WonderCon 2016 was a blur, it’s a good thing I take lots of photos to remind me the sequence of the days. This also seems to have led to a whirlwind couple weeks following the show so coverage was delayed.
Friday at the show was a whirlwind of sights, sounds, moments and feels. From Lantern City to random encounters to achieving one of my goals and then wrapping up the day with the “Rise of the TV Musical” panel and grabbing dinner with the panelists and team from BMI and White Bear PR that put this panel on. Thank you Anne Cecere for including me, always love the panels you bring to the show.
Only way to sum up my day is… it was out of this world!
Let’s start with the obvious question on many of our minds as we headed into this show… how would the RFID badges work? would they be an annoyance? a disaster? work well? Obviously with any time you make a change to how things work at a show, there will be some issues. There were some delays for some people (note… not for all just some) as they went to pick up their badge but it either was not printed yet or did not work. In one case you had to wait for a little bit in the other you had to go back and have them sort out the issue. Then there was the tapping in/out as you entered/left areas. This didn’t work as badly as I expected, though it did mean that you couldn’t pin your badge so it wouldn’t keep flipping over (for pros, press, retailers this could get annoying as you couldn’t see the name, for the average attendee this would be a non-issue. It did cause slight (only slight) bottle necks, as there were limited spots to enter/exit from and you had to slow down to be sure you tapped in/out so that you would not screw up your badge and have to go all the way back to customer service to have your badge sorted out again. Never ran into it and didn’t hear anybody complaining it happened to them so perhaps that was less of an issue than we thought it might be.
But wait! I am supposed to be talking about WonderCon not San Diego Comic Con so let’s get back to the show.
My con weekend actually started on Thursday night having dinner with friends (ok Dylan I did say that 😛 ). It’s nice to be able to grab that time since we only tend to see each other at shows. But then on to Friday when the fun REALLY begins.
After stopping to pick up my badge and waiting for the show floor to open it was time to head in but for once my first stop was not the show floor, instead it was time to head straight to a panel and my first experience with the new RFID tap in process. Slight bottle neck but made it through in plenty of time. So what panel had me giving up hitting the show floor as a first stop? The World of Lantern City of course. (Panel coverage will come later) It was fun seeing and listening to the creators from what has been one of my favorite books of the past year. If you haven’t picked up Lantern City, I highly recommend it. Amazing art, fun story from a team of creators that are fun, friendly and … what’s the word for it… cool! Matthew Daley, Trevor Crafts, Bruce Boxleitner, Mairghread Scott it was wonderful seeing you all again and I do look forward to seeing what’s next for the World of Lantern City. It’s been a wonderful place to visit this past year.
A short visit to the show floor meant a very short stop at booths to say hi to friends. But it also meant being at the right place at the right moment to run into a couple composers I have met at other shows. It always amazing me when people I have only met at shows or signings remember me the next time we cross paths, sometimes a year or more has passed and you know they meet LOTS of people in that time frame. WonderCon was no different. Having somebody like Tyler Bates recognize me when he stopped by the Varèse Sarabande booth with Brian Tyler, John Debney and I didn’t catch the 4th composer’s name, just blew me away. We had a moment to say hi before the composers were off to their next stop or commitment but it still made my day and left me with that “WOW did that happen?” feeling for the rest of the day (what am I saying? I still feel that way when I think about it). But that wasn’t it, while they were at the booth I managed to catch Brian Tyler and John Debney in the act of signing one of the signs at the booth which had images of their soundtracks.
After a few more stops at booths it was back to the panel rooms (yes Friday was a panel kind of day for me). There was the Space Goat: Prep Your Portfolio to Impress a Comics Editor, Image Comics: Where Creators Own the New Creativity, Spotlight on Jim Lee and Rise of the TV Musical plus a few others I just could not get to for one reason or another (mostly very happy good moment kinds of reasons which is the best kind to cause you to miss anything). As you can see I have quite a bit of panel coverage still to bring you and this was just the first day.
The fun part was that on most of the panels I knew people so not only was it interesting to attend because of the topics, but also to support people I knew, from Matt Hawkins to Joe Harris to Anne Cecere and Chandler Poling. There is also getting to hear people speak who you may have not yet had a chance to meet in person but that you then do finally meet and find they are as engaging in person as their creativity might have led you to suspect they would be.
At the beginning of this I believe I mentioned achieving a goal. For those that know me, you already know the answer. For the rest of you, at the beginning of the year I made a short list of creative people that I made my goal to meet this year (or interview if I had met before) and top of my list was meeting Jim Lee. Mission accomplished, if only for a moment! After the Jim Lee Spotlight panel I waited in the crowd of fans that wanted to have him sign something or take a quick photo with until I could get the two seconds to say hello, let him know that he had been at the top of my list of people to meet this year and that next goal is to interview Jim Lee. Yes, I am putting that out to the universe… Jim Lee, if you are interested, I would love the opportunity to interview for GoGeekGirl!
But wait, now I have to get to the other end of the convention center for the Rise of the TV Musical panel that was starting NOW… ok time to almost run (which with camera gear is never fun) to get to the panel room. This is probably the only time I was happy a panel was delayed getting started because of technical difficulties. Even with getting there a few moments late they were just getting started so I didn’t miss anything! It was a fun panel with composers Christopher Lennertz (Galavant), Gabriel Mann (School of Rock), Jeffrey Hornaday (Teen Beach movie), and VP of event series on FOX Rachel Rusch (Grease Live!) and VP of music & soundtracks at Disney Channel Steven Vincent (High School Musical). But as with the other panels the coverage for this will follow. I will say that just with previous panels put on and moderated by Anne Cecere of BMI and Chandler Poling of White Bear PR, this was a fun, informative and even educational panel.
My night wrapped up with an unplanned dinner as I was invited to join the moderators and panelists from the Rise of the TV Musical panel at dinner. This ended up being a fun dinner with good food, good conversation and good laughs. Thank you all for including me! It was a blast. Had so much fun with all of you and am so glad that this time when you asked I was smart enough to accept.
Did I say… I had SO much fun!
What I can’t believe is how little time I spent on the floor, how little of it I had seen after a full day at the show and definitely how little time I spent at the Top Cow booth as a result. But I did at least chat with Matt Hawkins for a few and catch one of the panels he was on so that was good. You’ll just have to wait to see the write-ups of Saturday and Sunday to learn if I ended up getting to spend more time on the show floor.
As I have mentioned throughout this piece, photos/coverage from the panels will come later but here are photos from Friday on the show floor.