Today was the second day of Wondercon at the Anaheim convention center. This was my first day going as I was at the Roseanne premiere yesterday (I mean how could I miss that). It was a con as usual, and being Saturday, it was busy. Many a cosplayer lined the front of the building as well as the show floor.
I found this year to be a bit confusing even though I had a “map” in the guide book. Many of the vendors were the same, some were new. It seemed however as if they had moved vendors around a bit, and that’s okay. Just try to remember where you saw that awesome item you wanted because you just might spend an hour trying to find it again.
I always like to spend time in the small press area. It’s where I discover new comics, new stories and new characters to love. Or hate. I do read some main stream comics, but I have always been a big supporter of small press.
Besides there being a lot of people there today, traffic and especially parking was a disaster. Honestly the extra money I paid for a hotel for one night was totally worth getting around the parking debacle. This happens every year. This year though it seemed they had more roads closed off, routes re-routed. The pedestrians weren’t being funneled by the police, so if you were driving and needed to turn, you had to wait for all 50+ people to walk across. Remember we are also dealing with the Disney Crowd.
If you are coming tomorrow, remember, it closes earlier than it has been. It closes at 5. Come early. If you see something, buy it. Don’t pass it by if you an afford it. Check out every booth. I’ve found countless things I never would have found if I didn’t stop, have a chat and pick up a book, comic or toy.
Most importantly, have fun!
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Yesterday was the first day of the Ready Player One Challenge in Hollywood. For those of you that don’t know, Ready Player One is a book by Ernest Cline that came out in 2011.
As a gamer I naturally read the book, and at the time I had no idea it would become a film by Stephen Spielberg a few years later.
The experience is 20 to 30 minutes long, with many photo ops and opportunities to take photos. In fact it’s encouraged. The retro feel to the experience brought back a lot of childhood memories for me and I loved it.
In the experience you are tasked with finding keys on your way to the Oasis. You are encouraged to play, search and take a leap. It’s fun and looks amazing.
Yes, they built the stacks where Wade Watts calls home. However they do not take everyone into the stacks. It is here that I believe there is a Virtual Reality experience.
All in all it is a great experience, reminiscent of a Comic Con experience. When you’re in line Fandango is out there asking trivia questions where you can win a multitude of prizes. I personally won 2 Fandango tickets to see the film. One person I was with won a hat. They made it fun from start to finish. If you get a chance and are in the Hollywood, California area, take advantage of this free experience. They do take walk ups, and you can also secure a specific time on the website, ReadyPlayerOneChallenge.com
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The Long Beach Comic Expo is an expo in its own category. You never know what you will see or find there. Year after year I’ve attended and each year I’m more impressed. This year I attended all three days and I found some of the greatest comic books, met some great creative people and saw some out of this world cosplay.
These are just a handful of the cosplays I’ve seen and just had to snap a picture. Conventions are where you will see the most interesting people, creative. You can be whomever you want. That is what keeps me coming back.
This year I found that the small press booths had a lot of excellent comics to read, which is at some times a nice break from the mainstream comics that everyone reads.
Each Expo or Comic Convention is an opportunity to enjoy and be who you are without feeling any judgement. For that I am thankful, and I hope that each venue continues to grow and add different creative outlets to their shows. I know so many people who enjoy them. I’ve also introduced many people to these and they love it. They had no idea that they weren’t alone in their love of Star Wars, or The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker.
We are everywhere. We thank you for coming each year and look forward to Long Beach Comic Con which is September 8th to the 9th of 2018. I’ll be there. I’m more into the comic book, but I still have chances to see and experience things that I don’t in my day to day life.
If you get a chance to go to a convention or an expo or even to introduce someone to a new world, this is the way to do it.
I have been going to Wondercon since it came to Anaheim a few years back. This year I personally thought it was a bigger convention than in past years. I’m the type of person who goes to conventions for comic books. I go with a list of obscure comics by number of what books I’m looking to read.
There were plenty of vendors to suit even the pickiest of collectors. The badge pick up went rather smooth for me. I went on Thursday, the day before the convention began.
The variety of food trucks in between the Hilton and Marriott hotels was great. They had some of the best food trucks. They each had their own niche with a lot of choice.
The only gripe I had, and I think most attendees will agree with me is on parking. Parking was an absolute disaster. If you could find a spot consider yourself lucky. If you had a Disneyland annual pass, even luckier. Next year Wondercon has to come up with a better parking scenario. If they do that it would make it so much more enjoyable.