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Monday, April 6, 2015

Comic Convention Report: WonderCon 2015 Review (Los Angeles, CA, (4/3-4/5/2015)

WonderCon Anaheim 2015

WonderCon returned to Anaheim for 2015, again during the Easter weekend which probably impacted the number of attendees and guests that could bypass events and work holidays to participate in the fourth WonderCon at the Anaheim Convention Center. 

Attendance for 2015 was decent and comparable to previous years though the amount of "wow" factor special guest, exhibitors and events decreased significantly. At the very first WonderCon held in Anaheim back in 2012 exhibitors such as Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and movie studios appeared. But for 2015, Marvel, DC, Dark Horse were missing and only Boom Studios, Lion Forge and Image had a publisher presence on the floor.

Statue displays

The set-up of the floorplan was changed significantly with the artist alley space moved to the Hall A section instead of the previous year's Hall D and the badge pick-up also kept next to Hall A instead of the bottom basement hall for pick-up. Publisher booths were kept near the doors and the special guest signing table was moved to the mid-hall location. Some of the bigger tier artists were placed near each other causing some major line congestion and blockages that caused some exhibitors to pitch a fit and request some artists or signing lines to be moved.

Jae Lee sketching

Artists such as Babs Tarr (Batgirl), Phil Noto (Black Widow), Jae Lee (Batman/Superman), and Darwyn Cooke (New Frontier) had significant lines throughout the con with Babs' line being the longest all 3-days of the event.

Phil Noto sketching

Other guests such as Dan Jurgens, Kevin McGuire, Ken Lashley, Steve Epting, Ron Lim had more manageable lines and commissions could still be acquired on the second day of the convention. It always eludes me when convention organizers do not place big name talent at table corners where lines can be more controlled instead of placing them smack dab in the middle of artist alley where lines just clog up the walk way and block other exhibitors.

Rob Van Dam

Tempo and excitement for WonderCon 2015 was lower in expectation and turnout when I asked other attendees of the event. The lack of many more higher-profile guests, media guests and the Big 2 publishers significantly loosened the "wow" factor in this event and SDCC-lite it was. 

With the 2016 event for WonderCon moving to the Los Angeles Convention Center the change in venue will either make or break the event. The LACC significantly lacks the foot-traffic and restaurant and Disney location of the Anaheim Convention Center but hopefully the closer star power location will bring in more guests and "wow" missing this year.

Comics Alliance