Those who have attended any size comic convention will tell you the experience is akin to one’s childhood coming back from the dead. With an abundance of vibrantly colored comics, games, toys and scantily-clad costume wearers, the entire experience is like being a kid in a giant candy shop where many of the treats would require a fourth mortgage on one’s dwelling, and WonderCon is no exception. Even some of the most veteran convention goers might tell you today’s modern conventions are a shock to the senses and the wallet.
In some cases, the over-stimulation and over-purchasing of pop culture-centric fare has led to more than a few convention hangovers. Word to the nerd-wise, try to bring only a set amount of cash with you and budget sensibly. I’ve learned the hard way there are far more Ghostbusters collectibles than my bank account and credit cards can handle before suffering a gruesome demise.
Speaking of gruesome deaths, let’s segue into the related topic of having an enjoyable convention experience without breaking the bank. This can be achieved by attending one of the many panels and meet-and-greets set up with some of the industry’s most recognized players. With conventions allowing unprecedented access to interact with one’s favorite artists and celebrities, some of the best memories come from a brief encounter rather than a monetary transaction. (Especially the tall blond Australian encounters.)
Twitter = @GigiEdgley
One of those moments occurred for this Outlaw on the way back from a Falling Skies press roundtable (which was also an amazing experience that will be getting its own post shortly). While moseying my way by The Walking Dead merchandise booth, I happened to notice the franchise’s most recognizable bearded figure speaking casually with one of the booth employees. After taking a few steps forward and noticing there was a small crowd beginning to form, I confirmed that, indeed, the towering figure was none other than The Walking Dead creator, Robert Kirkman. (Ok, the franchise’s second most recognizable bearded figure.)
The get-together wasn’t a long one as the crowd multiplied like water had just been dumped on them, however I able to sneak in a photo with the writer / creator / executive producer of the world’s most popular comic book / television series in a matter of seconds. Mr. Kirkman was extremely gracious and the entire encounter could be described as running into a friendly acquaintance on the street. An extremely talented and world-renowned acquaintance… but an acquaintance no less.
Twitter = @RobertKirkman
Outside of that, the Outlaw spent much of his time behind his very first WonderCon booth, which happened to fall into his lap at the last minute, literally. Thanks to the sheer size of WonderCon – which appears to have increased in size once more – the turnout to Geek Outlaw’s booth was unprecedented. Not only did many new Outlaws join the ranks (suckers), but more than a few novice members of the community stopped by to say hi and patronize the Outlaw’s short story, Podthingy swag, and other fine wares.
I would also suffer a severe lashing of the not-so-pleasant kind – and yes there are good kinds – if I failed to give major props to my first deputy Outlaw booth helper, Tamber. She donned her own similar version of the Outlaw attire and was responsible for getting traffic to the booth while also holding down the fort when my bladder was viciously yelling from within.
After all was said and done, while I was convinced my feet were no longer attached to my earthly being by the end of the weekend, I can say without hesitation that WonderCon 2015 was a success on many levels.
Keeping with the deathly theme of this post, it should also be noted that it was announced – in what seemed like only minutes after the show ended – that WonderCon would be passing on from Anaheim to Los Angeles for the 2016 calendar year. The contract is for one year only, so whether or not this is a long-term move remains to be seen. The selfish part of me (which is undoubtedly sending all of the parts of me to hell) is smiling a bit on the inside, seeing as the Los Angeles Convention Center resides a good 60 minutes closer to my residence. My wallet is doing jumping jacks as I type.
With the words out of the way, I now hereby pronounce this post officially open to all of the other sights and CosPlay of the show.
Thank you again to all my fellow Outlaws and to all of my new community members: Welcome to the Wild Wild Geek Fest!
The Writer, The Artist, and The Reality Nerd
Twitter = @SizzlerKistler
Email = OutlawComics13@gmail.com
Twitter = @DeepSeaSith
The Fellow Outlaws
Facebook = Larger Than Life Cosplay