April 5, 2013

WonderCon 2013 Wrap Up

I spent last weekend among my people at WonderCon, and it was glorious. It was the show's second year in Anaheim and though there were some hiccups, it seemed like it was more well attended and according to vendors I spoke with, attendees actually spent money as well (I didn't hear good things in that regard last year).

It had all the ingredients for a successful convention for me: friends, good variety of vendors, entertaining and informational panels, some work, and a lot of impressive costumes. Since it's not as insanely crowded as San Diego, I could actually walk around with friends and chat. There was breathing room in the exhibit hall. I did wait in some lines for panels but never for longer than 20 minutes and I had no issue finding seats. There were plenty of benches out front in the shade if you needed a break, and you could also grab snacks from an assortment of food trucks.

I covered a few panels for IGN (Falling Skies, Teen Titans Go!, and Arrow) and did some fun interviews. The convention center has free wifi which made filing stories and live-tweeting panels a breeze. Links for some of my coverage here.

I found amazing art, fun books, clothing, and comics all over the exhibit hall. My favorite purchase of the weekend is this Merida and Toothless piece by the super nice and talented James Silvani:

Seriously, I may have flailed.

I also got Jeremy Bastian's Cursed Pirate Girl from Archaia and fed my nerdy necklace addiction at Unpossible Cuts. They have all the awesome pendants (geeky and otherwise) and adorable earrings. I wanted to buy most of their booth (they even had wall clocks).
Though I didn't buy any pieces, I noticed about three or four vendors offering characters and scenes made from Perler beads. It makes me want to go buy some and look up patterns, hmmm.
And oh, the costumes! Everything from superheroes to ponies to video game characters to Game of Thrones. I had serious cosplay envy.
Jayne hat dress!

Padme and Daenerys!

Captain Marvel

Luna, Discord, and Celestia
That's just a sampling of the talented cosplayers in attendence.

Really, my only issues were with the security and convention staff. The lines to register on Friday as an attendee, pro, or exhibitor were a hot mess. I finally took a seat outside while someone else found out the correct place we should be (after being misdirected twice while carrying heavy things) and watching the staff contradicting each other and trying to manage the huge line of people was the funniest and saddest thing I saw all weekend. Once I was in the convention center, they weren't so helpful either.

Every convention has a vibe and some of them grab you more than others. For example, Baltimore Comic-Con, Phoenix Comicon, and Emerald City all give me warm fuzzies because they really focus on creators. San Diego Comic-Con is an insane circus, but it's also a blast - it's set in a beautiful city, a huge number of fans attend, and it's a four day working party. Wizard conventions I've been to all feel the same to me - kind of lifeless. And this WonderCon? It had more personality in San Francisco. Anaheim doesn't scream charming to me. You can tell the show is finding it's feet though, and I bet it will have its voice in just a couple of years. I think being so close to San Diego in location and time of year works against it though and probably always will.

See all of my pictures from the convention at my Flickr page!

3 comments:

  1. This was my first year at WonderCon. As epic as San Diego is, I enjoyed this smaller, more chill event. It was nice just to go for the day, spend some money & head out. San Diego is awesome, but such a BEAST!

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  2. After reading so much WonderCon coverage over the past few weeks, I'm starting to consider a trip over there in a couple of years (I'm going to SDCC next year, and I can't just be flying Mexico-USA-Mexico a few times a year). I love vacationing at conventions, even if I come back to work totally exhausted. WonderCon will probably be my next vacation spot :)

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