It surprises me each year to see so many geeky subcultures intermingling at WonderCon. However, unless you earnestly want to break into the comic book industry, this convention is first and foremost a big advertising venue. All the big players had booths in the dealer’s room with DC Comics promoting their Green Lantern franchise, Marvel advertising Thor and Captain America, and Nintendo soliciting the 3DS. Meanwhile, in the panel rooms, you could watch new movie trailers and screen television shows including Nikita, Thunder Cats, Human Target, Breaking In, and V.
The booth I enjoyed seeing was HBO’s promotional display for their new series, “Game of Thrones.” As an avid fan of George R.R. Martin’s book series, I’m eagerly awaiting its television premiere on April 17. They had a table selling T-shirts with various House sigils, for those wanting to declare their House allegiance, and display cases with the costumes of Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon, and Daenerys Targaryen. Also, anyone willing to wait in line could get their picture taken on the Iron Throne! Granted, it was a resin cast of the chair, so the throne was more comfortable to sit in than how George R.R. Martin described it.
I also had the opportunity to attend the 501st Legion: Armor Costuming, which was essentially an introduction to a local Stormtrooper guild. Although I have no intention of dressing up as a storm-trooper, I picked up some tips on armor construction. The material they recommend making armor out of is Smooth-On Cast 300 for mold casting and ABS plastic at .090 grade sheets for thermoforming. They also recommended purchasing a dremel, sand paper, gray or black paint for shaping and weathering your armor. I was disappointed that they didn’t explain how to make molds, rather they will ship pre-molded armor pieces to anyone who joins their guild.
To end the weekend, WonderCon screened “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” as nostalgia for all of the Joss Whedon fans. Given how much I respect Whedon’s work on this film, I was hoping for a packed room and non-stop singing, but was sorely disappointed. This event didn’t seem to draw in the number of fans they expected since it was considered “old news”, but I’m sure everyone who attended enjoyed the experience.
This convention definitely caters to a specific fandom. We may all be geeks, but each convention must draw upon your love of a particular subject to create a memorable experience. So if you aren’t that big into comics, the main attraction at WonderCon is the dealer’s room. And who wants to pay money to spend money?