WonderCon 2012 Overview
While it was a bit odd going down to Anaheim, California for WonderCon, it was not something that disagreed with anyone there. Hosted in the Anaheim Convention Center this year's WonderCon covered four floors. While some of the mood was “Why did it move?” the rest was the jubilation one would expect from this Convention. The Anaheim Convention Center did seem to provide a nice home for WonderCon while the Moscone Center was remodeled. While most of the Weekend proved to be very dreary with rain, inside the Convention Center it was cozy warm.
Once one hit the Dealer's Room and Artist's Alley, it was easy to see this convention center boasted at least enough space to contain last year's WonderCon with ease. People mingled and milled about, talking about their favorites and many vendors had also made the trip from their Northern California homes down to Anaheim. The floor felt somewhat empty at times but at least it was easier to get around than it could be in the traditional Center at times. Talking with some of the vendors we are familiar with it appeared that attendance (and purchases) saw no real increase. This meant some outlets that generally turned a profit could have operated this year at a loss.
Things were interesting as this Convention Center was wide and decently tall. There were three active levels within the section of the Convention Center that WonderCon was using. Going up to the highest level you would find the equivalent of the Ballroom where they were running all the major panels and showing all the pending movie previews. There was a lot to see and do around the Convention over the course of the three days it ran. Every room remained full and bustling with activities throughout each of the days. If you did not see something you liked on the program there was always something happening around the Convention Center. It could be running in the Game Room to participate in a Tournament or just hang with friends. The Dealer's Room and Artist's Alley was full as well. Much of the charm WonderCon is known for came with it.
In attendance at WonderCon 2012 we had Wil Wheaton (of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Big Bang Theory, acclaimed Blogger and writer), Steve Niles, and Jim Lee (of DC Fame) among numerous other guests. If those people were not enough for you there were a number of interesting panels as well. Some of the best panels that one could go for were: "Once Upon a Time", "The World of Capcom", "Making Animation History with the Last Unicorn", The Future of Tabletop Gaming" and "How to get a Job in the Video Game Industry".
One thing you can always count on at WonderCon is Cosplay. People love to dress up for it in a variety of fashions. These costumes range from screen accurate:
As always the masquerade was a sight to see. Some of the best costumes were displayed as well as great acts with them.
While yes, there were apprehensions about going to South California for WonderCon, it was good to see they were poorly founded. The Convention kept healthy and may be returning to San Francisco in 2013. At present, there has been no official word as to its location. This is a difficult time for WonderCon but fans and contributors will help pull it through.