I did it, went to WonderCon this last weekend.  Oh how I wish now in hindsight that I had purchased tickets for the entire three days.  All I can say is that it was a hell of a good time to see the comic books, the artists, the illustrators, the writers, the cosplayers and the people like me who just geeked out.  

Years ago I used to go to ComicCon in San Diego.  I loved ComicCon but as the years went on, my vacation always seemed to be at the same time.  Our vacations always would take us out of state.  Sadly then to try and get tickets now for ComicCon is almost impossible.  I did try this year, as being out of a job currently there is no vacation for us this summer or rather not like in years past.  I sat in the ticket queue, it's all on line, for an hour before I was told that I did not get a ticket.  Well damn.  I knew that WonderCon was coming up and the joke is that the people who couldn't get tickets for ComicCon go to WonderCon. Well they should.  When I got on line to buy my ticket, I only purchased one for Friday which was opening day.  I thought, what the hell if I need one for the other days I can just purchase them.  Oh how wrong I was.

I showed up Friday at 10:00 am knowing that there would be a line for the badges.  You have to pick the badges up in person.  Luckily I had friends in line already and even better, near the front of the line. The badge pickup was for 10:30.  Perfect I thought.  At about 10:30 we were let into the building, a whoop when up when the line began to move. We moved in and were placed in more stalls to wait.  Here we waited for about 15 minutes and they let us through.  The badge pickup went very smoothly.  Strangely they did not ask for our ID but did ask for our name.  Hmmm, ok.  From there the excitement built.  We were going into the hall.  Nope.  We queued up into more lines.  What?  Here we waited and waited and waited. Finally near noon the cheer went up when it was announced that there was 5 minutes before we would be let in.  Much more than 5 minutes later the lines began to move.  Yeah.  Here is where ComicCon and WonderCon really diverge:  WonderCon is what ComicCon used to be.  All the stalls that we could see were for comic books, the artists, illustrators, writers and developers.  This is not a hollywood moment like ComicCon has become.  If you are a lover of comic books, art, and anime, this is the place to go.  Here is also what I noticed, took stock of and was excited about, many of the artist, illustrators and writers behind those booths were women.  Not just young women, but women in their thirties and forties.  I spent quite a bit of my day speaking with them, commiserating and simply enjoying an art form that used to be mostly for boys and men.   These were strong independent women, many who have given up professional jobs to put everything into making their dreams come true.  I had no idea that woman artist and illustrators had an impact on the comic book industry from the beginning.  Wikipedia has a wonderful list of comics that have been created by women.  I had no idea, really, none.  It was a pleasure to walk and talk with creative, successful woman who have followed what they wanted to do in life.  It was simply inspiring.

This was not the only thing to do at WonderCon though.  The cosplayers, those that come dressed as their favorite character.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Knowing there would be cosplayers, I took my camera and took over 500 pictures.  The cosplayers were simply awesome, all would stop if you asked and pose for you.  You could pose them if you asked.  Many of them I asked to move one way or another and all complied.  These people are doctors, lawyers, biologists, chemists, day traders and every other profession you could ask.  There are also the professional cosplayers.  I spoke to as many as I could.  They were all having so much fun it almost made me wish I had dressed up.  This also got me to thinking that if I did dress up, what would I be?  It would have to be Steam Punk.  I love the steam punk look, not sure why but I do.  If you don't know steampunk, Wikipedia's definition, "....refers to a subgenre of science fiction and sometimes fantasy—also in recent years a fashion and lifestyle movement—that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.[1][2]".  I mean I wouldn't wear the thing he has on his face but her outfit was gorgeous.  

A Couple at WonderCon dressed in Steampunk atire.
Friendly doesn't even begin to describe how outgoing and approachable everyone was.  Just making eye contact with someone would have them stop and pose for you.  It was incredible.  Oh how I wish I could have gotten tickets to ComicCon!!  Would it be the same?  Would everyone be as receptive?  Well there is one way to find out.  When ComicCon rolls into town, I plan on being downtown, taking pictures and speaking with as many of the costumed cosplayers as I can.  Who knows, maybe I will score a ticket after all!

All in all, if you ever get a chance to do something different, something that few can say they have done, go to a convention like this.  Take the time to speak with the people, look at the costumes, the makeup and the shear artistry of it.  It will amaze  you (or you will hate it and blame me, that's ok too, at least you did it.)

Enjoy Life,
It's the one you have

Captain Jack Sparrow
Doctor Who