written by Heather Finley (@heatherfinley)
Let me take you back for a minute to pre-Wondercon. I was excited to write a story about all the exciting things, people I see, hopefully sing along to some Dr Horrible. Awe, the blissful calm before the storm.
Fast-forward to Friday morning where I’m standing open mouthed watching a sea of people flood into the Anaheim Convention Center. I had not mentally prepared myself for this big of an event.
For those not familiar, Wondercon is a part of the Comic Con International family. It has been around since 1987. It has moved around California but has settled into Anaheim since 2012. Unlike it’s larger counterpart, Wondercon is geared largely towards the comic industry with very few celebrity and entertainment guest.
Based on the fact that there were so few celebrity guest, I was under the assumption Wondercon would be something akin to the local indie comic shows I have attended in the past... I was wrong. From start to finish the con was packed full of people. I was stuck between the Aspen Comic and Zenescope Entertainment tables answering questions and selling nonstop.
Anyone that thinks the comic convention industry is becoming too saturated with pop culture needs to attend this event. I’ve never felt so surrounded by people that were excited to learn about new comics, check out new games, and let their nerd flag fly. It was truly refreshing to see that it doesn’t take Norman Reedus (don’t get me wrong, I love him enough to have Boondock Saint ink to prove it) and Matt Smith to draw a massive crowd. I left the con completely exhausted and ‘drunk’ on excitement from selling my favorite comics all day long.
On the last day of the con I finally got a chance to walk the floor and check things out. Unfortunately, this was not an entirely good experience. I was in cosplay this day (Sudana from Charismagic) which may have been some factor in this but I’m not entirely sure. Two things I wanted to do was find a couple of back issues I’m missing from Morning Glories and find a few comics to bring home to my dad. I stopped at a booth and started digging through a box. The guy working there approach me. He seemed friendly until he asked, “Have you read any comics before?” I was dressed as a not well known character and digging through back issues. Does that really strike you as someone that doesn’t read comics? Regardless, it came off as rude which made me move on immediately.
The next table, though nicer, would not stop explaining particular comics to me. I tried explaining I was a comic writer that was in fact working at this show and that I was picking up some comics I was familiar with for me dad. They completely ignored what I was saying and kept going over comics like I hadn't just said I already owned them and loved them. I’ve dealt with a few cases of “nerd-bashing” during interviews but this was the first time I felt like people to my face were judging me as a non-nerd based on my looks. It was very disappointing and I very much hope these were contained incidences and that no one else had to deal with this during the weekend.
Overall, in my short time walking around, I thought the convention was well laid out. There was a huge artist alley which is always great to see at shows. Most important to me, food was very easy to find everyday thanks to hotels with food courts and food trucks parked outside. If I had to rank the con, I would give it a 9 out of 10. The missing point was for the weird way I was treated the last day. Also, every staff member I met throughout the show was very helpful and friendly. That is a huge plus when you are working at a cons.
Huge thanks to everyone that came and said hi throughout the con. Looking forward to meeting more of you at future conventions!
ED NOTE: For more photos check out our Wonder Con 2014 Album with photos from Manuel Gonzales (make sure to LIKE us on FACEBOOK too!)