Words by Tim Wong
For many years, I have been attending popular arts conventions such as San Diego Comic Con and Anime Expo that were local to Southern California where I have met many friends that share the same interests and some that work in the industry. WonderCon is an event that is part of the Comic Con organization along with the Alternative Press Expo (APE) both which were native to the Bay Area until they decided to move WonderCon to Anaheim this year. Of course, I had to check it out even though San Diego’s Anime Conji was also occurring during the same weekend, but since I had attend Anime Conji last year, I wish to give WonderCon a chance to see if it was worth going to. My attendance consisted of all three days which were mostly for going with different friends whom were also attending the show. On Day 1, I walked around for maybe 2 hours and left after finishing the show. Day 2 has a panel which I wanted to see, but failed to see due to the massively long lines. The panel featured Sir Ridley Scott and Charlize Theron speaking on their upcoming movie Prometheus which looks amazing with me being a fan of Scott’s movies and the Alien franchise. Day 3 was pretty much just reviewing the show again, but I can’t say I was impressed. There wasn’t much to do there, but I guess it was nice to have some breathing room without the massive crowds that horde around at Comic Con.
Walking in, I was met with the usual display of comic posters, but not nearly as grand of Comic Con.
There was a couple upcoming game releases being promoted specifically Kid Icarus, Street Fighter vs. Tekken, and Raccoon City.
Kotobukiya was also present to display their figures and their ice cube tray line featuring Han Solo in carbonite and other Star Wars themed items.
Their figures are impressive as ever.
Also at the Kotobukiya booth was the usual green R2D2 unit which is fully functional that moves around and makes the beeps and whirls of the real thing.
There were definitely more than one R2D2 unit there and apparently there is even a club that constructs them.
This one even featured the drink serving tray from Jabba’s sail barge in Return of the Jedi.
This silver one had a camera built in that displayed what the unit could “see” on the monitor behind.
Another big thing as conventions is the movie props and other similar collectibles.
Over the years, the anime culture has continued to grown in the American comic conventions and become a massive part of the culture.
A figure depicting an anime girl personification of Hello Kitty.
There is literally a Hello Kitty item for everything, so why should cooking ware be any exception?
For a couple years now, the Bandai booth has become a normal sight at shows with the sleek and glamorous displays of Gundam models and other collectible figures. I always find it enjoyable to see all the handcrafted models all painted and displayed in their finished forms.
Tiger and Bunny figures
Kamen Rider figures
This “Soft Kitty” would play the “Soft Kitty” song from the popular sitcom Big Bang Theory. I cant’ say it was really as awesome as it sounds because the price tag was high and the quality was low. The audio was pretty much butchered and hard to hear.
Green Lantern lanterns for sale.
Another big part of conventions are the artists that come out to promote and sell their artwork. One of the artists I have taken a liking to is Camilla d’Errico. She has some really interesting work whose artist style I find nice.
Another artist caught my eye with this bad ass drawing featuring Spiderman with a camera.
Common sights of cosplayers at these shows
Some cosplayers really go all out with their costumes like this impressive Optimus Prime. Too bad he only had the upper torso done.
According to this cosplayer, she was the actual face model for the character in Mass Effect.
After pretty all conventions, I end day by going out to eat with my friends. Two of the days featured eating at Slater’s 50/50 and one at Castle Korean BBQ.
Slater’s March Burger of the month.
KBBQ in K-Town.