WonderCon 2014 is officially underway as of now and I could not be more excited! Also, I have to be honest with you folks, I'm really cutting it close to my deadline for this article. I've had to spend most of this week prepping for the convention. Right now, I'm sitting at San Francisco International Airport at 5am typing away. I am not a morning person at all, but the anticipation of flying back to my hometown for WonderCon is has me so jumpy and alert. The build up to going to a good convention is so much better than a strong cup of coffee.
My first convention, or "Con" as the cool kids call it nowadays, was at the Shrine Auditorium is Los Angeles, CA. I remember thinking, "Wow, I've never been this comfortable in public." The year was 1995. The 49ers had won the Super Bowl. Toy Story was going to be released later in November. Nintendo had just unveiled a playable version of the Nintendo 64 at the 1st E3. And we were all waiting to find out who shot Mr. Burns. My cousin, Ed, had just showed me what a Gundam was (G Gundam to be specific) and he instantly got me hooked on building model kits. The first kit I ever built was actually a 1/144 scale model of the Leopard Destroy from Gundam X. Anyway, Ed had assured me the best place to find more kits was at a comic book convention. (This was before Toonami was a thing, kids.) I went with him and it has led to a very expensive habit of going Cons whenever I can.
I cannot help but feel at home at a comic book convention. Why do we nerds go? Well, how many places, especially back in the 90's, could a nerd or geek go without the threat of being judged and ridiculed? You won't be judged for being really interested in something. And no matter what you're into, whether it be Star Wars, Doctor Who, or The Greatest American Hero, at a convention, you'll find 100 other people who are into the exact same thing! The chance to connect with a community that gets what you're into is one of the best feelings in the world.
Now for those new to the convention world, I highly recommend checking out WonderCon in Anaheim. It's the perfect Convention for both veteran and rookie geeks alike. It's large enough to attract celebrities and host premiers, but at the same time, it's small enough that it's fairly easy to get into. San Diego's Comic Con has achieved well deserved mainstream success, but today, it's almost impossible to get in. Also, the crowds there are more massive and may be too much for the rookie Con goer to handle. WonderCon is just right. In fact, the way it looks now reminds me of how San Diego's Con used to be. (I feel like such an old timer.)
This year, I'll be having fun covering the convention with the good folks over at Geek Say What? and we'll all be nerding out to just about everything there. If you're a veteran of the convention scene, hopefully I'll see you there. If you're new to this level of geekdom, don't be afraid. Be open minded, explore your geek side and I guarantee that you'll have a great time.