Friday, April 11, 2014

(Pre) Con-Man: WonderCon 2014

Next Friday, Anaheim hosts WonderCon for the third year.  Originally held in San Francisco's Moscone Center until remodeling sent WonderCon down to the land of Disney.  Even though construction is over, apparently Comic-Con International (CCI) and Moscone couldn't come to terms on dates for the show.  While they'd like to get WonderCon back to San Fran, for now, we get to enjoy two huge comic and media conventions in Southern California.  The difference between something like WonderCon and Emerald City Comicon is that CCI is a non-profit organization celebrating the creative arts.  While celebrities are on hand for signings, panels and greeting the fans, WonderCon isn't based around the business of exploiting them for profit.  Instead, you have a plethora of exhibiters hocking swag and memorabilia while programming runs the gamut of animation, film, comic books, writing, LGBTQ, self-publishing, cosplay, copyright law, advertising, music, editing and much much more.

In 2012, WonderCon played like San Diego Comic-Con light as studios trotted out their early summer pictures such as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Prometheus, Lockout and Battleship.  Of course, none of those films did particularly well so 2013's show saw a marked decrease in studio presence.  NBC's Hannibal was heavily advertised but I don't recall any tent pole flicks making the rounds.  Even without the media hype, WC still brought in a healthy 56,000 attendees over three days.  This year, Batman's anniversary is getting the spotlight with numerous panels on the comic book and it's creators as well as the premiere of a new animated film.  DC superstar artist Jim Lee will be on hand to wow audiences with his quick pencil skills and general nice guy-ness.  Media wise, studios are coming back as Warner Brothers, Twentieth Century Fox, TNT and Sony will all be on hand to show off their latest projects.  I'm thinking we'll see sneak peeks of Godzilla, Edge of Tomorrow, Jupiter Ascending, X-Men: Days of Future Past, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes amongst others.

To knock it up another notch, there's usually a few surprise screenings around town, the local theater offers Con goers special prices and WC itself has secured discount tickets to Disneyland and Medieval Times.  We've signed up to take a Walt centric tour because it's not like we won't already be walking around enough but hey, be a Doer!

From WonderCon's sister in San Diego:

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