Last weekend, I had myself a little adventure in Anaheim: two days at WonderCon, one of the biggest comic book conventions in California (besides San Diego Comic-Con, obviously). After being convinced by my former roommate Dan to attend, I decided that I’d record my experiences through social media and try to promote this event as best I can.
After two days of photos and live-tweeting, I can finally give my readers a full report of what I saw.
When I wasn’t attending panels, I spent most of my time on the exhibit floor, where dozens upon dozens of comic book vendors and artists had set up shop. The floor also featured hundreds of fans and fellow geeks in costume, along with official booths for DC Entertainment, Capcom, and various merchandise outlets. And I also had to step outside every so often because the weather in Anaheim was too gorgeous not to enjoy.
Day One: Our Descent Into Comic Book Heaven
When Dan and I first arrived, my initial reaction was somewhat muted. Long lines in the morning heat, constant confusion about where booths and entrances were located, and generally being crammed shoulder-to-shoulder with other convention-goers. But my mood was vastly improved when Dan and I found who else but longtime writer and producer Greg Weisman, hosting “Ask Greg Live” in the ground floor lobby with twenty or so other fans. We asked questions about the recently cancelled Young Justice show and his experience with the industry. To cap it all off, we got a group photo with Greg, which I cherish dearly.
Friday night was even better, as I attended the exclusive screening of the new Doctor Who episode, “The Bells of St. John.” All I have to say is that, while some of the plot seems a bit peculiar to take seriously, Matt Smith and Jenna Louise-Coleman are an absolute delight and the ending is well worth the price of admission. My experience was only enriched with all the Eleventh Doctor cosplayers and girls in sexy TARDIS dresses waiting in line with me.
Also learned that, if you wave a sonic screwdriver toy around like I did, people will pretty much point you to the line for the Doctor Who screening.
Day Two: Unexpected Sights and Delights
The next morning ran a lot more smoothly. We toured the exhibit floor again, where I purchased a Doctor Who comic featuring the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones (expect a review later on). Then it was onto some more panels.
Close to noon, we caught the tail end of a live art session by DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee, who drew a very impressive Batman sketch and then gave it away to a kid celebrating his birthday. Following that was a panel for Falling Skies, featuring several actors from the show and executive producer Remi Aubuchon, whom I later got to meet and shake hands with. While I’m not entirely sold on the show, I’ve got a better appreciation for its storyline and how it tries to balance an alien invasion with the emotional tension among human resistance fighters.
At the end of the day, the last panel I attended was “TV Guide’s Fan Favorites Showrunners.” An hour-long panel featured the producers for shows like The Vampire Diaries, The Big Bang Theory, The Walking Dead, Falling Skies, and Teen Wolf. What followed was a hilarious and wonderful discussion on what it takes to be a showrunner, what inspired these men and women to produce compelling storylines, and what’s in store in their shows for next season. Just the sort of thing to jump-start my creativity and a great part of WonderCon to end my trip on.
On the whole, I’m glad I got to attend WonderCon Anaheim and I hope to attend more conventions in the near-future (though I won’t be at Comic-Con this year). Looking back, I could sense that there is a shared enthusiasm that brought everyone there, both young and old, both artists and audiences. I think my last tweet from the convention best sums it up.
I highly recommend my readers take a look at my Twitter page for what I tweeted during WonderCon. I also recommend the blog and Twitter page for my fellow convention-goer and lifelong amigo, DJ McNaughtay, who gave a great review of last year’s WonderCon.