Once again I had the pleasure of going to Wondercon in Anaheim! This is my second convention ever as well as my second time to Wondercon. Things were a bit different for me compared to last year but I still had a blast either way. I managed to hit the panels, spent a whole mess of money, as well as deliver pringles to @g_man himself, Tony Guerrero. It was an amazing time so join me as I recall how I spent three days at Wondercon.
I visited less panels and took less cosplay pictures this year but if you're only interested in that, skip to the bottom of the article!
Wandering The Show Floor
This year I had the immense pleasure of attending Friday with a college buddy of mine. As the convention pro he picked out the schedule so we saw things like the Sergio and Mark show and Oddball Comics. I forced him to go see the Son of Batman animated movie so I was largely mollified. To be honest though, most of the convention was punctuated by a lot of aimless wandering through the show floor. There were the heavy hitters like the Nintendo booth and many places where one could lose a lot of money real fast. Last year it was overwhelming to me to go through the t-shirt towers and merch booths, whereas this year I had a better handle on things. I actually enjoyed wandering through artist alley the most and found that I have an addiction to collecting buttons.
There were large swaths of cool things to see, of note was the Star Wars block. The 501st legion was there as well as a Mandolorian group, but what really caught my eye was the row of R2 units. The R2 builders club and the Wall-E builders club had partnered up and had two booths. I first became aware of them from Tested.com's Wall-E video but seeing it in person was another matter entirely. Several of the units were remote controlled and they drove them out in front of the booth much to the delight of con-goers. They were really awesome about pointing droids toward people taking pictures and playing sounds to delight kids, so I wanted to take a few shots to showcase the builders.
There were the requisite figure booths like Kotobukiya and the DC area had several collectibles on display. There was a movie prop reproduction house which had several of the Cap America shields as well as other Marvel props like Thor's Hammer and Iron Man's Helmet. Wouldn't you want a showroom piece for as little as $600? All the pieces are incredibly detailed but out of my price range.
Among the floor there were also hidden oddities. Apparently the original model for Tinkerbell was at a booth answering questions and doing promotional work. Nearby booth people actually stopped us from taking a picture, until they realized we were interested in Tinkerbell and not stealing their art print layouts.
In one of the merch booths there was also a giant statue of Godzilla. Oddly appropriate given the upcoming movie, but retro Godzilla still is a hero of the children.
One word of warning about aimless wandering during a convention. Be prepared to be tempted. Tempted A LOT. I think I parted way with almost all of the money I brought by wandering Artist alley and picking up many prints which I will showcase later on.
Other than spending all my money and checking out the sites I did manage to partake in a few other activities. I managed to track down Tony and Mat Elfring near the DC booth when Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato were signing. I delivered Pringles to Tony and then left, forgetting to ask them for a picture. As a consolation prize Tony gave me a Comic Vine button which is honestly one of my favorite things I got from Wondercon this year, no joke. Also another Viner dressed as Ravager was excited about finding Tony which was great to see.
The only thing I had really set my heart on this year was making it to the Adventure Time panel. It was the thing I had the most fun with last year and I even got a sweet print which I got sketched on by Andy Ristaino. This year, I found out that there would be an Adventure Time signing so I resolved myself to a long wait and potentially missing the panel. I got in line about 90-120 minutes before the autograph signing and I was still behind about 30 people. It was worth it because in line during the signing they gave out a sweet print by Andy Ristaino for the staff to sign. In total the people signing were Andy Ristaino (Storyboard Artist/Character Designer), Kent Osborne (Voice of Joshua/Head Writer), Jack Pendarvis (Voice of Rootbeerguy/Writer), Jesse Moynihan (Storyboard Artist), Steve Wolfhard (Storyboard Artist/Writer/Designer Jake's Pups), Adam Muto (Exec Producer/Artist/Writer) and an empty chair meant for Pendleton Ward! I brought the print they gave out last year which Andy had already drawn on. I think he was amazed that I would bring something from last year and he drew me a Finn to match the Flame Princess from 2013. I had a feeling that the other artists would enjoy working with more space than afforded on the new print so I got amazing doodles from everyone, including Jack who said, "I can't draw, but here goes". I take pride in having a one of a kind specialty drawing.
This is my prize of the show. It was actually really convenient that Andy drew Finn and Flame Princess because nearby in another booth Jessica DiCicco and Jeremy Shada were also doing signing. They were both incredibly gracious and Jeremy actually had quite a few nice things to say about my print. Jeremy called out T.V. and how he likes to play games. He also said "Whatevs" just like in the show, so naturally. They were really nice and I'm glad I was able to meet them.
From the signing I rushed to where the panel was held and got in line that was a pre-line for the actual line to get into the panel room. It didn't help that the panel before was probably the most popular panel of the convention (Batman 75 anniversary). However, 90 minutes later I was inside the room and able to enjoy the showing. Penn Ward was there after being caught up in traffic and they did a special "radio" drama as well as showing multiple clips from the upcoming season. It was another fantastic panel.
The panel right after was the Bob's Burgers panel. Loren Bouchard, Dan Mintz, Kristen Schaal, John Roberts, Larry Murphy. This was my surprise of the show because it was probably the panel I enjoyed the most. The cast was there just having fun and making jokes, it was almost an improv show. They even broke into song singing lyrics to the theme song about half way in. I have to admit, Dan Mintz' deadpan delivery made me laugh so much during the panel. I hope his dream comes true and one day he is recognized by voice when calling customer support. There were also surprising insights into where the character voices came from.
I spent way too much money this year, but I really love the stuff that I got. These are the first prints that I've bought and I'm in the processing of hanging them (despite how expensive that is). I'll probably go through everything because its still not that much but I wanted to highlight the artists.
Rob Osborne Prints, I had seen his work randomly on the internet before seeing his booth at Wondercon. I'm not sure I can describe why I love the piece as much as I do. Its a combination of the dot style and the throwback to old romance comics. I had a lovely conversation with him where I babbled randomly about how much I loved it. I am very tempted to transfer it to a larger frame with a proper mat.
He also had these amazing spider-man prints in an updated style that I wish I had gotten. Maybe next year.
While wandering Artist Alley I met Mike Vasquez. He had quite a few mash up prints as well as custom drawn covers. I was drawn to his booth due to his Adventure Time stuff but when I saw that he had Stickers for only $1 a piece I went a little crazy. I picked up "a few" symbiote related things and he told me all about Mania when I asked. He is a really cool artist and I'm probably going to get more stickers from when again whenever I have the chance.
I was really drawn to the Extra Curricular Activies booth because I saw another print labelled "Business Cat". Their booth also had a nice old time Japanese shop set up with the prints laid out on shelves. I love the artstyle and something about animals sitting down to a nice piece of cake was the right kind of whimsical for me. The other prints were similarly fantastic with Cats in tanks and a Tiger with an ice cream cone. I hope they make that into a print someday cause I'll buy that as well.
The Marcy/Marshall prints were the first things I bought in Wondercon 2013 and quite surprisingly the Chie print was the first thing I bought this year as well. Orcish illustrations opened the floodgates and all my money disappeared. I ended up framing the Vampire prints so I thought I would just throw that in there.
This is the adventure time print I got for waiting in line at the autograph signing. Its a larger print that Andy Ristaino actually had with him last year. I'm in the process of getting frames for everything and then I can open a mini Ristaino gallery.
And lastly, buttons! I ended up checking out quite a few shops for their buttons. I want to transfer them to my backpack but I'm worried about them falling off so they're going to wait till my next convention. I am absurdly excited about having a Comic Vine button though. My friend put me to shame though, at the end of the day she had acquired roughly 20 buttons to my 3 I picked up on Sunday.
I didn't take nearly as many Cosplay pictures this year but Norman Chan has got you covered.
And that's the end of this 2nd Wondercon blog. Though it was no less inane and rambly than the first one, I'll still continue to write these as I attend. Here's hoping for a Comic Con 2014 entry down the line. Thanks for reading/looking at the pictures!