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Monday, April 21, 2014

WonderCon Anaheim 2014

David, Tristan and I had a great time at WonderCon this year. It's always more laid back than San Diego Comic Con. It started off a bit crazy as parking on Friday was nuts. I was starting to stress out about it when it came to me that I could possibly park at the hotel we had reserved for the night. We headed in that direction and bingo! Parking problem solved. (The only other problem that day was me wearing the wrong shoes. Luckily, I was able to change shoes for Saturday and had no more feet problems the rest of the weekend! I'm writing this as a reminder for my future SDCC going self!)

We had a few big goals this weekend. Tristan was always on the hunt for more free swag (accomplished! Green Lantern t-shirt, Adventure Time Jake doll, a Mariokart Mushroom Kingom Drivers License and some other random crap that he was excited about. Seriously, it was crap-a case for an iphone that we don't have nor will we ever own and a case for a video game console that he doesn't have.) I always love hearing his stories after he attends a great panel or meets a favorite artist. He was all excited about sitting in the front row of the Batman panel and seeing Bruce Timm and Kevin Conroy, otherwise known to Tristan as "The men who made my childhood." (I seriously love my kid.)

Many moons ago when Tristan was about 5, we were in Hollywood. Darth Vader (one of the many costumed Hollywood characters) started walking towards us. I thought that Tristan would be afraid and yet when he went to high five Tristan, Tristan slapped his hand back. He turned to me with a big smile on his face. As they say, the Dark Side has cookies.
David and I had two goals this weekend: a sketch from Paul Gulacy (we also attended his fabulous panel. I love panels where you learn something about the artist. Gulacy also does great impersonations of Jimmy Stewart, Charles Bronson and Gregory Peck. I also enjoyed hearing how he got his start (Marvel called him as he was mowing his parents' lawn) as well as the story of his buddy Steve Rude the Dude (another favorite artist and one helluva nice guy) coming over to his Gulacy's house, pulling out a tiny easel and watercolor set to sketch Gulacy's living room.)
Paul Gulacy

and an autograph from James Robinson (loved hearing about his favorite books and am hoping he posts his favorites on his facebook page like he promised...)

James Robinson
Unfortunately, we forgot the camera (a first!) and my phone wasn't working properly. I always am a bit shy about asking cosplayers to pose but folks were taking photos of Mary Poppins and Bert, so I took this:
Step in Time!
We spent Friday mostly walking the exhibit hall floor. David bought Marvel comic's adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Surprisingly, that was the only thing that he bought. We were hoping that IDW would have Jack Kirby's New Gods Artist's Edition for sale but it hasn't been released yet. 

I bought one book, MJ Illustrations Book Volume 1 from Last Gasp as well as some Wink of Stella pens from Art Supply Warehouse (because we all know that a trip to a comic book convention means that someone somewhere there will be selling ART SUPPLIES that you don't really need but you buy anyway because you're there and you always need new pens!)

We went to both Paul Gulacy and James Robinson's panels as well as to the Revolution panel in the Arena. One big thing that we noticed that is getting worse is the number of assholes who show up at a panel and proceed to sit and converse amongst themselves the entire damn panel. WHAT HAPPENED TO MANNERS, PEOPLE? I'm not even talking about whispering. I'm taking about mofo's talking in normal or even loud voices WHILE a panel is going on (or in the case of The Arena presentations, making comments throughout the whole panel and video clips.) It happened in every. single. panel. that we went to. It was ridiculous. I have decided that for SDCC, we should all bring paper with a few simple manners printed on them that we can quickly fold into airplanes to toss at these people's heads. They also let folks into the room who were clearly there for the next panel. Even James Robinson commented on the number of people walking into his panel asking folks coming in late, "Which panel is more popular than mine? What panel are you coming in for?" (The response was, "The Writers' Journey.") Robinson: "Shit, you should've come earlier. I could've told you that."

While walking the exhibit hall floor, I found a few new artists to check out. I really liked the work of Jessica Grundy and Genevieve Santos (website and blog.) There were also a TON of comic dealers as well as toy sellers. Unfortunately, I think that since SDCC has grown, it's priced out a lot of smaller vendors so it was nice to see so many small comic and toy dealers. We were also very happy that Stuart Ng, IDW and Last Gasp all had booths at the convention, as well. They are three of our favorite vendors (we always make a beeline for Stuart Ng first thing at SDCC Wednesday night.)

We decided to splurge and grab a hotel room locally for Friday night (the rooms are much cheaper and more readily available than they are during SDCC.) It enabled us to sleep in a bit later (a glorious 7 a.m.) on Saturday morning before we headed to the convention center. 

David and I spent most of the day in the Arena while Tristan wandered the exhibit floor and attended a few favorite panels (Batman's 75th, Adventure Time, DC Comics the new 52, etc...) David and I were eager to see director Luc Besson (there for Lucy, which looks fabulous, by the way) and he didn't disappoint! He was entertaining and a delight to see in person. Bill Paxton was clearly enjoying himself on stage talking about his role in Edge of Tomorrow as well as repeatedly quoting favorite lines of dialogue from his career left and right. He's definitely a fan favorite. It was also a great treat to see Gary Oldman (who cracked up when a fan dressed as Joker waved, "Hi, Commissioner Gordon.") and Andy Serkis (another big fan fave) for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (can't wait to see this.) For the fourth (I think?) time we saw a panel for the new Godzilla film. I. cannot. wait. Both David and I confessed to getting goosebumps watching the trailer (I'm getting them now as I write this.) The little girl in me who loved watching Creature Double Feature on Channel 56 in Boston is very eager to see this the King of all Monster Movies back on the big screen next month!!

Our last panel of the weekend (we didn't attend on Sunday) was IDW's Artist's Edition Panel with Scott Dunbier. We've only missed one of these panels and we weren't going to miss this one! We're looking forward to the Jack Kirby as well as the Steranko editions that are coming out this year.

The scariest event of the weekend was experiencing a full moon in a panel. (Eye bleach, anyone?) An attendee jumped up to grab a freebie and his pants were wayyyy below what even Dan Aykroyd would find to be acceptable. I won't get that image out of my head for some time now.

WonderCon means that it's time to start counting the days to San Diego Comic Con (Tristan has been doing this since last SDCC.) Summer is coming, people, and there's nothing we can do to stop it. 

1 comment:

Susie said...

OMG Kelly, I had no idea there was a new Godzilla movie coming out. Jusst watched the trailer. I am so there and will probably have to go alone since DH is So NOT into fantasy or sci/fi. I can probably get DD Brittney to join me tho, she's always up for a movie night and most of her friends at college are comic con fans (the CC circuit has been in MN the last few weeks) so she's heard most of their stories. (she is not into it but is very tolerant of her BFFs obsessions tho she is a fan of all of the movies. I smiled as I read your post. I grew up watching every Godzilla/creature feature as a kid. Saturday and Sunday afternoons and what was called Horror Incorporated on Saturday nights. Fun memories.