Most geeks and fans set attending Comic-Con as the highlight of their year, but I’ve always had trouble affording a long trip to San Diego and getting a group to go with. However, for the last few years, I’ve gotten a kick out of making the drive down to Anaheim with my good friend Dan and enjoying two days at WonderCon, where so many comic book vendors, cosplayers, talented artists, and fellow aspiring writers gather around Easter.
Here are the photos I took at this year’s WonderCon. Not as much cosplay as I would’ve liked, but plenty of good memories all the same.
Day One: A Casual Entrance
I started WonderCon as I think most people do: heading out onto the main floor of the convention center and wandering around the vendor and artist booths. I was lucky that, this year, I had a friend with her own table at Artists Alley, a nice mermaid enthusiast named Anita. This was her first time as an artist selling her work at WonderCon and I think she did very well for herself (as she should).
Later on, I went with my friend Dan to a couple of panels on the second floor. It’s funny in retrospect that both panels featured the same speaker, comic book writer and screenwriter Brandon Easton. First was “The Art of the Pitch,” where we learned all about the effort it takes to appeal to studio executives and producers with your premise, using a little “emotional truth” to make that connection across the table. Then we closed off the day with “The Writer’s Journey: Breaking into Comics and Hollywood Scriptwriting.” This panel is always a delight and a good source of ideas for aspiring creatives, with plenty of tips on how to get noticed, getting published, and building your own following.
Day Two: Building Connections
Day Two at WonderCon was long but lovely. I had the good fortune to running into more friends from LA there, including the talented Alex Hluch and his girlfriend Lindsay, who always cosplay. This year they came as the Joker and Harley Quinn, so of course they were quite a hit for anyone with a camera.
Speaking of cosplay, I will say I didn’t see too many standout costumes this year. Don’t get me wrong. It’s cool seeing so many folks dressed up like Star-Lord, Deadpool, or Avatar Korra, but there was a common theme and I didn’t see too many “knock my socks off” costumes like I did in previous years. That being said, I was so happy to run into a group of dedicated RWBY fans who came as the four main characters and got a fantastic lineup shot of them to boot.
I ended WonderCon with one last panel, “TV Guide Magazine’s Fan Favorite Showrunners.” Besides going to this panel last year, I had to attend this one because it featured Alex Hirsch, the mad genius behind Gravity Falls. Not only did I get a sweet poster of it, but I also got tons of cool stories from showrunners about how to stand your ground with the network on creative decisions and what it takes to graduate from staff writer to showrunner, whether you’re writing for basic cable or children’s programming.
In the end, I had a wonderful time at WonderCon this year. I’m glad it’s not as big as Comic-Con since it has panels I actually want to attend, tons of great cosplay on display, a beautiful location in Anaheim, and plenty of friends that I enjoy seeing there.
Here are some links to the Very Important People (i.e., friends) whom I’ve encountered during this trip, some of them friends and other new acquaintances. You should definitely check them and their work out when you have the chance.
Alex Hluch is a young filmmaker and actor with his own YouTube channel, Girl Pants Productions.
Anita Rae Silva is a lovely young artist who specializes in sketching and coloring mermaids and various Disney characters, many of which you can see on her Tumblr page, Fins for Brains.
Kate Mathis is an independent author from Tuscon who has produced many fine books in her Agent Ward novels. You should definitely check out her first book in the series, Living Lies.