With San Francisco’s Moscone Center under renovation, WonderCon moved to Anaheim this year–and seemed to bring a bit of the Bay Area’s rain and chill wind along with it. We shivered our way between hotel and convention center, dodging clusters of purple-eyeshadowed cheerleaders who were competing in a tournament in the next hall over.
Here are a few of the things that caught my attention this year:
Best panel I didn’t attend: Spotlight on Fiona Staples, moderated by the devastatingly handsome Scott Peterson. By all accounts, this was a fascinating discussion. Fiona (who recently granted an interview to GeekMom’s own Corrina Lawson) is one of the most talented artists working in comics today, and I’m bummed that I didn’t get to enjoy the peek at her process that I heard others raving about for the rest of the weekend. There was even a time-lapse video of the artist at work. If Fiona shares that on the web anywhere (hint, hint), I’ll let you know.
Best panel I did attend: The Geek & Sundry presentation with Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton, Veronica Belmont, Tom Merritt, and Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson. Funny story here. At least, it’s funny now. It was kind of mortifying at the time. There was a mix-up over reserved press seating–Felicia’s super-nice publicist thought there would be some, and sent out invitations accordingly, but the WonderCon folks seemed perplexed by the idea–and through a series of happenstances I found myself hanging out backstage with the Geek & Sundry panelists–an unintentional crasher of the entourage. I’d had the pleasure of meeting Felicia once before, at the GeekMom Google+ hangout, and she is absolutely one of the kindest people you will ever encounter. When an officious WonderCon staffer (eyeing me suspiciously, or that’s how it felt), asked Felicia if all the people in this backstage cluster definitely, actually belonged with her group, Felicia graciously said “Yes”–so suspicious WonderCon guy did not evict me. Whew.
If I were a real member of the press, as opposed to a novelist who gets press passes because she writes for a cool website on the side, I would have, I don’t know, asked questions or taken pictures or something. But I’m not, and I have a horror of appearing to be pushy, so I just stood quietly against a wall and enjoyed the banter of the ubersmart, creative Geek & Sundry crowd.
The Geek & Sundry panel was as entertaining and lively as the backstage repartee. (You can watch the whole thing yourself here and here.) The big news at this con was the announcement of the Geek and Sundry YouTube Channel, which promises to be tremendously fun. As Corrina mentioned the other day, the channel is launching a number of new shows in April:
• The Flog, which highlights Felicia Day’s quirky real-life adventures;
• Tabletop (this one makes my heart go pittypat), in which geek icons will join Wil Wheaton for boardgames like Settlers of Catan, Munchkin, and Dragon Age;
• Sword & Laser, a new incarnation of the popular sci fi/fantasy book discussion podcast featuring Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt;
• Written by a Kid (this one melted my heart), which features stories made up by kids and brought to life via digital storytelling;
• a Paul & Storm comedy musical show (coming this fall);
• Dark Horse Motion Comics; and
• The Guild, Season 5 (squee!)
The new shows will begin rolling out on April 2nd. Can’t wait. You can subscribe to the Geek and Sundry channel here, and here’s a trailer to whet your appetite:
In my next post, I’ll share my favorite finds from the exhibit hall. Sneak preview: I’m totally jealous of the shirt I bought for my 16-year-old daughter. Lucky for me we wear the same size…