The success and popularity of Comic-Con International's San Diego Comic Con, its flagship pop-culture convention, is a double-edged sword. The event has grown so massive over the years it has become a frustrating endeavor for many who attend and even more so for those who get shut out. CCI also runs the similar but smaller WonderCon whose usual home, San Francisco's Moscone Center, is under going renovations. Rather than cancel it, CCI decided to head south and stage the 26th edition at the Anaheim Convention Center. With it being so close to me, I decided to attend my first WonderCon, eager to learn how the two conventions compared
Friday March 16
Not sure if it was in response to the programming or because it was a weekday, but I was surprised by the lack of attendance this day, though it was great for those of us who did show up. I had no problem obtaining seats for panels, easily finding a spot just before and even during them. Walking around the exhibit hall was a pleasure as there wasn't San Diego's usual massive throng of people filling the aisles making it difficult to browse. Here, a shopper could take time considering a purchase without the fear of something quickly selling out. I picked up a couple of cool T-shirts and three trade paperback collections listed at 50% off.
The first panel I attended was “Quick Draw!” where artists Mike Masallo, Floyd Norman, and Scott Shaw! participated in improv games in a drawing version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? It was an entertaining and also fascinating to see how quickly the artists' minds and hands worked as lines and squiggles swiftly formed into identifiable objects.
While a number of film fans consider 1939 to be Hollywood's Greatest Year, there are a few who would argue that year is 1982, which explains “It Was 30 Years Ago Today: Celebrating 1982 — Greatest Geek Year Ever!” Hard to believe one year saw the release of such memorable films as E.T. The Extraterrestrial, Blade Runner, The Thing, Poltergeist, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which includes a remake and a sequel. (For those who say neither should be done, remember those titles.) Attendees got to watch trailers, which were outstanding on their own, after each panelist introduced a film and provided a little background about it.