Seriously, Sundays never matter much to us. We might sit through a panel or two (we have two scheduled) and wander the dealer’s room for a few last tidbits, but we almost always leave early on Sunday because we’ve seen all there is to see and done all there is to do.
Honestly, the day started out poorly with another major parking snafu. Because we got there early, we got to park in the regular convention center parking but they were getting people into it in the stupidest way possible. The line was at least a mile or so long and, instead of letting people turn into the lot from the direction we were coming, they made several hundred cars drive past the convention center to the next light, then people were doing a u-turn to come back at it from the other direction. Of course, there were no signs, people had to figure it out for themselves and, of course, there were endless assholes trying to jump the line. To add insult to injury, the convention center had rented out an unused room for a local church to have their Easter service and the traffic was therefore heavier than usual. What a mess. We almost missed our first panel, which was…
The Golden Age of Tabletop Gaming. It was hosted by Boyan Radakovich, one of the developers and producers of Tabletop, who had an interesting discussion on modern hobby board gaming. To be honest, I disagreed with the vast majority of what he had to say but that’s going to be a post in and of itself so stay tuned for that.
The other panel we hit today was the IDW: Kid’s Comics talk and we were a bit worried about that because the only comics panel we purposely hit last year, nobody actually showed up for the panel and it was a disaster. Now I’m not into kid’s comics but my wife reviews them so she had to attend and it actually went pretty well. They had some giveaways and handouts that my youngest daughter, a big My Little Pony fan, loved.
So what about the religious crazies? We’ve got to talk about them for Easter, right? Well, the dude on his soap box screaming from the Bible didn’t show up so I couldn’t get a picture of him being mobbed by costumed do-gooers, and the living statues with signs really weren’t impressive either. They were there but clearly, they were bored. At the very end of the day, while talking to a friend, we watched one of them yawning, texting on his phone and generally not having a good time. I don’t know what these people expect, they’re not going to convert anyone at Wondercon. There’s a booth inside for the Christian Comic Arts Society and honestly, I don’t think I saw a single person at the booth all weekend. Talk about niche!
We picked up everything we wanted to get but there really were no special deals on Sunday, which would probably be a bit surprising, after all, most dealers don’t want to throw all of this unsold stock back on a plane to wherever they came from and that’s really the explanation. Due to Wondercon’s poor planning, the overwhelming majority of dealers were local, they didn’t care, they could just pack it in their truck and drive it back to their shop. There was very little competition and since people weren’t desperately trying to empty their booths, very few deals. It’s okay, we were happy with what we got, even more Funco Pop Vinyl figures! Damn, there’s a lot of those!
Cosplay seemed a bit more energetic today, which is strange because I’d have thought Saturday was the big day. My favorite for the day is a guy that’s been changing up his costume all weekend. He came as Wolverine, on Friday he had a bunch of bullet holes in his chest, on Saturday he had bone claws and today, he came wearing bunny ears, an Easter basket and carrots for claws. It was hysterical. He constantly had people mobbing him so I didn’t get a picture, but if I come across one, I’ll post it here.
Overall, it was a decent convention. It should have been an excellent convention. There’s no reason whatsoever that it couldn’t have been an excellent convention. There’s no excuse for the mistakes that were made, they were common sense things that anyone who has ever BEEN to a convention should have known about. I know they get the same feedback every year at the convention wrap-up, they just don’t listen. Hopefully they’ve actually made a decision whether to keep it in Anaheim permanently or pack up and go back to San Francisco. Next year, they simply cannot wait until November to even announce that there is going to be a convention and they sure can’t wait until a month before the con to sell memberships. It’s what killed this convention and what will absolutely decimate an equally badly planned one next year. I’d also like to see them vary their panels and get someone with a brain in charge of the panels next year. I know that this is primarily a comic convention, although to look in the dealer’s room, you’d never know it. The overwhelming majority of panels were comic related, but to be honest, there were a ton of them dedicated to feminism and gay rights and all of that and while that might be a hot thing right now, it doesn’t have a lot to do with mainstream comic books. I’m not saying to get rid of that, I’m saying that there’s a limit to it. There was a gay comic company that had a booth this year and seriously, there weren’t a lot of people stopping by there that I saw. The people at the boot were bad-mouthing people walking by. They were trying to whisper but you could hear them, especially on Friday, where I heard one of them making anti-straight slurs to another and another time, someone said something along the lines of Wondercon goers hating gays because they aren’t buying the gay comics. Okay guys, here’s the deal. I’m not gay. The majority of people going to Wondercon aren’t gay. The majority of people on the planet aren’t gay. While I, and probably the majority of people at Wondercon, support gay rights and gay equality, we’re not going to read gay comics. That’s just the reality. Gay comics are aimed at gay people. When your company caters to 10%, at most, of the population, don’t expect to sell like gangbusters to everyone that goes by. If that offends you, you’re in the wrong line of business.
And so I bid adieu to another year of Wondercon, hoping that the obviously green crew that worked this convention learned their lessons for next year and, I hope, actually listens to all of the feedback they received and takes it seriously. This ought to be a great convention, it’s been running for 28 years and surely someone on the concom has some experience running conventions. The mistakes made were sophomoric and have gone on for the past 3 years now, just magnified this year by the clear lack of experience. Come on guys, let’s turn it all around and rally for a fantastic Wondercon Anaheim 2015!