by sleek futuristic train, we alighted just blocks from the
auspiciously geeky sounding Metreon building. Though tempted
by its chrome exterior and promise of literal Wild Things, this
was not why we had come to San Francisco.
you for the Friday distraction...
goal lay a little further up the road, at the less apt-sounding
Moscone Center. In the bowels of its north building dwelled
have read enough H.P. Lovecraft in order to ape his style
here. But no, not only do I not have the skills, but on Friday,
its first day, Wondercon was nice, clean, and quiet. Even
the costumes seemed to be limited to the usual stormtroopers,
and they were there with their own booth.
rumored that Fanboy Planet staffer Mish'al Samman has been
accepted into their ranks, but luckily a business trip to
Japan kept him from serving the Empire this past weekend.)
a regional convention, Wondercon fits snugly into a smaller
space than San Diego does. At least on Friday, it therefore
lacked the "I have found my people and can now await the mothership"
feel. But there's something to be said for intimacy.
For one thing, you don't have to push past dozens of sweaty
doppelgangers to get a look at soft-core pornstars Linda
O'Neil and Aria Giovanni. Not that we looked, of course.
Nor did the ever-diffident Michael Goodson actually take a picture,
either. (We're going to rethink his convention duties of staff
photographer and "that Fanboy Planet guy who looks like Jared
from Subway and makes wiseass remarks.")
pandering because we love...Linda O'Neil
day of a convention is a good day to shop. Everything you
could possibly want is there, with dealers from all across
the country. The greatest bargains may not be there yet (that's
for the last day), but for a price you can get just about
anything your heart desires, except Linda O'Neil and/or Aria
of course, was HeroClix,
and those dealers with individual figures for sale appeared
to be doing well. As one seller told us, "I'm here with boxes
of $1, $2 toys, and nobody could care less about the $300
comics under them."
most of the big events were scheduled to happen on Saturday,
and only the intrepid Christopher J. Garcia could go that
day. We haven't been able to find him yet.
not to say there weren't events and people at Wondercon on
Friday. Though DC had a small booth set up, their big guns
were out in full force. We found Jeph
Loeb lurking near the soft pretzels.
the way with presentations, relatively new Cinefantastique
Editorial Director (and longtime Mindfire Entertainment CEO)
Mark A. Altman
moderated a couple of interesting panels with Robert Meyer
Burnett and Daren Dochterman.
was on DVD production, with most of us straining to hear what
Burnett might let slip about the extras on X2 and The
Two Towers, both of which he is currently producing. The
studio heads can relax; Burnett knows where his bread is buttered
and kept annoyingly tight-lipped.
on the group reconvened to talk about what we all really go
to comic book conventions for: upcoming movies. Altman ran
a few trailers, and opened the floor to questions about what
Cinefantastique thought would be the winners. (The Hulk
did not make an appearance - out of respect for Universal's
Saturday presentation, perhaps.) Want to know which movie
Altman pegs as the winner (artistically, anyway) this summer?
The same one Jordan Rosa does: 28 Days Later.
for its low-key approach to Comic-Con last summer, Marvel
was completely absent from Wondercon. Only Universal touted
them, in the form of the upcoming Hulk videogame being demo'd.
The review copy hasn't reached our office yet, but it was
fun to watch The Hulk smash things…
can find Garcia, we'll have more to report.