There's a certain thrill you get when you attend an event with a purpose. You have a reason to be there other than just as a watchful attendee. You actually have to pay attention to everything, have a critical eye on events that would otherwise be overlooked, and not be afraid to say you don't like something. Not that Wondercon hinges on my opinion, but some random, inquiring mind want to know what this experience is like from all angles.
This was the first year I was able to spend an entire Friday at Wondercon, and I was mildly disappointed, and hugely impressed. I vaguely remember the layout of the show floor from previous years, and this year, it felt massive. It had to have been bigger by half. The number of vendors, artists, and attractions looked to be up by half. Sadly, the meet and greet tables were of the same flair as previous years, which means that I'm fairly uninterested. I think I'm just being a snob when it comes to celebrity.
This year, I am attending Wondercon as Press, and this means an opportunity to visit the press rooms. But that's for tomorrow. Instead, I found that the press badge got you noticed by the comic book creators. These creators would stop me in my tracks, ask me about what I did, and tell me about their work. It was surprising. This was all new to me. A recluse now had to step out of his comfort zone and interact with the people. And what lovely people they were too. I suppose they had an angle, but I didn't mind.
I spent two hours on the show floor and only covered half of it. So much to see and do. And that's with several of the exhibitors not being in attendance.
One of the biggest reasons to go to a convention like this is to attend the panels they have throughout the weekend. And on a Friday, it was easy to tell that they were catoriing to the dedicated. The people who would take the day off from work to attend a comic book convention. And those who were willing to take the plunge were duly rewarded.
My first panel of the day was the Batman panel, which ended up having very little to do with Batman. The writers and artists for Batman/Superman, Gotham Acadamy, Batgirl, and Grayson were in attendance to tell us about the latest issue of their individual comics as well as hints to what would be happening in Convergence event. For Gotham Academy, it was all about the arrival of Batman, for Batgirl, it was her journey to accepting her identity, for Grayson, it was Dick's transition from...well, I don't really know, I don't follow Grayson. Lastly, the panelists teased a Black Canary book coming after Convergence. If you're a Bat-family fan, there's plenty to look forward to.
My next stop was a nostalgia panel, celebrating 1985, a seminal year for movies. With 2015 being the year of Back to the Future 2 and the promise of hoverboard and dehydrated pizza, I thought it would be fun to hear a discussion of the movies of my childhood. From 16 Candles to Legend to the Goonies, the panel of people I had never heard of, discussed all the things they loved and hated from the films of 1985. It was a pleasant walk through memory lane through a number of movies I haven't actually seen.
As if I didn't get enough of this panel and movies, I go my next event all about the geek films coming out this year. I'll spare you the details as there were no trailers, no additional details, just film buffs giving you the reasons they think these movies are worth our time. Sadly, the same could not be said about the panel.
Finally, I ended my day with a premiere of the new “Batman vs. Robin” animated movie before it was released on Bluray this month. I don't know what I was expecting, especially since I was not a fan of “Son of Batman”. The animation and voice overs were all wrong to me, but if you're wondering what the story is all about, then I'll tell you. It's a Court of Owls story, which I thought was pretty cool to see, and I guess the rest would be spoilers. I didn't make it through half the movie.
I should actually take the last paragraph back, because the days doesn't really end at Wondercon after the panels are over. Sure there are after parties and there are Cosplay gatherings, and maybe even a trip to Downtown Disney, but if you really want to embrace the full Wondercon Experience, you have to go to Ten Forward. Oh yes, Ten Forward is a lounge for folks to relax, get some refreshments, and talk about the day's events. The establishment is manned by non other than Guinan her self. Well, at least a cosplayer by the name of Pam who embodied the Star Trek persona.
Of course, I had no idea this existed, but luckily I had podcast co-host, and overall convention veteran, Shelley Rossell to help me out and properly show me the ropes. I was fortunate to have her with me the entire weekend, to help me navigate Wondercon 2015.