March 21, 2012

WonderCon! 2012 Part 2

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Written by: Dr. Bustos
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Welcome back! There were too many things to talk about and pictures to show to be just one article, so here we are again with more booths, and I’ll talk about the few panels I attended. While many booths I went to were for comics of some type or another, there were a few booths that were mostly stores or group meet up booths, but they all had something that made them something worth talking about.

4th Dimension Entertainment

At the 4th Dimension Entertainment booth they had two comics that I’ve been reading for awhile, that I think could always use more folks looking at. Lackadaisy by Tracy J. Butler, the comic that visually reminds me of all my favorite cartoons as a kid while telling a story set during prohibition. The art is amazing and I’ve always been a sucker for stories set in the 1920s. You can even learn to draw from it! The Meek by Der-shing Helmer is another beautiful comic that tells three separate stories all in the same world and intertwined. I recently got into this one and am glad I did. The stories are interesting with how they are linked and the world they inhabit. One of the characters is naked often, but not in a sexualized manner, so don’t let the nudity (which is also mostly covered) stop you from enjoying a good story. They had several other comics, but I suggest going to check them out since I’m not as familiar with them, go on get!

Capcom's big old booth of playable stuff.

Capcom had all sorts of games on display to be played. They were really pushing their new Resident Evil game, which they assured us was not 6 but a game that lets you play as the bad guys. I was far more interested in the game you see being played in the lower picture, Dragon’s Dogma. I’d heard of this game about a week prior to going to the convention, and I’d only heard that it was awesome. I was not let down, this is a game that for anyone who is a fan of Dungeon and Dragons or hack and slash should check out. It has far more complexity in a hack and slash game than any other I’ve played. I only got to play as a  fighter, but I’m told that the character creation and class leveling system are impressive. I believe it comes out some time in late May, either way I’ll be picking it up.

They had more than this, so much more.

Ultra Sabers was the place to come to if you wanted a lightsaber. They had custom models along with ready made ones. You can go to their site to get your own. If you have the money you can probably get whatever kind of lightsaber you want, you know besides one with a real energy blade.

Hand carved artificial pumpkins of all your favorite nerdy things.


Alex Wer, the Pumpkin Geek

The Pumpkin Geek was one of the first booths I saw on my walk around the convention floor. I was blown away with the intricate detail. Each pumpkin is a hand carved work of art of whatever your heart desires. If you got the cash, love Halloween, and want some unconventional but beautiful art, get one.


These are the droids some may be looking for. Sorry.

The R2 Builders Club is a group that helps people build their own Astromech droids from Star Wars, such as the famous R2-D2 and the fan created droid for charity R2-KT. They had plenty on display that would talk in all the bleeps, bloops, and chirps any fan is familiar with. They were remote controlled and wandered the area near their booth; it was quite adorable, but nowhere near adorable as…


A baby riding in an R2 unit!

This was adorable, then the baby seemed to be getting kind of cranky and I began to worry. Then Darth Vader showed up and I could no longer take a photo or see what was happening, because the crowd had grown massive to witness a baby in an R2 unit confront the Sith Lord.



The Bay Area Ghostbusters are a group who just really love the Ghostbusters. I can get behind that. I’m pretty sure most people reading this, if you were born in the 80s, dreamed of being a Ghostbuster at one point or another. These folks seemed really cool, had plenty of neat things on display, and were ready to talk to people. I loved their poster of Vigo the Carpathian and the inflated Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. They are a non-profit volunteer group, and any money goes towards different charities. That’s awesome, so they absolutely deserve to get a mention, go check them out. They were on the same aisle as the R2 Builders, so I was effectively surrounded by my childhood favorites.


Space! (Insert your own Portal 2 joke here.) Sorry, again.

The Solar Dynamics Observatory was present to spread the word about all things space going on. They had all sorts of information and events that were coming up nearby. They even had Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, temporary tattoos! That tv screen was always showing something cool, and they were ready to talk to anyone who stopped by. Go check out your local observatory, space is the place after all.


The Goon creator, Eric Powell

Alright, so we’ve come to the end of the booth talk, but now we got a few panels to discuss. This picture is from the Spotlight on Eric Powell; he was there to talk and ask trivia questions. He was funny and able to keep it family friendly, which surprised me since I thought there were no children around until I looked directly behind me to find the only family at the Eric Powell panel. He talked about a new book he was a part of about what it’s like to date a Roller Derby Girl and read the intro to it. During the trivia segment he let it be known that the original plan was to have people get a slice of pie for answering correctly, but the convention wouldn’t allow it for health and safety concerns, so he had to make it that he would eat pie for every question answered correctly. The pie was said to be pretty disappointing, but the fun was in getting to hang out with Powell for an hour. He made fun of the way other panels tease fans with “you’re going to be really blown away in a few months but we can’t talk about it now” style of promoting. He brought up that The Goon movie was still looking for funding to get made; let’s hope that works out.

The other three panels I went to were in the third floor ballroom that is very reminiscent of San Diego Comic Con’s Hall H or Ballroom 20. Here I didn’t take any photos since I could only get a good view of a massive projector screen that was showing what was going on on stage, and the quality wasn’t worth posting here. I sat through the Fringe, Once Upon A Time, and Community panels.

Fringe’s panel had Joshua Jackson and John Noble being funny and charming. Joshua Jackson kept everything rolling and bouncing off of everyone’s comments. They discussed the possibilities of another season and usually used comedy to distract from not spoiling anything. If I’m not going to get to learn anything new about the show, you can entertain me, and they did that with flying colors. The idea that Walter Bishop and Diana Ross had a love child, and that this child is Astrid, was particularly funny, and then the rest of the panel tried to get Joshua Jackson to sing. They had a raffle for 50 winners to get things autographed by Jackson, which while very cool is unfortunate for any crossover in fans between Fringe and Once Upon A Time since they have to sacrifice one for the other.

The Once Upon A Time panel started with a new episode, which while very cool, pushed the entire panel schedule by about 20-30 minutes. The panel afterwards was short, but informative and funny. They made jokes about how they’ve gotten away with quite a bit, and how that’s mostly how they write, to see if Disney will let them get away with it. They talked about how if they get a second season, they want to bring in characters like Ariel, Mulan, and Rapunzel. A fan question about the addition of gender-switched or gay characters being brought into the show was met positively with the statement that they want to make a show that represents all kinds of people, and that Disney is very gay friendly so they were hopeful that a second season would allow them to bring in all sorts of new characters.

The Community panel, the one I had been waiting for the whole time, showed an episode that is still a few weeks from airing. This was a mixed bag in that it was great, but part one of the story so we have to wait a while for the conclusion. Either way, the episode was a lot of fun, and then we were treated with Dan Harmon and others to talk about the show’s recent return. Jokes were plentiful, and Harmon discussed the Inspector Spacetime Kickstarter project by suggesting just making a different name for it like how he did with Doctor Who. Harmon began to toy with the answering of questions at one point, taking on a “race expert” rant, and to then take on a time consuming slow voice when he felt he was taking up too much time. The others were funny as well, with Ken Jeong, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Gillian Jacobs reigning in Harmon when it looked like he may go too far. Brown made sure to let Harmon know to calm down with his “race expert” lest he go too far.

Alright, so that’s this article, I thought this would be shorter, but it turned out to be longer. Come back next time when I will conclude with all the great costumes of the convention! Here’s a picture of the free notebook everyone in the Once Upon A Time panel received.

Lyssie holds the very nice notebook we each got.

Alexander Bustos



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