The 2012 WonderCon came to Anaheim Convention Center in California March 16-18. Created in 1987, and normally held in the San Francisco Bay Area, WonderCon is an annual comic book, science fiction, and motion picture convention. Let’s review the event!
- A variety of diverse panels
- A very well-organized exhibit hall
- Fantastic representations of multiple different entertainment types (comics, art, games, movies)
- Wide range of celebrity appearances within the audience’s interest
- Nicely paced and scheduled panels allowed for excellent seating options
- Portfolio review from industry professionals
- WonderCon Masquerade showcasing costumes
- Wide variety of memorabilia for purchase
- Long parking lines that directed cars to the Angels stadium
- Long shuttle lines to convention center
- Multiple same-weekend conventions aggravated extensive crowding
- A few poorly planned panels offered miniscule substance, and little for the advanced attendee
- No online updates from WonderCon Apps or Twitter to coordinate on-going conference changes
40,000+ attendees got a chance to share and connect with creators, mentors, and co-fans from all over the world. WonderCon (Comi-Con’s other half) provided comic, game, and movie enthusiasts a fantastic weekend of Nerdvana.
While the main attraction of WonderCon has always been various retailers selling back issues of comic books and action figures, it has grown to offer attendees, professionals, and exhibitors a complete entertainment convention experience. This year the exhibitorship included an “Artists Alley” featuring artists selling artwork, signing books, and doing live sketches, mainstream celebrities signing autographed pictures, and retailers offering specialty DVDs. In addition to the Exhibit Hall featuring comics and items from the many worlds of the popular arts, fans were given exclusive interviews and portfolio review opportunities from the top comic, anime, movie, and television professionals.
Examples of Panels:
20th Century Fox and WonderCon attendees welcomed Sir Ridley Scott, director of Alien and Blade Runner. Live on stage, Ridley Scott went into detail about Prometheus, his epic and groundbreaking new mythology. Sir Ridley and co-screenwriter Damon Lindelof also screened some exclusive footage.
How to Build Your Own R2!
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) Live Art Jam
Artists, Jim Lee, Rebekah Isaacs, and Eric Powell went through their creative process and sketched original artwork live in front of the audience! All proceeds for the artwork auction benefited the CBLDF.
Geek & Sundry
Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton, Veronica Belmont, and Tom Merrit presented a sneak preview of the new Geek & Sundry YouTube channel lineup. The new lineup includes webisodes from The Guild, Dark Horse Comics, Written by a Kid, and more!
This panel discussed how being brought up in geek-lover families landed them careers focusing on just that. As producers, hosts, actresses, and multi-hyphenate personalities, they have spent time creating their own interpretation on how to geek-out with film, TV, and the web. Each of these women discussed their passion for creating, networking, producing and marketing in favor of zombies, Star Wars, Star Trek, and all types of games, and movies.
Archaia Entertainment: How to Build a Better Story
Archaia published titles such as Mouse Guard, Return of the Dapper Men, and The Killer. Editor-in-chief Stephen Christy and founder and chief creative officer Mark Smylie led an information-packed session on what it takes to create a better original graphic novel.
Tribute to the Legends: Kirby, Simon, Robinson, and Eisner
Mark Evanier, Marv Wolfman, Len Wein, Batton Lash, Scott Shaw, and others discussed the lives, times, and genius of Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Jerry Robinson, and Will Eisner. The panel saluted these legends of the comic book field, and how their creations will continue to influence comics and comic book fans.
A personal highlight of mine was seeing all the fantastic costumes! My absolute favorite was Lord of the Rings The Witch-king of Angmar, also known as the Lord of the Nazgûl. Second favorite, the amazing rendition of Final Fantasy’s Cloud Strife, and third was definitely a detailed and great replication of Egon Spengler from Ghost Busters.
Thank you WonderCon!
For all the hard work and diligent effort it took to put on an exciting and informative convention, thank you, WonderCon. It was a blast, and I hope to return next year.
What conventions have you attended? Tell us your experience in a comment below.