WonderCon 2010

Tuesday, 6 April 2010, 10:00 | Author : Kricket
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I’ve come to the dim realization that I’m not going to attend Comic-Con this year.  Six months before the convention, registration was sold-out and I’m guessing the hotels are sold out by now as well.  Only with prior planning and conscious effort can I attend the ever-so-popular San Diego convention.  Due to my anticipated lack of participation, I jumped at the opportunity to attend WonderCon, the smaller brother to Comic-Con, located in Northern California.

The air was stuffy from the swarms of comic book fans wading through the dealer’s room, which appeared to be the main attraction.  This room was a hunting ground for treasure seekers; it contained fantasy artwork, anime figurines, childhood memorabilia, and signatures from famous actors/actresses.  Although the convention atmosphere has become familiar to me, I still feel a little disoriented when I attend a convention without a costume.  It came as a relief to see anime characters roaming the halls, celebrating the union of Japanese manga and American comics. Although this convention is dedicated to comic book enthusiasts, any form of costume is welcomed, including the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and Japanese animation. There were various types of costumes including Superheroes, Steampunk, and Star Wars. I was surprised to discover that WonderCon provided a venue for judging costumes through a scheduled Masquerade. However, I feel inclined to ask who is likely to win such a competition? I fear that this competition is less about amateur costumes and more about professional replicas. Only the extreme costumer who has mastered armor creation (a skill which needs to be made accessible within the cosplay community) could win such a competition.

WonderCon offers its attendees a glimpse into the activities of the entertainment industry.  Rather than scheduling amateur music videos, WonderCon has made a tradition of featuring a “Trailer Park,” which is a private viewing of trailers for upcoming movies. In addition, WonderCon offers multiple panels for those attendees interested specifically in the comic-book industry: spotlights on famous artists, portfolio reviews, the evolution of animation, screenings of television shows, and insider tips from industry specialists.  Some panels explored the technical aspects of film production, such as costume and make-up – topics that are extremely relevant for the cosplay community.  This year’s panels included Masquerade 101, Costuming for Conventions with Shawna Trpcic, Body Casting 101, and Special Effects Makeup with Ed Martinez.

Having attended Wondercon, I feel I’ve gained insight into the appeal of Comic-Con.  I can only imagine the level of excitement and hype which accompanies such a large convention.  Comic-Con is hosted in San Diego, California, which inevitably draws both national and international celebrities.  As such, it is the place to meet your favorite stars.  Some of the best costumes will be there – and even the actors who made such costumes iconic.  Nonetheless, I do not intend to be ignored during my Comic-Con debut and I’ve got the feeling now is the time to start working on my costume for Comic-Con 2011.

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