Robot 6

WonderCon | My wrap-up report from last weekend’s con

Cyclops and Jean Grey

It’s been almost a week since WonderCon, so I figured if I was going to talk about it, I should talk about it soon before it’s old news. So, some brief thoughts on the big show …

–As many have said, the floor was busier this year compared to past years, especially on Saturday. Friday was better, but I can still remember a time when Friday meant easily moving through the exhibit hall and browsing booths without too many people surrounding you. Not so much this year. It seemed like there were more exhibitors, or at least more space was given to exhibitors, and the comic booths at the front of the hall seemed to be packed every time I went by. The line to buy the special Uncanny X-Men/San Francisco Giants variant cover at the Marvel booth was an intimidating thing on Friday, looping around the booth. I never even made it inside the DC booth because of the crowds. And any booth that had a signing going on — Image, IDW, Oni, BOOM! — brought lines. Hopefully all that traffic turned into decent sales for everyone on the floor. I know at least one comic company I spoke to was really happy with their sales on Saturday.

–I didn’t buy a lot at this show — my two purchases were the above-mentioned Giants/X-Men comic, and a copy of Pascal Girard’s Reunion from the Drawn and Quarterly table. Of course, I didn’t really spend a lot of time on the floor anyway … I was only there Friday and Saturday, and spent my time either covering panels, being on panels or writing about panels.

–I found it absolutely hilarious that Peter David was able to move around the floor unnoticed because he was dressed as The Green Hornet. I saw him pulling off his mask right before the Spider-Man: Edge of Time panel began and thought, “Why would the Green Hornet be taking off his costume? It’s a pretty awesome costume!” That was a fun panel, BTW, but they didn’t allow for questions at the end, which was too bad. I’m looking forward to the new game and seeing if they can pull off the time travel aspect as well as they did the four different spider-dimensions in Shattered Dimensions.

–In the forum thread for my DC Universe panel report there’s a discussion about the awkwardness of the panel itself … comments I agree with. First off, though, the Green Lantern movie footage they showed? Awesome. If anything took the lead in terms of “mind share” at the show, it was the Green Lantern film. The panel itself, though, consisted of a lot of people trying to promote comics that they’d been told not to talk about. Francis Manapul even made a comment that, when asked about Flashpoint and the Flash issues that lead up to it, DC’s VP of publicity had told him not to say anything — the poor guy almost seemed scared, like they were asking him a trick question. I get the need for secrecy and not wanting to spoil anything, but it does make for an uncomfortable panel.

Seth signs at the D + Q booth

–Speaking of “mind share,” the other big attention getter at the show wasn’t actually on the floor or in the convention hall … it was the SHIELD promotional stuff, which was located offsite. I know my friend and colleague Carla Hoffman and her husband Lance took a bunch of pictures and went through the SHIELD recruitment process, and I know they have a bunch of pictures, so I’ll leave it for them to talk about once they get a chance (also, best wishes for a speedy recovery to Carla, who injured her hand this week).

As Graeme pointed out earlier this week, there were a lot of announcements at WonderCon. I do have to respectfully disagree with him, though, that Marvel and DC didn’t bring any news. Well, Marvel anyway … DC seemed to be focused more on the Green Lantern film, which made a lot of sense, and that seemed to work well for them based on what I witnessed at the show. I know my wife went into the show thinking the film was probably a good rental, and left wearing a Green Lantern shirt and reciting the oath*. But there was Retroactive and the Aquaman creative team, which surprised me, since DC tends to make their announcements on The Source nowadays instead of conventions. Marvel, meanwhile, has Schism, the big X-event, plus Warren Ellis on Secret Avengers, teases of something called Vengeance, plus a few other smaller series.

But yeah, to his main point … this was a good show for IDW, Image, Dark Horse and Archaia. I covered the Dark Horse panel, and it was cool to hear all of their announcements about the Buffy and Angel & Faith creative teams live. I’m happy to hear that Petrograd is due soon form Oni, and the IDW/Thor announcement was the type that just screamed April Fool’s but thank god it wasn’t.

Marvel Booth

–The big deal for me, personally, was that I participated in my first-ever panel. I’ve been invited to be on others, but for one reason or another they never worked out. I was on the Independent Comics Marketing 101 panel, invited by Chip Mosher, director of marketing for BOOM!, along with Too Much Coffee Man creator Shannon Wheeler, comics writer and former MySpace Comics guy Sam Humphries and ComicsAlliance chief Laura Hudson. I’ll hold off on talking about it here, as I have some additional content on this subject I want to share. So watch for more on that soon.

–Overall, it was a fun show; it was good to see a lot of friends and meet folks in person who I hadn’t before. As for the show itself, it’s been growing over the last few years, and no doubt will grow even more as time goes on — it’s only in one section of the Moscone Center, so there’s still room for more.

*Not really; although Ryan Reynolds and all the footage won her over on the film, she does not yet know the oath.

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Comments

One Comment

I hadn’t been to Wondercon 12+ years and I thought it was a great show. I had no books to sell – and still the original art and posters I brought sold well. Amazing.

The panel on marketing was funny and interesting. I didn’t expect to learn anything new and I did expect to be bored. I was wrong on both counts. Everyone there actually had good points to make (I took notes). Who would have thought a panel on marketing would be one of the better panels I’d been on. I can’t wait to read what you have to say about it.

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