(photos: Ron Mey-Ami)
The staff of Rarity Guide attended WonderCon 2009 in San Francisco at the Moscone Center. Seeing the line just before the Convention opened was, as always, astounding. After we registered as Press, getting our passes, we went downstairs to wait out the remaining time before opening. The staff was helpful and friendly, as we chatted the time away. Once we got in though, things came alive.
Immediately it was apparent this was the right convention to find many collectibles just by walking around. Many figurines were around, just as many old comics and a great number of autograph opportunities. While many were just in addition to buying a picture, some (like Mark Hamill, Gary Lockwood) charged extra, sometimes at ludicrous cost. Still, it could be the best opportunity that many would get for some items. By visiting the Capcom booth we learned a bit about Long Vo, lead Sprite Artist for Super Street Fighter II HD Remix. The people signing autographs had their own area, which was well thought out. The schedule for each was well laid out, making it simple to get any given autograph outside of prohibitive cost. Many who had time would chat with us a bit, thus we learned something of some up-coming features we STILL can’t disclose.
Within Artist Alley, you would run the gambit with professional-level fan artist to original creations (like Steam Alchemy retelling in Steam Punk items). Just a plethora of creations were found: T-shirts, indy comics, cards, buttons and many more. It was very easy to just learn things about these peoples work, many sharing common interest (like Hyperbooster and I chatting for quite a few minutes on Naruto). It was a diverse crowd there and a great place just to find something different from the rest of the convention.
Easily though, the highlight of the convention was attending the panels on the upcoming movies and newly released games. Suffice to say that attending the Star Trek panel was great, Street Fighter 4 simply rocked the house, Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon was informative, while the new Terminator was looking sharp. A few smaller films get time, like Alien Trespass. This movie deserves mention as it revives the older traditions of the 1950’s horror movies. The panelist talked a good bit about their preparation and just honestly enjoying working on a project like that one. It offers something different from most of the movies premiering in the modern times, and the clips were that quality style of retro that simply makes it appealing and a great blast from the past-style.
Last, but easily the most prominent of the convention: The comics and games. Long Vo, as mentioned above, was signing limited run Street Fighter 4 comics, a great number of classic comics were available. Many local Comic shops had booths as well, expanding their exposure, sometimes offering artist signatures. Collectable Card Games held fair presence there as well, with DCI sanctioned Magic the Gathering Tournaments in multiple formats with prizes for everyone who participated. While not very prominent, there was still a gaming area, letting people play Munchkin (in its various forms), Heroclix, Pokemon Collectable Card Game and Magic.