I’ve been to a lot of cons which I guess that is pretty understandable when your first convention was in 2004. In that time I’ve seen a lot of conventions come and go, some are run well, some aren’t, so it’s the same old story that you would expect with any kind of business. People dress up, fly out, pay good money, and expect to have a good show to make their weekend one to remember. With that said, let’s talk about WonderCon 2018 located in beautiful Anaheim California. WonderCon started in 1987 in San Francisco, catering to a need for comics and sci-fi gathering. Since its beginning, WonderCon has grown, moving from San Francisco, to Anaheim, to LA for a year, then back to Anaheim. This year was one of their biggest years ever and having sold out full event, Saturday, and Sunday passes, needless to say, the place was packed!
The Anaheim Convention Center is a gorgeous, wonderful place to hold a large gathering. WonderCon 2018 utilized the space they had to work with. Even on its most crowded days, it felt like there was still room to breathe. Security checkpoints were placed in various locations making it easy for guests to scan in and out as they pleased. WonderCon didn’t have a prop band, but they did work in conjunction with the police force in Anaheim to make sure a few officers were always nearby. It felt safe, but, at the same time, it didn’t feel super restrictive. I didn’t have to go through a ton of metal detectors or get “wanded” every few feet. Everything just ran so smoothly. I also never waited in a long line, never thought security was inept so it was just so wonderful! Especially how they held their masquerade was wonderful. Instead of just having the prestigious event that attracts a huge amount of people in a large room, they used a whole arena! It filled out and everyone had a good seat to see some amazing cosplay.
I’m a shop-a-holic, I admit it. One of the things I love doing at a convention is shopping.
I was certainly not disappointed when I stepped into the vending hall. The hall was more like three vending halls connected together. It took me the entire three days to actually finish the entire thing! There were tons of booths selling comics, figures, nerd merch, clothes, and anything your heart could desire. One of the things I really enjoyed was seeing how many artists were there. I love supporting small businesses and independent artists and felt like I really got to do that at WonderCon 2018. All the booths were spaced out well. The downside was that it made it hard to find things. I came home with bags of goodies and was happy, but my wallet was not.
Cosplayers really brought their A game to Anaheim. As I walked around the convention, taking pictures, and dealing with my own costumes, I saw some wonderful pieces! It seemed a lot of people took big costumes to show off and there were plenty of photographers to take their pictures. Thanks to the Anaheim Convention Center’s layout, you could get almost any background that you wanted. I cosplayed as Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn on Saturday. My photographer, Tony Julius, got some amazing pictures of me in what looked like a forest setting. It was fun to be able to play with all kinds of different backgrounds and so far I’ve seen some great photos come out from this convention. Also, a big shoutout to Angi Viper and Dresses and Capes for their breathtaking costumes that won Best in Show! Angi did a gorgeous gender-swapped Frollo, and Dresses and Capes was an equally gorgeous Esmeralda from Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame.
WonderCon brought the talent to the show when it came to guests. So many guests from the industry! Tons of comic writers and authors, there was something for everyone! I had the pleasure to interview Ashley Eckstein, (creator of Her Universe, and, Ashoka from Star Wars Clone Wars), and the legendary Nichelle Nichols (Lt Uhura, Star Trek) personally. It was a joy, and, those interviews will be up on the website. Besides those lovely ladies, some of my personal favorite comic writers were there, Gail Simone and Scott Snyder.
To put it simply, WonderCon 2018 was amazing. I had such a great time. Everything was run so well, it all went so smoothly. There were lots of amazing costumes, amazing guests, and it was held at an amazing venue. I plan on traveling back to Anaheim to go again next year. If you want to go to a well-run, well-staffed, enjoyable show, WonderCon should be on the very top of your list.