This past weekend, WonderCon was in Anaheim, California, and I made my way there and it was absolutely worth it. WonderCon has a San Diego Comic Con vibe, but nowhere near the crowds or intensity. I was able to talk to just about every vendor at their booths; while this was good for me I could definitely see this being worrisome for them. Not just because they had to talk to this weirdo, but because several said as much in regards to business being pretty light.
So this post is for them, I hope this gets the vendors even just a few more hits on their sites. Depending on how long this post gets, it may be split up due to all the photos.
I’ll start off with the expected booths. Marvel’s spot was right by the first entrance into the place. They had it set up so you could take pictures holding Thor’s Mjolnir or Captain America’s shield. My favorite was a guy dressed as Tony Stark drinking and having his picture taken; he needs no shield or hammer.
DC’s booth was very busy; I only ever got a look at it from the outside. The above picture is from Sunday, usually a dead day at other conventions I’ve gone to, and it was still packed. They had a green screen set up to put fans into videos. Everyone was commenting on the Before Watchmen covers, which most of the crowd seemed against.
I noticed a lack of Image and Dark Horse, though I did see IDW and Archaia, the first being more traditional in having artists and writers on hand, while the latter was set up to sell plenty of books. SLG had a combination of book store and artists/writers on hand. I was never quite sure who was there; they seemed to have a different person sitting there to sign things every time I walked by.
Now comes the area I spent most of my time in, the Small Press and Artist Alley. This is where I found creators I was familiar with and brand new to me side by side.
Kel McDonald, creator of webcomics such as Sorcery 101, As We Were, and several others, was the booth I headed straight toward. I’ve read Sorcery 101 for years. It has a supernatural story line and it’s got great characters, art, and has an interesting take on different monsters. She had a free collection of sketches she’d done of Dresden Files characters as well, so it was nice to see her. Go check out her other comics with other artists on her site. NOW! Go!
While talking with Kel, she said that if I liked Sorcery 101 that I should check out Skin Deep, the booth next to her. Skin Deep is by Kory Bing and is a comic about mythical creatures living hidden amongst humanity. I just started reading this and I’m really enjoying it, get over there now, this article is effectively a reading list. What caught my eye as I was leaving was Sfé m.’s Orange Octopus gender zine, a collection of stories, comics, and poems about gender. I highly recommend it. I bought some to show to Cal-State Fullerton’s Queer Straight Alliance.
This booth, Glam Rock Gorilla and Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, was where my friend Lyssie (who will be the photographer of some of the pictures toward the end of these WonderCon articles) and I spent much of our down time of the convention. We had heard through Twitter that they would be there and immediately made a mad dash to find them. We were not disappointed, they were fun and drew us many wonderful pieces. This is my favorite, you may want to turn away now if you are faint of heart or are capable of pregnancy:
I was already a fan of Manly Guys for its take on manliness and the humor involved, but was new to Glam Rock Gorilla and was amazed with the art and story concepts. I want to go to Santa’s, and if you read it, you may want to as well. The story is just starting out so you can catch up real quick. Again, go forth and read, you can come back to this when you’re done.
I made my way just outside of Artist Alley and Small Press to find another person I’d wanted to see, Kris Straub, creator of such webcomics as Starslip, Chainsawsuit, and co-creator of Blamimations and Kris and Scott’s Scott and Kris Show. He’s also the creator of the internet scary story Candle Cove. You know that story about the kids’ show that never existed? This guy made that. I’ve decided to make it a personal mission to get it known very well that THIS GUY created Candle Cove. If you remember Candle Cove, you should know Kris Straub made it. We talked about how Candle Cove (created by Kris Straub) has become its own Candle Cove (which was originally created by Kris Straub) in regards to coming to life in the imaginations of others, but at the same time other people try to use his work wholesale without credit and they try to make money off his work with nothing going to him. This stuff is far too common and needs to stop. Kris Straub deserves to, at the very least, be known for his work, it’s a story worth being known for. So here’s to you, Kris Straub (creator of Castle Cove). Go check his work out.
Bare Bones Studios actually grabbed my attention by telling me they’d give me a free action figure. The figure was made of popsicle sticks and a styrofoam ball, I loved it and they even drew a little face on it for me. They also sold this:
The Shadow Prophesy was regarded as the “worst comic in the world.” It has walls of text and a story not worth mentioning. They said that if I liked it, they would give me back my dollar; I never got my dollar back. The guys at this booth were funny and they said the comic was written by their friend, who was now in the witness protection program because he made this comic. They had me laughing with their snappy banter, so I knew I had to give them a mention here. So go check them out.
The Monkey Minion Press booth had all sorts of cool posters and pins for sale. The posters were propaganda for the Rebel Alliance and ones using Captain America. The pins were of popular quotes and images from all over pop culture. My prize was that of a crocheted Bob-omb from Mario Bros. fame. It was a steal at $15 for such fine craftsmanship. Go give them some money if you like what they got.
Prism Comics is a LGBT comics company that sells comics with LGBT lead stories and helps with awareness of such issues as bullying. When I mentioned the Cal-State Fullerton Queer Straight Alliance, they gave me free comics on bullying and told me to get in contact, and how any schools or organizations should do the same for such works. They were really nice and had amazing bags and mugs that said Homo Superior on them. That’s a great X-Men/Venture Bros. reference and statement. Check them out.
Alright, I’m realizing that this may have to be split into two separate booth pages since I have about eight more booths to talk about, and still have a cosplayers gallery to show off. So I’ll see you soon with more. Here’s a giant banner of Batman to see you out.