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‘No one’s judging’: geeks brave the heat at Darwin’s answer to Comic-Con | Australian lifestyle


Beneath Darwin’s singlets and thongs are hearts beating for all things geek.

On Saturday, an extreme heatwave did not stop Territorians from pulling on their wigs, spandex and face paint to cosplay for Tropicon.

Only in its second year, the one-day celebration of geek culture – board games, esports, cosplay, comics and fantasy books – drew a crowd of more than 1,600 to Darwin’s Entertainment Centre, a huge turnout in a city of about 140,000.

A woman in a black dress sitting on stairs
Brooke Wayne as Wednesday Addams. Photograph: (A)manda Parkinson/The Guardian

Mad Snake cafe owner and Darwin city local councillor, Sam Weston, helped organise the event. “Two years ago, I thought Darwin deserved a bit of a nerd-type event and I called all the heads of all the different nerd groups into my cafe,” he said.

“The geek culture is just getting so massive now. It’s not just those playing Dungeons and Dragons. It’s people like me that collect Star Wars … it is a whole range of ages, genders, races and cultures that are often overlooked.”

Sam Santos as Sailor Moon’s Princess Serenity
Sam Santos as Sailor Moon’s Princess Serenity. Photograph: (A)manda Parkinson/The Guardian

Scanning the hallways on the day underscored Weston’s point: parents and children were equally enthused about their costumes.

Weston said some of the issues facing Darwin are driven by ego and masculinity, but fantasy and sci-fi can give everyone a chance to…

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