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Come Get Your Geek On

Remember when being called a geek used to be an insult? These days, you can wear it like a badge of honour. It’s so outdated to consider geek as a bad thing, that it’s celebrated across the globe. 

By Tierney Seccull

The first ever comic convention kicked off in the 1960s in New York to celebrate the wonderful world of comic books, with a crowd of about 100. Now, Comic-Cons are held globally, with millions of attendees annually. 

Gear up, Territory geeks, as TROPiCON – the NT’s very own festival of all things geeky – returns for a second huge year. Presented by the NT Geek Culture Collective (NTGCC), a not-for-profit organisation supporting and enhancing the geek sector, the one-day festival is run by the people for the people. 

A huge celebration of pop culture, it features esports, digital art, virtual reality, collectibles, tabletop board games, and more. It also fosters the ever-growing local geek community, providing a full day of fun for Top Enders and visitors during the Wet season. 

Geek Culture Collective Chairperson Nestor Sanchez says the festival’s inaugural year in 2022 was a bit of a whirlwind. 

“Last year exceeded our expectations, and I think it’s really difficult to know how things will go, particularly with a community event ... But you know, the word got out, we sold out the day before and here we are again in 2023,” he says. 

“There’s enough time in the day to explore every aspect of geek culture, and it’s quite a broad concept because it deals with, not only pop culture and cosplay and all of that, but it also deals with technology, esports, gaming – it’s quite broad and there’s something for everyone.” 

There are some exciting additions to the second ever TROPiCON program, including a cosplay competition with special judge K Cosplay – an international award-winning cosplay master who has made over 400 costumes in her 23 years in the cosplay game. 

There’s also a special live video presentation from Dacre Stoker, the great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker who penned Dracula. Yep, Dracula. Dacre is the international best-selling co-author of Dracula the Un-Dead, the official Stoker family endorsed sequel to Dracula, and his compelling keynote presentation is sure to fascinate Top End audiences. 

With music, art, comic books and more, Sanchez says, even if you may not identify with being a geek as such, it’s something that can be found in all of us. 

"I think what people miss out on, and without putting labels to anything, ‘geek’ used to be used as a derogatory term, but it essentially describes someone who’s an enthusiast of something, and all of us have a little bit of geek in us,” he says. 

“All of us are a little bit into the Marvel Universe, or into digital technology, or like to have a few tabletop or board games – I don’t think I know anyone that wouldn’t have some component of interest that doesn't fall within this wide umbrella.” 

Whether you’re a Muggle, Earper, Jedi or Whovian – or have no idea what the flip any of that means – head along to TROPiCON and get your geek on. 

COST $35 | $25 (YOUTH 12-17) $15 (KIDS 6-11)

Photos: Prerak Shah of Shah Shoots 

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