Recapping WonderCon Style

In All, Conventions by David

After many days of fun, WonderCon is now complete. Kyu has already posted about his experience in great detail. I won’t offer nearly as much insight as he did, but I thought I would add my own thoughts on my own WonderCon highlights.

Friday

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Honestly, it was just nice to be back again. After walking into the Exhibition Hall without any real hassle, I appreciated once again the calm chaos in the hall. People in and out of costumes walked around in excitement, but the crowd never seemed to really be out of control. It was a refreshing experience to say the least. Once inside, I immediately headed to the IDW booth to obtain one of the only things I really wanted from the Con—the Convention exclusive Locke & Key Volume 6: Alpha and Omega (the last volume of the series). I came very late to the party on Locke & Key, only starting to read it just before the Omega arc started. Many times when something is as highly praised as Locke & Key is, it can raise expectations too high, and make the work seem underwhelming. I’ll admit when I first started reading Locke & Key I was somewhat disappointed, but as the series continues it builds and builds and builds to become a truly spectacular work. So I really wanted to get a hold of the special volume, as I knew it would be a great collector’s item for me to have. As an added bonus, Locke & Key artist Gabriel Rodriguez was at WonderCon signing items for people at the IDW, so after a fairly easy time getting the book, I got in line and was able to meet and shake hands with the man. He is very nice, and I was thrilled to get his signature on the book. All of this made for a great start to the Con.

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The rest of the day sped along at a fairly good clip. I didn’t buy much else during the day, except for one graphic novel called Silver—because if I have one weakness, it’s that if I begin talking to a comic creator at a con for any amount of time I will buy something from them out of my obligation to help another creative person sell their work. This can become quite amusing, as it forces me at times to completely disengage from talking to sellers on the floor so I don’t just keep spending money. Then again, Silver is described as being pulp, adventure, and supernatural, and is set in the world of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, so it’s pretty awesome and I have no regrets. Panel-wise it was a slow day. I caught the end of the Teen Titans Go panel, which was a lot of fun, especially when the voice actor for Cyborg and a fan spoke to each other in ‘Waffles’ during the Q&A segment. Then there was the Star-Crossed panel, which was intriguing because the entire cast plus the executive producers were there, so there were two rows of people up on stage, which I have not seen before. The casts clearly enjoyed being at WonderCon, and their enjoyment rubbed off on the crowd, making it a fun panel to go to. Then I decided the best use of my time was to go and donate blood, just as I normally always do at SDCC. It takes a little bit of time, but I always feel great after donating blood and knowing I am helping people even if only in a small way (plus the free food doesn’t hurt). Finally, I went to what turned out to be my favorite panel of the day: Tabletop and Spooked. There was just a fun energy to the panel, as Felicia Day spoke first with Will Wheaton and then with the cast of Spooked. Leaving this panel made me eager for what was to come on Saturday and excited for what WonderCon still had to offer.

  Another treat I got to watch on Friday. Trust me, just watch this.

Saturday

Here we are, the money day. Saturday is the longest day of WonderCon and when all the main attractions are presented. My day started with me darting to the Fugitive Toy booth in hopes of getting a Funko WonderCon Exclusive Metallic Blue Lantern Flash. I had made the foolish mistake of thinking I didn’t want to have one on Friday morning before convincing myself I did by the end of Friday, after they had sold out for the day. So I scurried over to the booth hoping to get lucky, but alas I was too late by about five minutes (an eternity in Con time). Disappointed, I headed off to the one panel I really wanted to go to, Falling Skies. I really enjoy Falling Skies, but more importantly, I really appreciate their con panels. I went to their WonderCon panel last year, and ended up with an awesome bandana with a map of the different areas in the Falling Skies world. Still, the real reason I consider the Falling Skies panel essential is that after last SDCC’s Friday debacle where I got blocked out of entering Hall H the entire day, it was the SDCC Falling Skies panel that helped salvage the day. So for that, I am eternally grateful, and now consider any Falling Skies event a must-go. The panel did not disappoint. Some of the stars of the show were there to answer tons of questions and help get everyone excited for the upcoming season. (June 22, 2014! If you aren’t watching, you should start).

I stayed in the same room for the The 100 and Once Upon A Time panels, which both proved to be fun, as the fan bases for each were quite giddy. An especially great moment was during the Q&A for Once Upon A Time when people sprinted to ask questions and made a line that went almost to the back of the room. Once these panels finished, I headed back to the floor, where I decided to buy the non-metallic Blue Lantern Flash in case I wouldn’t be able to get one of the few remaining metallic ones on Sunday. Then I stopped by the Dark Horse booth for some signings (which led to me talking the creators of Never Ending, so of course I bought their comic book… I never learn). I followed that up with my favorite panel of the entire con—TV Guide Magazine’s Fan Favorite Showrunners. Watching famous showrunners from numerous shows speak about the ins and outs of running a show in today’s world was both enlightening and inspirational. The best part was listening to the creators of Arrow, Marc Guggenheim (who I briefly met during a signing at last years SDCC, and who is an awesome guy) and Andrew Kreisberg, speak about their experiences making Arrow, and revealing that another of the executive producers, Greg Berlanti, had ideas about making The Flash spinoff when Arrow had only made six episodes. They joked that Berlanti had only helped make Arrow so that he could have an excuse to make a Flash series.

Afterwards, I jumped around waiting for the Orphan Black screening. The highlight of this was the Warner Archive’s Toonstock panel. My childhood was replayed for me as I watched the music of cartoons from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and beyond, played and discussed by the moderators. The best part was watching Jabber Jaw, one of my favorite cartoons that Cartoon Network allowed me to watch as a child. I won’t lie, I got a little antsy during the presentation wondering when they would actually show the show with the annoying talking shark. After a raucous good time, it was time for the premiere of Orphan Black. Kyu might get more into this in the future so I will just say it was awesome, and dear Lord, has Season 2 gotten a lot more money than Season 1. This brought an end to another great day. One more to go.

Enjoy the awesome.

Sunday

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Not metallic, but still awesome.

Sometimes even the best plans fail. I arrived early at WonderCon in hopes of being the first in line for the remaining Metallic Flash figures. Unlike SDCC, there is no real order to who gets to enter the floor first. It fits the spirit of WonderCon, but is a little annoying when the doors just suddenly open without warning. Still, I was one of the first on the floor, so I thought I had a shot. I went to the booth and there was already a line, but there were still figures. The line moved steadily, and it looked like I just might have pulled this off, but alas, it was not meant to be. This was disappointing, but let’s be honest, if I had really wanted the figure, I would have gotten it on Friday. And I did get the normal figure, so it wasn’t all bad. So what was next? Why, the Golden Age of Tabletop Gaming panel, of course. This panel was a lot of fun, as it was a quick presentation followed by about an hour of Q&A that was full of actually good questions as opposed to the normal mix of okay to bad questions. Boyan Radakovich (producer of TableTop and TableTop Day) is an awesome guy who loves tabletop gaming and he offered great insight into the tabletop business. Then I went to an unexpected gem of WonderCon, Oni Press’s panel involving creators Joshua Hale Fialkov (The Bunker and The Life After) and Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin and Princess Ugg) plus the artist Gabo (The Life After). Listening to each of them talk about their creative process was fascinating—plus I got free comics, which I was able to get signed by their creators. And I was able to get an awesome Princess Ugg sketch from Naifeh later at the Oni Press booth.

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Afterwards, I explored the floor and just enjoyed being at WonderCon until it was time for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long. Last year I went to this but could not sing, as I had lost my voice, but this year I had no such problem. I sang with reckless abandon and ended WonderCon with a bang. Just like last year, WonderCon was a blast to attend, and I am thankful I could go again. Lots of lessons were learned, and I look forward to returning next year.

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One last piece of swag.

David Robertson