WonderCon has come and gone again to Anaheim, CA. This was my third year attending and each year of WonderCon is even better than the last! Of course, one of my and everyone else’s favorite parts of WonderCon are the vast array of Cosplayers! Young and Old, DC and Marvel, Anime and Video Games, thousands of cosplayers coming together for the love of the convention! Below I have the full gallery of my photos taken during WonderCon, as well as a link to my Facebook page with the album! If you see yourself or a friend in the photos, please feel free to share or download them! ALL I ask is that you please mention me/my blog/my pages of where you got the photo from! I am still an amateur and plus having a passion for it, I won’t charge or restrict anyone’s photos if they are in it! My simple request is a mention/tag/shoutout of my page! Hope you all enjoy!
It is that time of year again folks! The Comic-Con season is in full swing with Cons across the country, from Seattle, Austin, New York, and now reaching Southern California!
San Diego Comic-Con’s sister convention, WonderCon, is taking place in Anaheim, CA the weekend of
April 18-20, 2014, (yes Easter Weekend), at the Anaheim Convention Center across from Disneyland.
WonderCon has shifted from Northern California, in the SanFran/Oakland area, and over the years the fans up North have had quite some words to Comic Con International (CCI) about bringing it back; all I will say is that WonderCon was up there for 24 years, and has just recently moved to Southern California, only since 2011. So quit complaining!
Any who, this post will be all about the tips, hints, secrets-of-the-trade, and advice for WonderCon attendees! Everything from panels, autographs, exclusives, hotels, transportation and parking, local eats, and more! Whether it is your first time, third time, or tenth time, I hope you enjoy the read and take something with you!
So far, WonderCon is sold out for Saturday and three day badges; Friday and Sunday are still available, but unsure how much is still available; CCI members had the opportunity to volunteer as well, but that is already closed!
Helpful hint for 2015, make sure to have your CCI account registered and check back for volunteer opportunities, a simple 3-hour shift each day gets you the rest of the Convention for free! On the bright side, WonderCon is a very reasonably priced Comic-Con, only $50 for the weekend! As compared to SDCC which is about $175 for four days . . . but it is all about perspective and the price is very well worth it.
For the first few tips, let’s talk about the Convention itself and what 2014 has to offer, or what changes were made!
one change in exhibits is Gentle Giant, (for the collectors); I am a huge Gentle Giant fan and collector, but unfortunately, they will not be having a booth this year! Some other notable companies exhibiting this year will include:
20th Century Fox (1468)
YES! Anime (1438)
Superhero Stuff (526)
Nerdist Industries (1410)
DC Entertainment (401)
Dark Horse Comics (519)
Things From Another World [TFAW] (431)
ACME Archives (121)
Cheap Graphic Novels (726)
LOOT Crate (175)
The list above are just a few of my favorites I return to each year! And below are the more interests and hobbies incorporated, including
501st Legion (1187)
R2 Builders Club (1191)
WALL-E Builders (1189)
Agents of C.O.S.P.L.A.Y. (F-17)
Mandalorian Mercs (F-01)
*Check http://www.comic-con.org/wca for full listing*
What else is there other than booths, exhibits, and astromech builders? There are autographs! Movie Stars! Celebrities! Writers! Artists!
Each year WonderCon brings in a wide array of Comic-Book stars for fans to enjoy, whether it be comic book sketches, signing comics, meeting your favorite star to sign an autograph, or just chat and get to know them! In past Conventions, I have met stars such as Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) , Sara Underwood (G4TVs Attack of the Show), Ray Park (Darth Maul), The Soup Nazi (Seinfeld), Lou Ferrigno (Hulk), Jordan Hembrough (The Toy Hunter, Travel Chanel) and many more!
This year’s notables include
Jim Lee (DC Comics)
Once Upon A Time Signing (Saturday, 10am)
Larry Thomas (Soup Nazi)
Claudia Wells (Jennifer, Back To The Future)S
Liam Mcintyre, Ellen Hollman, and Stephen Dunlevy (Spartacus)
Matt BATT Banning (AA-167)
Ale Garza (AA-190)
Matt Hawkins (AA276)
Tom Hodges (AA076)
Be sure to check all their schedules, signing times, panels, and more for opportunities to meet them! *Check http://www.comic-con.org/wca for full listing*
Now onto programming; for this section I won’t list my favorites or notables, as there are just so many panels and options to choose from, each person really has to take a look at their schedule. My best advice for this, if it is a larger room holding a larger, popular panel, get in line EARLY.
I volunteered for WonderCon 2013 and my shift ended about an hour prior to a Pacific Rim panel with Guillermo del Toro . . . and they closed the line! Though WonderCon is not as big and bold as SDCC, do not underestimate the power of the Con! WonderCon has been growing in popularity year after year, just as SDCC, and especially with Saturday passes sold out so soon, it will be quite a busy year!
Now for some tips and helpful hints to make WonderCon a successful event!
I won’t be including any info on hotels or lodging, as it is pretty close to the date and you should already have a place to stay! But, I will say, if it is quite a distance from the Convention Center, ask your hotel or place of stay if a trolley or shuttle is available to and from the center; parking will not only be a hassle but eat up more spending money from your wallet and not let you splurge as much in the convention!
So here are the tips of WonderCon! (These tips have been cumulated over the years of personal Comic-Con experiences, as well as tips gathered from Tony B Kim (@Crazy4ComicCon) Shawn Marshall (@The_Con_Fluence) and the SDCC Unofficial Blog! (SD_Comic_Con)
1) HAVE FUN! I can not embrace or say this enough, just have fun! Whether it is your first time, last time, you cosplay, you go as a movie buff or comic junkie, a collector or just a patron checking the day out, have fun! Nobody wants a Depressed Darth walking around
2) Get there early! If you have panels to attend, people to see, items to buy, get there early! The earlier the better, and if you didn’t know, Comic Conventions have become worse than Disneyland for lines . . . speaking of lines . . .
3) Lines will become your most treasured asset! Be friendly, talk to strangers make new friends, meet new people; be sure your electronics are charged and connected to WiFi if available! And be sure to hop in the correct line! Don’t know how many times lines will merge or split or be a cluster of geeks, causing someone to lose their spot or their line at all! And sometimes people just do not know what line they are in!
4) Plan Plan Plan! Plan your days, create a schedule, map out the Convention floor, download apps, print a map, anything to be sure you know where you are going, know when you will go, who will be there, and what to do!
5) TWITTER!! Twitter is a life-saver, an oracle, and simply works magic during Conventions! Follow the studios, companies, vendors, and stars attending the show for up to the minute updates, surprise appearances, giveaways, freebies, scheduling announcements and more!
6) Business Card; whether you have a blog, retail, shoot photos, buy, sell, or just to mingle, business cards are a fast, simple way to exchange information! Be sure to include only the information you want for people to find you via social media or other platforms of your choice!
7) Food! I can not urge you enough not to eat inside the Convention Center! The food is expensive, low quality, and not worth the wait! WonderCon 2013 introduced food trucks lined up outside the center in between the two hotels, and those were a huge hit! Great food, great prices, and gives you some fresh air outside the event! Also near by, there are plenty of fast food places, sit down restaurants, and even Downtown Disney is walking distance from the center!
7.5) this will tie into tip #7 regarding food; though I urge not to eat inside the center, don’t rely on constantly eating out as well! You might be sitting in a panel or line for hours, forget what time it is and forget to eat, or even work up an appetite throughout the day! I always bring a small backpack with water bottles, snack bars, apples, bananas, and/or homemade sandwiches like pb&j. These are great for on the go, sitting in a panel, or just taking a side break to people watch!
8) Storage. Backpacks are an important item that will house your foods, purchases, or other items you may bring or obtain during the day. But be sure not to put cell phones, wallets, or other items of importance in their as pick-picketers could slide in and swoop them out! Have pants with buttons or zippers on the pockets, or even wear a fanny pack! And no you will not be embarrassed or look like a fool, it is normal!
Also if you collect posters, bring or find a poster tube to keep them protected.
As for comics, books, and others, I suggest a binder, folder, or home-made cardboard-comic-book-protector to protect comics from bending! I saw the homemade protector at Long Beach comic Con last year; simply take two pieces of cardboard (small enough to carry around) tape or staple in a “pocket” and clamp them shut! Good for a few comics but still works!
9) Bring a Camera!! This will be a life-long memory so be sure not to miss any of it! Have it charged, bring your charger and extra batteries, memory cards memory cards and memory cards! Have it strapped around your neck or around your arm, and you are set!
10) Wear comfortable shoes and clothing! There will be walking, walking, and more walking! (No running allowed in the halls!) Be agile, quick, and comfy!
11) Deodorant! you know why.
12) Cosplayers: ALL weapons are checked! In the past there have been tags or ties wrapped around triggers or handles that could launch a projectile, that could be the case this year as well; some swords are also tagged to their holster or belts, but do be careful and courteous! And be sure to get rest, hydration, and be nice to the fans!
13) Fans photographing cosplayers or with cosplayers: BE RESPECTFUL!
I have cosplayed in the past and plan to cosplay this year as well, and I can not tell you how much disrespect is seen in and out of the costume. Guys: BE RESPECTFUL to the ladies! Do NOT grab their butts, chests, do not fondle or harass or attack them, and do not make obscene or provocative gestures! Sure there will be a few ladies fun and outgoing and explicit such as that, but do not ensue or start it! Politely ask for a photo with the cosplayer, and snap! Same for those muse photographing them, there will be others wanting photos too, be patient, respectful, and allow others space to take a shot as well.
14) Check outside offers and programs too. Local eateries will usually give discounts or promos if you show your WonderCon badge! Some will give you freebies or other offers as well. A lot of places will continue WonderCon or hold special events outside of the convention center so be on the lookout through social media and the convection days for what’s to come!
As we approach WonderCon, I will update and adjust my lists and tips for more information and make sure you are all readily available!
For more experienced members of the Comic-Con family, be sure to follow them on Social Media:
Tony B Kim
Enjoy the show!
Wel well, it has been quite some time since I have written any film reviews, and, honestly, I think the hiatus was quite well deserved, because the only film I have felt the need or drive to write a review for has just been seen: Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Sure I have seen Thor: The Dark World, Man of Steel (which came a few months late for me), and a few others, with college, work, family, friends, it has been hard enough for me to even see as many films as I would like or am used to. ANYWAYS, on to The Winter Soldier! First off . . . 10/10 TEN OUT OF TEN Not just a “5 star film” a knockout, 10 out of 10 is my score for this film! A MUST see for any fan! Or even anyone who likes to go see a [kick-ass] [action-packed] [jaw-dropping] [heart-racing] [suspense-filled] [government-corruption-revelations] film! Now, just as i was sharing my comments on Facebook, someone shared with me their opinion that ‘It’s not as good as The Avengers‘; well, in my opinion to counter that, first, Avengers is in a whole different class of films; one that probably will not be touched until Age of Ultron; and second, for stand alone superhero/MARVEL flicks, I think this one tops the charts! Right there with Iron Man, and Dark Knight Rises (again, my opinion) with the level of ‘super-hero-aspect’ and emotional drive of the film . . .well more towards Iron Man 3 for the emotions but you get the idea. So, what makes The Winter Soldier such a beloved film? Well first, it’s Captain America and MARVEL . . . MARVEL has been continuously stepping up their game, film after film whether stand alone or team-films, each has it’s own story connecting to not just the previous in that line, but to each character and sub plot. But still, you might ask what is it about The Winter Soldier? It compels the audience to grip and contemplate the sequence, the moment, the action of the attack (or defense). It shows a greater ’emotional’ story than did Iron Man 3, as well as The Dark Knight Rises. Rogers, still adjusting to the affects of his new era, his new life, is stricken with the constant reminder of his old pal Bucky, his trust with S.H.I.E.L.D. and what he is doing as “Captain America”. This film is able to capture the true essence of not only a hero, but one who is a soldier, other soldiers in the line of duty (i.e. Falcon, Fury, Black Widow) and the villains who, well, I won’t spoil anything, so you will have to see for yourself! I will say that the villain, obviously The Winter Soldier, has a strong impact in the film’s emotional aspect as well. As for the action, fighting, kick-assery, it was quite pleasant to the Comic-Book fan! The movements and choreographs of each fight sequence were fast, sharp, edgy, martial-arts style, and just kicked-ass left and right! I was NOT able to capture any random bodies flying off screen from a ‘punch’ or any stray bullets apparently hitting anyone, so either they were very, very minimal and/or minute, or there were none at all! Great sign! Each character is given a unique fighting style, a unique set of attacks, and a portrayal of their weaknesses or points of lag, so to speak. The attacks and defenses by Cap and his shield were thrilling and Vibranium-hitting fun! Black Widow, as usual, has her smooth, crisp, and flexible attacks, pinpointing each hit and kick; Falcon enters the arena with some air-attacks and agile moves, and Fury is just Fury! The acting is flawless, usually these films will be dulled by one or two minor rolls, or even one big roll causing a halt in the drama and sequence, but The Winter Soldier had a well rounded, fundamental cast. With returning stars such as Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, and Samuel L Jackson, as well as some newbies like Anthony Mackle, Emily VanCamp, and Robert Redford, all bring an ensemble of every aspect of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its enemies. While some superhero films stray from comics or other story lines, The Winter Soldier stays true following the first film, The Avengers, onto Age of Ultron, as well as the regular comic-book line. Unfortunately, I have not read much of the MARVEL comics in line with the films, but a good friend of mine whom I saw the film with, updated me of each major plot-point and whether it aligned more or less with the comics; overall, the majority of the story was in line and comic-book fans should not have to worry! Just remember, IT IS A MOVIE! The studios always like to have their way with things so don’t go just to criticize what should and should not be in the film, go to enjoy the hero and the film and the comic frame! The story has points of suspense, whether it be death, destruction, plot-twists, or whatever else you can think of; it also has enough humor in it to get a chuckle and even a good laugh! (Unlike Iron Man 3 which tried way to hard to be more of a comedy) Quite honestly, the only thing I wish they would have included more of or emphasized more would be Cap’s sort of ‘love interest’ or relationships; Romanoff mentions how Cap should ask out this nurse or that girl in accounting, and as the film goes on you see a small scene of Cap making a subtle move on a neighbor who is a nurse; I won’t spoil anything as it turns out to play a big part, but just some more side interests or side roles would be nice! It would add more to the emotional drive or aspect as well, and show the differences in Steve Rogers’ attributes. But like I said, a minute plot point that would have been nice, but did not ruin the film because it was not included. that should just about do it for my review! Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the next stepping stone until Avengers: Age of Ultron, and they even let you know at the end of the film! Oh by the way, there are TWO scenes after the film, one before and one after the credits! Don;t even think about leaving until you see both! AND Stan Lee makes his usual cameo appearance, do not fear, no spoilers here of either the scenes or cameo! A 10/10, plain awesome, kick-ass film, loved every moment of it and Age of Ultron is SURE to please after this! Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SlILk2WMTI