I look forward to Wondercon every year, and each year it gets bigger and better. There were a ton of big announcements this year, from DC Rebirth to Voltron, and some treats for the fans with exclusive footage from Agents of SHIELD, iZombie, and more. I, of course, arrive on day two of the convention, and in it’s new venue, and I have to confess, it’s a little overwhelming.
Taking up the Los Angeles Convention Center, Wondercon extends out a little into LA Live and the Microsoft Theater. It’s no San Diego Comic Con, but it’s a nice little village of geekdom. And in that village was more floor space and panels than you could shake a stick at. And trust me, I’ve tried shaking a stick at it.
The show floor was competently laid out. There was the Artists’ Alley, which is self explanatory, the Dealer Tables, for the smaller sellers to show off their super cool wares, the Autograph Area, a section for Golden & Silver Age comic books, and my favorite, the Small Press Area. In the Small Press Area, independent creators had a home for their works, like the funny guy who beckoned me to check out his weird and crazy comic book series, Man vs. Rock. I read some of it, it was actually, really good.
The cosplay was on point this year and the big surprise, for me, were the Vault Dwellers of Vault 111 walking the show floor. For those not in the know, that’s from the Fallout video game series. It was nice to see the Pip Boys and makeshift weapons being added to the long list of costumes on display.
Video games were everywhere on the show floor. Something you don’t normally see at a comic book convention. Nintendo and Capcom had booths up where you could play Street Fighter or the new Pokken Tournament game. I’d have to say that those were two of the more popular spots at the convention.
But there’s more than just those awesome vendors, there’s the panels, which is one of my primary reasons for going to Wondercon. I started my day with the Harry Potter panel, where a group of ladies educated me in all things Witchcraft & Wizardry. Educators, professors, and the work a day muggle made up the crew of LADA, aka The Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army. They even brought a cosplayer up to the stage, who was the spitting image of the Dumbledore. I then dashed out to the Wonder Woman panel, where the panelists regaled me on the good and bad of Batman v. Superman’s new Wonder Woman, and their hopes and dreams of her future outings on the big screen. The general consensus was, they liked her, but feared for her future if the current director went on Zack Snyder’s grimmer, more humorless path. Still, time was of the essence as I gathered my wits and bolted to the Microsoft Theater for the Con-Man panel, which was…disappointing. With info and images I’ve already seen at the Long Beach Comic Expo, and no Nathan Fillion, I felt like it was a bit of a bust, so I ran out once again, and tried my luck at Agents of SHIELD panel.
As a side note, I attend Wondercon as Press, and lo and behold, there was a Press line for Agents of SHIELD. Apparently, I wasn’t press-y enough, as I didn’t have the blessing of the studio to attend this screening and Q & A. So I whimpered away to the longest line I had ever seen. It was for the same panel and it went around almost the entire second floor of the convention center. By the time I made it to the front of the line, there was no going in. The room was beyond packed. Dejected, I made my way out to the Food Trucks, determined to make up for the faux paus with some food. It was a two hour test of endurance and principle as I inched to the front of the line of a Waffle sandwich, food truck. So something I learned, and a tip for you con goers, bring your own food. As a result I missed some panels I was really looking forward to.
Day one ended with one last panel that was about romance in Sci-Fi and Fantasy and it had a familiar face. It was the face of a woman who was kind enough to do a video for, my now defunct podcast, Geek Love Radio. Australian sci-fi actress, Gigi Edgley. She was charming and entertaining, and I made sure to sit up front so I could say hi. It was a fun and light hearted way to end a night. Another fun perk of a convention, is that if you go to enough of them, you can sometimes start to make acquaintances with artists and actors. There were a few more hours of convention left, but it’s tough to endure alone. When going to a convention, be sure to have someone with you. It makes it, not only more fun, but just helps makes a convention easier to handle.
Day two started with a seat at the Legends of Tomorrow panel Being a fan of the series, I was excited to see the cast talk about the remainder of the season and show off a sizzle reel of what was to come. There was even talk of some of the surprises for season two. This is another reason why you want to go to Wondercon. Because you get panels like this, where you get a sneak peak before the general public. You also get to see the actors in person and in a comfortable, easy going venue that doesn’t feel like a press junket.
I’ll skip all the floor details, but I’ll just say that I got some cosplay pictures and bought some some cool, little toys. Exclusive items are always fun. But my second day was quickly over, with what has been a Wondercon tradition. The “Interactive” Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. It’s only interactive in the sense that you sing along, and you get a little plastic finger monster, which is cool. What I love about this tradition, is that it is one of the few moments where you go to a panel just to have fun and commiserate with your fellow geek. I admit, I have not memorized the songs, but I always have a good time anyway.
If you’re in the Los Angeles or Anaheim area (It’s hard to tell where it’ll be, from year to year), it’s a must go, for one of the most organized, action packed, celebrity filled, fan-tastic comic book and pop culture conventions that has the ultimate reason to make it your go to convention. It’s the sister con to San Diego, that’s big, almost as important, and its a hell of a lot easier to get into.