’s Doctor Who comics so far. The attention to detail in each panel is phenomenal, with wonderful colouring to set the tone.

If you’re a fan of the 9th Doctor, you wont be disappointed by this first installment. Check out Titan Comics for more information.

Review: Doctor Who 10th Doctor #6 (Titan Comics)

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Publisher: Titan Comics
Written by: Robbie Morrison
Artwork by: Daniel Indro
Release Date: January 14th 2015
Review: Kate @ All That Geek.

 

STONE HANDS STALK THROUGH THE CRATERS OF THE SOMME…

When Gabby and the Doctor arrive by accident in No Man’s Land in July, 1916, they’re met by Corporal Jamie Colqhoun – a soldier who knows from bitter experience that there are worse things than the Jerries out in the rat-strewn trenches.

Things that drift through the smoke of a thousand cannon shells, and move only when you look away. Shadows that flit over artillery-blasted field hospitals and throw their terrifying wings over the living. Statues that steal your life in an instant.

The Weeping Angels.

But in a conflict where the life of young men is cheap, and thousands die every day – are the Angels actually offering salvation?

Trapped in the midst of a flock of starving Angels, the Doctor faces his most challenging and terrifying moral dilemma yet!

 

A new team comes on board for a lacklustre issue #6 of Titan’s 10th Doctor Comic series.

Perhaps I already had subconscously built a bias against a weeping angel storyline, as I find them one of the most uninspiring monsters of the Who franchise and ‘Blink’ is my least favourite episode of the 10th Doctor series.

However, I did put those notions aside and approached the comic with an open mind. I hoped that with the unlimited creative opportunities a comic provides, there could be something interesting written for these tedious monsters. Sadly, Robbie Morrison’s WWI setting failed to maintain my interest and he didn’t capture the 10th Doctor’s voice quite the same way previous writer Nick Abadzis did.

There is a lot of focus on the soldiers in the story and very little time on the Doctor which aided my disinterest for this issue.

While the artwork by Daniel Indro is wonderful, detailed, and the Doctor easily identifiable, perhaps there is such a thing as too much detail. The harsh lines on the Doctor’s face give him an angry expression in most of the panels and he appears to have much better muscle tone than David Tennant could ever hope for.

I’ll go into issue #7 again with an open mind in the hopes the storyline becomes more interesting, but at this stage, I don’t feel too hopeful.

I was unable to obtain a physical copy of this issue through any comic store as it was apparently placed on back order before it even came out, as much as I want to collect all in the series, I cant say I’m all that disappointed. Its a definite buy if you’d like to collect all the issues, but I don’t recommend you start your 10th Doctor comic journey here.

Check out the previews after the cut and then purchase your copy of the comic.

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Review: Doctor Who Tenth Doctor #4 (Titan Comics)

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Publisher: Titan Comics
Written by: Nick Abadzis
Artwork by: Elana Casagrande
Review: Kate @ All That Geek.

In exchange for the invaluable assistance she offered defending New York – and to say sorry for dropping into her life like a tornado! – the Doctor has promised Gabby one trip – just one trip! – in the TARDIS.

With the whole universe laid before her, all of time and space, where will Gabriella Gonzalez choose to go? What will they find when they get there… and can one trip in the TARDIS ever be enough?

More importantly, the Tenth Doctor has been hurt by the fate of his companions before – and recently! With Donna still fresh in his mind, can Gabby convince him that he shouldn’t travel alone, for just a little while longer?

 

Nick Abadzis embarks on a different kind of storytelling for issue #4 of Titans new adventures with the Tenth Doctor. Much of the issue is told through a letter from Gabby to her friend. The normal comic panels are integrated with wonderful sketches (from her sketchbook) and Gabby’s thoughts along side them. Its a fun, creative way to tell the story and I really loved the style.

The story itself is very entertaining and I would go as far as saying I enjoyed it more than the previous arc. The Doctor takes Gabby to an alien art gallery, with some amazing pieces to see. Of course, being a Doctor Who adventure, its not without its mystery and monsters. The story moves along at a good pace and is quite interesting.

I didn’t expect I would like a comic companion as much as the TV counterparts, but Gabby is wonderful. Abadzis has written her with the same bravery and humanity as any of the on-screen favourites. He also continues to capture the 10th Doctor’s voice perfectly.

The artwork continues to be fantastic, with special mention to the wonderful drawings from Gabby’s sketch book. I hope the style of art and storytelling continues throughout the arc otherwise it may feel a little strange going back to a ‘regular’ comic on the next issue.

Be sure to check out the preview below, including the wonderful cover variations and then purchase The Tenth Doctor #4 From Titan Comics or at your local comic book store.

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Review: Doctor Who Tenth Doctor #3 (Titan Comics)

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Publisher: Titan Comics
Written by: Nick Abadzis
Artwork by: Elana Casagrande
Review: Kate @ All That Geek.

Terror has gripped Sunset Park, Brooklyn on the Day of the Dead, in the form of Cerebravores, manifesting as people’s worst fears! The Doctor’s investigation set him on a collision course with the irrepressibly curious Gabriella Gonzalez, and, after saving her from a Cerebravore on the Subway, the pair tracked the incursion back to Gabby’s father’s laundromat, where strange vibrations had opened a wormhole! The Doctor left Gabby to keep the bizarre wormhole open, while he traveled to the other end of the dimensional bridge. Both now find themselves under attack!

 

In the dramatic conclusion to the first Tenth Doctor story from Titan, we see The Doctor save the day (of course!) and acquire himself a new companion.

I found this issue more exciting than the last, not weighed down by heavy dialogue. Though there certainly was a lot of it at times, it seemed to flow better in this issue and the story kept moving at a good pace. There was equal attention paid to each area of the story, explaining where the Cerebravores came from, interaction with Gabby and the dramatic action sequences as The Doctor once again saves the day.

There were some nice exchanges between The Doctor and Gabby, particularly at the end where The Doctor is reminded of something from his past and it ultimately makes him change his mind about letting her travel with him. Its little references like this that really make me enjoy the comic and feel Nick Abadzis has taken the time to get to know the Tenth Doctor and write him as we’ve seen him on screen.

There isn’t anything I can say about Elana Casagrande’s art that I haven’t said in my previous reviews, it continues to be fantastic, capturing perfectly the essence of the 10th Doctor and those wide-eyed expressions we loved so much. Every panel is drawn beautifully and detailed.

Overall an enjoyable issue with a satisfying, exciting ending and I am looking forward to see where The Doctor and Gabby’s adventures take them next!

Doctor Who Tenth Doctor #3 is avaialble from Titan Comics.

Product Review: Doctor Who Exploding TARDIS jigsaw puzzle

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Doctor Who Exploding TARDIS.
1000 Pieces.
Measures: 20 x 27 inches when complete.
Published and Distributed by: Culturenik

While it may be unusual to write a product review for a jigsaw puzzle, for addicts like myself, it can be good to know what you’re getting before you buy it.

First of all, I didnt even know they made Doctor Who jigsaw puzzles, so imagine my delight when I found one from a vendor at a convention!

The Exploding TARDIS was HARD. I didnt expect it to be a walk in the park, but after completing my last 1000 piece puzzle in about 8 hours, I guess I had high expectations for myself.

This one took me roughly 20 days, working nearly every day for a couple of hours. Sometimes I would just end up staring at it forever and only end up with a few pieces added, it was frustrating, but I really enjoyed the challenge.

After I spent way too long putting together the border, I started with the centre explosion piece. Though it did take a fairly long time, it was the easiest part, along with the TARDIS shapes. For me, the most difficult parts were the yellow swirls and the dark patches. Everything there was pretty much the same colour so it was a lot of trial and error figuring out where each piece went.

Let me say this, the picture on the box? Utterly useless as a guide.

For the technical bits, the puzzle is really good quality. It is made from a nice thick, solid cardboard which didnt bend – except for the one piece that came out of the box that way. The pieces are a variety of non-standard shapes that fit together well. Though I found that sections didnt always stay together when moving them around. Best to have a big space set aside for this one so you dont have to move it around.

It looks really great finished, the picture is high quality so you could frame it if you really didnt want to go through the process of doing it again. I personally, am a sucker for punishment and have already demolished mine and will work on it again one day.

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My actual puzzle finished. No apparently I can’t take a straight picture.

Overall, if you like a challenging jigsaw puzzle and are a fan of Doctor Who, this is perfect.

The Exploding TARDIS jigsaw may be a little hard to find in stores, but you should still be able to get it from good Doctor Who retailers in Australia. It will probably set you back approximately $35 (AUD).

Review: Doctor Who. 10th Doctor #1 (Titan Comics)

49141Publisher: Titan Comics
Written by: Nick Abadzis
Artwork by: Alice X Zhang (cover) and Elana Casagrande
Review: Kate @ All That Geek.

I was very excited to learn there would be new 10th Doctor adventures coming our way this July and Titan Comics haven’t disappointed.

Gabriella Gonzalez is stuck in a dead-end job in her family’s New York Laundromat, dreaming of college and bigger, better and brighter things. So when a strange man with an even stranger big blue box barges into her life on the eve of the Day of the Dead celebrations – talking about an infestation of psychic aliens – she seizes her chance for adventure with both hands.

After Donna’s tragic exit, the Doctor thought he was done with new companions. But Gabby Gonzalez is going to prove him wrong… if she survives the night!

A lot of the first issue tends to set up our new companions background, with minimal input from The Doctor, but its still an enjoyable enough read. Gabriella ticks all the boxes as a companion, so I am looking forward to starting this journey with her.

What we do get to see of the Doctor is exactly what you’d expect from an episode. Nick Abadzis captured the 10th Doctors voice well, and even threw in one of his quirky gadgets.

The mystery slowly builds throughout the story, coming to an exciting climax as The Doctor jumps in to save the day – hopefully.

The artwork is crisp and colourful, and really attracts the readers attention. The Doctor actually looks like The Doctor, which is always my one gripe with TV-to-comics, artists interpreting a well known character so much it barely looks recognisable.

Overall, I think Doctor Who fans will enjoy this latest installment to the Who world and even those who have never read comics before will enjoy the journey too.

Celebrating Captain Jack Harkness

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On the 21st of May 2005, Doctor Who fans were introduced to a very special character named Captain Jack Harkness. Con man. Expert flirter. Amazing Coat. My introduction to Jack was a few years later, but since the 9 year anniversary came the same day as I finished another Torchwood/Doctor Who rewatch, I thought it was only fitting to dedicate a little post to my love for Jack.

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Audio Drama Review: Doctor Who – The Light at the End

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I finally got around to listening to Big Finish Productions Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special a few days ago. When I finished, the first thing that came to mind was …this is exactly what the TV special needed to be.

The Light at The End brings together the first eight Doctors in an adventure through time and space with The Doctors ultimate foe The Master. The story is an homage to the past, just as it should be when celebrating 50 years.

The Doctors, Baker, Davison, Baker, McCoy and McGann are all together, each bringing their own unique personalities to their roles. This was my first time listening to an audio with the other Doctors, having only listened to some of the 8th Doctor adventures previously. They were all fantastic and exactly as I remembered them on screen. For a multi Doctor story that had the potential to favour more popular Doctors over others, they were all given equal story time and I felt the plot was well constructed in a way to bring them all together without feeling overly forced.

The Doctors are joined by their companions; Leela, Nyssa, Peri, Ace and Charley. They dont get a lot of time in the spotlight, but just like the Doctors, they bring their unique traits to the story. Doctors 1 to 3 make an appearnace, all impersonated believeably, but are not heavily involved in the story.

My favourite part was definitely the interaction between Tom Baker and Paul McGanns Doctors, I think they steal the show with their banter.

Overall its a fun adventure with little nods and references for long time fans but even new or casual Whovians will enjoy it.