WonderCon Astounds In Anaheim

By Nolan Patrick Smith

High Desert Daily

(Anaheim) This weekend marked a first for Southern California; it was the first year that WonderCon came to the region. Taking place over three days, Friday through Sunday, WonderCon took over the Anaheim Convention Center, and thousands flocked to the city to experience it first hand. The number floating around during the weekend was that over 50,000 tickets were sold, an impressive showing for a convention that is usually in San Francisco. So what’s WonderCon?

WonderCon is a comic book convention created and hosted through Comic Con International, the same people that coordinate the mecca of comic conventions, the San Diego Comic Con. When entering the convention floor, one thing was obvious: this is what a comic convention should look like. Much like the San Diego Comic Con, the layout of the convention had a very professional, entertaining feel. If you had been to the San Diego Comic Con before it became a pop culture phenomenon, then you would have noted the similarities to WonderCon and the San Diego of old. The main focus of the convention was easily visible; this was a comic convention, no questions asked.

There were some non-comic booths as well, but ones that made sense to be there. The video game giant Capcom was there, showing off their future releases like the Devil May Cry HD collection and Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Capcom has roots to the comic industry, as many of their properties like Street Fighter and Mega Man have made the jump to the four-color pages of comic books. The big comic publishers were present as well: Marvel Comics and DC Comics each made their presence known. Smaller publishers were a big attraction as well, as IDW had author Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son, author of Locke & Key) garnering a large line, and Archaia Entertainment had many taking note as they continuously pump out quality, original comic books and graphic novels, including books released in conjunction with the Jim Henson estate.

One of the biggest draws to any comic convention is always the costumes, or cosplay as it is known in the convention circuit. From Stormtroopers and Mandalorian soldiers, to superheroes of every shape and size, there was no shortage on outrageous costumes. Will Blagg, a longtime resident of Victorville, knows exactly how it feels to go in costume and be swarmed by countless attendees, all wanting a picture. Blagg walked the floor as a Predator, much to the delight of adults and children alike. “It’s real exciting and a real confidence booster,” Blagg told High Desert Daily following spending time as a Predator at WonderCon on Friday. “It’s fun to share the things I love with other people and finding people who love the same things.”

For more information on WonderCon, as well as other conventions of from Comic Con International, make sure to visit them online at www.comic-con.org.

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