The founder and director of comic and gaming convention Supanova has announced he’s stepping down from his role in the Australian events, after an exhibitor at this year’s Sydney event was allowed to display and sell items with fascist symbols and imagery on them.
Supanova released a statement on Friday morning to announce the changes in its event management team, which included Daniel Zachariou no longer being the Event Director of all the Australian comic con and gaming events.
“We have now concluded the initial phase of our review,” the convention’s team said in a statement on Friday.
“We acknowledge an issue with one of our exhibitors at our recent Sydney event that did not align with our values and the experience we want to deliver to everyone in attendance,” the statement read.
“At the time, we removed the exhibitor, and have banned them from all future events. We recognised that our current procedures could be improved to resolve these types of matters faster, and issued the apology to you, our Supa-Fans.
“We have used the time since the event to commence a review into our governance and management structures, and how we can provide the best environment for staff, attendees, exhibitors and sponsors.”
This change in management comes after the Sydney leg of the 2021 Supanova convention faced intense backlash when it was revealed that a stall holder in the convention’s “Artist Alley” was displaying and selling items that brandished Nazi swastikas, rising suns and other fascist symbolism, as well as pro-gun, conservative memorabilia.
As part of the change in management, Supanova announced that Scott Liston – who has previously worked on Queer Expo, Australian Movie & Comic Expo, and Armageddon Expo – would be replacing Zachariou as Event Director. Supanova has also confirmed it will be bringing on an Ethics Officer, and plans to create an advisory group to “identify and prevent possibly contentious elements” of future events.
People within the Australian pop culture fandom community have questioned the announcement, wanting Supanova to clarify Zachariou’s movements in the company now that’s he’s stepped down from his role as Event Director.
Is Zachariou still keeping his role as an owner / financial beneficiary of the convention? Or is he taking hands off the wheel but keeping them on the money?
If he has severed all financial ties then please that make more explicit in statement.
— Tigrannosaurus #BLM (@Tigrannosaurus1) July 9, 2021
Could you please clarify on Daniel’s new role in the convention, and what involvement, if any, he will have going forwards? Thanks!
— amiaowcat (@amiaowcat) July 9, 2021
Supanova are yet to respond to these queries.