I do enjoy the WonderCon. It’s a good show in a great location, and the gay geek ratio is very high. Here are some final thoughts and observations about this year’s event. In no particular order.
1. I do believe I enjoyed last year’s WonderCon a little more. This year certainly increased in size and attendance, and while I’m sure that’s a good thing from a financial point of view, I miss the intimacy of a smaller show.
2. I really have to start bringing a flask to these things, not just to help me deal with the crowds, but to start a whole new drinking game. Like, drink when you see someone in costume, but you don’t know what they’re supposed to be. Or drink when a guard blocks the fastest and easiest way into the hall and makes you go all the way around the building to get in. Or when someone cries during a gay panel. My reports would be a lot funnier, I think, if I were sloshed most of the time.
3. Before launching FBOTU, I went to cons to network and try to enlist resources to help build the site. To that end, I donned a jacket and sometimes a tie, to let people know I meant business. It’s a Jedi mind trick. Artists and vendors focus on me, especially when there’s a crowd around their booths. People are more willing to talk to me and give me personal contact information. But it’s hella uncomfortable, and I’d rather just be in a t-shirt and shorts like everyone else. Maybe in San Diego I’ll just wear a tuxedo t-shirt.
4. The more of these things I go to, the more I find myself gravitating to the artist’s alley. I really think that next time I’m going to devote my entire shopping budget to self-published comics. I’d much rather drop $3 or $4 per issue on something new and raw than on stuff I can get everywhere else. It’s very exciting to open up a Xeroxed comic and have no idea what you’re getting into.
5. There are moments at every con that make me smile and make me proud to be a fanboy. This time around, it was a mother being dragged along by her two elementary school-aged daughters, who were dressed as Wonder Woman and Supergirl. It was the California Browncoats soliciting donations for Equality Now, because, you know, it’s Joss Whedon‘s charity of choice. It was the security volunteer singing along at the Buffy musical screening. And, of course, it was seeing total strangers wearing FBOTU t-shirts throughout the weekend. Very cool.
6. I’m not sure what improvements could be made for next year. I want to suggest more security people, which sounds crazy, I know. The reason they were allowing only one entrance into the hall, I think, was because there was not enough security or volunteers to cover all the available entrances. If you only have one guard, then you can only have one entrance, I suppose. Also, I really prefer when they have a designated autograph area away from the main convention floor. I am not a fan that pays for autographs. I don’t begrudge anyone from trying to make a buck, but I’d rather not see it. I am happy to report that little Boba Fett is all grown up now and really hot.
7. The time has come, I think, for a FBOTU booth. I’m not sure what I’ll have to offer yet. Maybe onsite registration. T-shirt giveaways. FBOTM appearances. Guys dressed as the FBOTU characters. I’m open to suggestions. What would make you want to visit and hang out at the FBOTU booth?
That’s all for now. I’ll be posting more information and reviews about some of the things I saw and read and experienced, so stay tuned!