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WonderCon in 20 Photos: The Great, the Genius and the Disturbing


Number 1: Furry’s a Jolly Good Fellow.


WonderCon used to be the wholly reasonable, doable, manageable, less-crowded version of San Diego Comic Con…but that’s gradually going away as more and more people figure it out. Yes, you can still get into some panels easily, and yeah, parking nearby is quite attainable if you’re an hour early…and yes, most of the exclusive clips of movies shown here have been shown at prior festivals (seriously…how many people out there were STILL surprised that the new Godzilla has more than one monster in it? More than you’d think).

I took a few pictures. I thought you might like to see them.

2. Breakfast, Day 1.


Food trucks try to come up with nerdy concept names when they show up at conventions like this – so these chili cheese Tots with sriracha are “Dragon Eggs.” Because you feel like the Mother of Dragons when you “hatch” them a few hours later.

3. Magnificent Maleficent.


I think a lot of us assume there will come an age when cosplay just won’t seem right unless we’re playing appropriately ancient characters like Dumbledore or Santa, but this amazing lady tosses that perception right out the window. She’s wheelchair bound and looks nothing like Angelina Jolie’s age…but tell me you don’t believe she could cast a curse upon your daughter just like that.

4. Makeup’s No Joke.


Live makeup demonstrations focused on the horrific, like this Joker facelift from hell. Though this might have been a desperate move by DC to ensure that at least somebody in the hall sported a New 52 design…because there sure didn’t seem to be many by choice.

5. Robert Cops.


If I have to ask how much these giant Enterbay figures of Robocop and the T-1000 cost, I’m going to hit something. So instead I’ll just admire from afar, and note that this is the first Robocop figure in a long time to have a full face sculpt – though I think it’s Robert John Burke rather than Peter Weller.

6. Salem’s Empty Lot.


Twenty-six minutes before the Salem panel started, there was still plenty of room. Could it be the convention really wasn’t that crowded…or do people just really hate Brannon Braga that much, still?

Actually, it filled up right before the lights went down…and I’m told that on the Saturday, people were waiting for 45 minutes and not getting in to things. I had no trouble, but then I only went to three panels.

7. Don’t Cross Us.


Not every Jesus protester was as nice as the one who let me interview him. But for every fire-and-brimstone proselytizer, there was always an ironically dressed cosplayer waiting to photobomb.

8. Not Much More TO Meet the Eye…


On the other hand, maybe the Jesus guys were right about us all being lustful and immoral and stuff. I did take this photo, after all.

9. Headed for the Hospital on Guerrero Street.


Oh hai Hummer! I think we can safely assume whose ride this is, but that could just be because I’m always trying to play psychologist. If not, Idon’tcareanymore. And I am the fool.

Tommy Wiseau worked his own merchandise both for the entire show, mostly selling garishly colored underpants with his name on the waistband in large letters. He even thrust a raffle ticket in my hand at one point, for a drawing to win a mini-basketball he’d been playing with, that had nothing whatsoever to do with The Room or anything else. The man still manages to be baffling, which is no mean feet after all this time.

10. Up Next, our Panel on “Not Being Weird,” Featuring Tommy Wiseau.


No, not really, but equivalent. An extremely odd lineup for a panel on “How to Break Into the Entertainment Industry” included ex-WWE midcard wrestlers Chavo Guerrero and John Morrison, UFC fighter/actor Rampage Jackson, Battlestar Galactica’s Richard Hatch, and the Winner twins – two teenage authors who’ve been coming to cons for years and have now reached the age where it’s okay to dress slutty.

So what advice did these major Hollywood stars have for all us peons? Basically, “be yourself.” The whole panel was actually a Trojan Horse, as the point was really to announce that they’re all working on a space gladiator movie together. Notably absent: anybody who knows how to direct.

11. Does This Con Have a “No-Touch” Policy?


If so, this guy is bound to get in trouble.

12. Enjoyage of the Dawn Headers.


As you may have already gathered, the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes presentation was a highlight, with Andy Serkis Instagramming the crowd, footage of Gary Oldman yelling for war (he would seem to be the movie’s villain, though the actor insists his character’s “heroic”) and apes playing drunk to con stupid humans into letting go of their guns. Caesar talks more, but still in broken English. Director Matt Reeves asserted his strong fandom of the franchise, having grown up with all the toys and loved it the way some of us born later loved Star Wars. He sees the current franchise as still leading up to that first movie – which is arguably possible if you posit Abrams-Trek rules of time travel for Zira and Cornelius (that’s my argument, not his).

13. Better Dredd Than Dead.


It takes a lot in this particular group, but indeed, Deadpool is the most anti-social.

14. Where Your Toy Collection Goes to Die.


15. Where Other Stuff Goes to Die.


16. Being Cool When They’re Part of a Team.


In appropriately bipolar fashion, these Unikitty costumes were double-sided, Harvey Dent style – anyone looking at this group from the other side would have seen the positions of Angry Kitty and Sad Kitty reversed. I’d like to see somebody try to tackle Metalbeard.

17. Command Decisions.


Despite all our drones and wiretaps and everything, terrorists just brazenly recruit our children in public. Cobra were never very good at the whole secrecy thing.

18. This Oldman, He Played Two.


“Hi, Commissioner Gordon!” A fan greets Gary Oldman, who takes a moment to get the reference.

19. Well, Now That SHIELD’s Gone…


They can’t do much worse, right?

20. 18 Inches, Times Three.


There weren’t many particularly good toy deals, but with most NECA 18-inchers going for upwards of $100, I managed nonetheless to score these three for around $66 each – a rare instance where the variant version (Black Supes, Downey-head IM) go for less than the classic models. Batman just had a beaten-up box, which I didn’t notice at the time but don’t really care about. I would also have preferred non-variants, but not to the tune of an extra $40.

And to the guy selling the 18″ Armie Hammer Lone Ranger figure for $80: no-one is ever going to buy him but me, and I won’t pay that. We can do this waiting game all year.

Previously by Luke Y. Thompson:

Pretty much everything non-freelance on this site for the past year and a half!

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