It's that time of year again.
Yes, while others on social media are sharing their first sighting of Christmas-related decorations and food going on display in stores, and others remind us that Halloween is just around the corner, at Maid In Australia Manor it is starting to feel a lot like Oz Comic-Con.
While Oz Comic-Con events are held around the country (and in fact the world), the kids and I eagerly wait for the Brisbane event, which is timed to coincide with school holidays.
Attending has become a bit of a ritual for our family, and although I originally tagged along because of the kids, I probably get just as big a kick out of it as they do! (Okay, possibly more!)
Usually we take at least one friend with us, and meet up with a few more, so it's a really great occasion. There is also a really nice vibe too. People are happy to be there, and generally very accepting and tolerant of each other, which is something you don't always experience at large events.
Attending Oz Comic-Con is never a quick event. There's lots of stopping to take photos and take in the action, a lot of admiring of gear which is on sale, trying out new games, and loads of talking to exhibitors and other attendees. We usually stay until we drop, and return the next day for more!
There is always lots of eye-rolling as Mum begs for yet another photo ...Won't anyone think of the children?
It's hard to explain the appeal to anyone who has never been, but Oz Comic-Con is basically a collection of everything to do with entertainment under one roof for a whole weekend.
There are appearances by film and television stars; panels by actors, actresses, writers, illustrators and designers; gaming demonstrations, cosplay competitions, masterclasses and more. Oh and so much exclusive and rare merchandise, collectables, art and clothing to choose from that you'll wish you were a millionaire.
There is always something happening at Oz Comic-Con, even in the foyer outside!
Come to me, my pretties
Even if you can't spend up big, there are little things to suit all budgets
We could all use a Hello Kitty-style banana plush,right?
A rare political statement at last year's event
Just a pic of my boyfriend and I ... Cough.
Once you are in the door, there is loads of entertainment which is included in the price. One of the most fun aspects for the kids and I are the people who dress up like their favourite characters. So much thought goes into their costumes, and many even act in character. But they are always happy to pose for photos. The etiquette is to ask first however, and say thank you afterwards.
Strike a pose
It all gets a bit overwhelming at times, so it's nice to take time out at one of the many areas to sit and play games, add your own masterpiece to art work, read manga, or watch anime.
At last year's show one of the cosplayers was giving free tutorials and advice on how to make outfits.
Forget the kids, can I have one?
With so much to see and do, we usually pick a place like Anime Station to meet and then split up and do our own thing for short periods. It's well located, and there are bean bags to lounge it, books to read, and there's a mini-cinema showing classics too.
I always enjoy the panels, especially when writers and actors talk about their work, while the kids love the artists who are really generous with their time and love to talk about how they got started, and how they get inspired.
Melbourne's Oz Comic-Con has been and gone, but the Brisbane event is being held at the Convention Centre tomorrow and Sunday. (September 22-23).
Christy Carlson Romano of Kim Possible fame (and so much more. She's also an author. Is there nothing this woman cannot do?)
Phoebe Tonkin - The Originals, The Secret Circle,The Vampire Diaries, Tomorrow When The World Began
Nathanial Buzolic - The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Pretty Little Liars
Dominic Keating - Star Trek: Enterprise, Beowulf,, Jungle 2 Jungle, World of Warcraft
Oz Comic-Con will be held in Sydney on September 29 and 30.
There is a Marvel Cosplay competition on Stage 2 at 12 noon on Saturday and Sunday in both cities.
Do you have school holiday rituals? Have you been to Oz Comic-Con before? Would you disown your mother if she insisted on having her photo taken with strangers?