Author Topic: WonderCon 2013 Reviews  (Read 17645 times)

Offline Khaaaaaaanh!!!

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WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« on: March 30, 2013, 11:52:45 PM »
So there's still one more day left but since it's Easter Sunday and not everyone will be back, I thought we could start getting some feedback as to how things went this year at WonderCon in Anaheim and what people liked, didn't like, etc.

I'm glad it didn't rain. Traffic was still a pain but just as bad as any major city so as long as you're prepared and gave yourself a time buffer, you were fine.

The food options were solid thanks to a good variety at the food court in the Hilton, the presence of the food trucks and more variety inside the convention center including the arena. Would still bring food in when possible but still pretty good options conveniently located.

Disappointed w/ what seemed to be fewer exhibitors *cough*Marvel*cough* and not a ton of panels. Hopefully it was just b/c it was Easter weekend and studios didn't want to commit as many resources. Kinda felt like you could do almost everything in one day and be done with it.

Really enjoyed the arena experience. The stadium seating gave everyone a good view. Gotta be careful of the steps though. Anyone know what the capacity was? Thought room 300AB was a decent size and could be rearranged to be even bigger if needed since there was still a ton of unused space in the back so overall, the space is there to handle big crowds should they bring more panels in.

Thought the fountain area outside the convention center was awesome. Ended up being a great place for cosplayers to hang out and ham it up on the stage for all the cameras. Some of the photographers did a great job organizing photo ops by group (all Marvel or GI Joe and then Cobra, etc) so it made for some fun photos. Was just a cool hangout spot and helped decrease the stop/start traffic that usually occurs inside b/c everyone's trying to take pictures of everything.

Please add your thoughts on what went well and what you'd like to see if CCI decides to put another show here in Anaheim.
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Offline Andrew Costa Mesa

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Re: WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2013, 12:24:57 AM »
I give an F to the people in yellow and black shirts who didn't seem to know where attendees could go to pick up badges.  Asked one of them who referred to his list which didn't seem to answer my question.  Asked another who used his 2-way radio to get the answer, of which nobody had an answer for him as well.  Finally, I saw one of the attendees with a 3-day badge (the same badge I ordered) and just asked him where he got his badge and I got my answer.  Preparation is key!

Friday, I was at the Arena (WonderCon's smaller version of Hall H) and got to see an episode of the CW's "Arrow".  Earlier, I went to a jobs panel for people who can't write or draw but still want to break into the comic industry.  I also visited the exhibitor's hall, which didn't seem to have a large assortment of vendors unlike the San Diego Comic-Con, but there was no shortage of comic book vendors.  I bought a few comics, something I would have done at the San Diego Comic Con if I wasn't sick on the last day.

Seemed Saturday was the only day that had interesting panels.  Got to see the cast of NBC's "Revolution".  Also saw the cast of the upcoming film "The Moral Instruments: City of Bones", to be released by Sony Pictures on August 23.  Then I got to see the panel I was waiting for, the remake of "The Evil Dead", coming out next Friday (April 5).  The cast was there including Producer and original "Evil Dead" alumni Bruce Campbell.  He alone made that panel very entertaining!

I currently don't have any plans for attending on Sunday, but if I do, it will be a last-minute decision.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 12:46:49 PM by Andrew Costa Mesa »
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Re: WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #2 on: Today at 07:51:52 PM »

Offline Car_Low

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Re: WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2013, 10:00:33 AM »
My only gripe that CCi has control of is spacing between booths. It's not like SDCC where space is at a premium. the booths towards hall A especiialy was pretty tight compared to others around the convention center and I saw some room to spread it out a bit to allow better flow of traffic.

Yzrfan

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WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2013, 11:34:22 AM »
The only 4 complaints I have are kind of petty. It was on Easter Weekend (had to miss Sunday due to family stuff), no Marvel, no Lucas, and the Swag was still lacking (don't get me wrong got some free books at Dark Horse, but over all swag was lacking). I thought it was much better then last year. I still had an awesome time. It was a great warm up for SDCC. Most of the days I felt kind of rushed trying to make it to the signings and find everyone. It was a first person shooter version of "Where's Waldo." It was a great time! Sad to see it gone, but we have SDCC 4 months away.

Offline funkybutton

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Re: WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2013, 01:02:19 PM »
Swag was lacking for sure. I also felt the staff was pretty rude, that wasn't the case last year. I had one guy yell and me and give me a really hard time because I wanted to take the stairs instead of the escalators, which didn't even seem like a problem the rest of the time.... just that once. Really why do you care if I want to take the stairs??

Otherwise.... I had a pretty good time Friday. I didn't go Saturday because I waited to late and it sold out, but there were panels that I would have gone to see. I didn't go today (Sunday) because there weren't any panels that I wanted to see, which was a shame. I think my only other complaint was the disorganization and what seemed like a totally unneeded line to get in... I literally walked the length of the entire building 3X in that line, and I was almost late and got a crappy seat for the panel I wanted to see (and got there in more than enough time to be early) because of it. I guess it was to control some imagined mad rush going to the floor, which isn't where I was headed. It just seemed like they could have just let people in like they did last year and it would have been fine.

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2013, 05:58:12 PM »
As far as arena capacity, at the talkback panel, CCI said that the capacity of the arena was very similar to the capacity of the big room 300 ballroom setup they used last year. He didn't give numbers though.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 06:21:41 PM by Transmute Jun »

Offline TheTFReview

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Re: WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2013, 06:15:54 PM »
The Arena seats 7,500 not counting the floor seating. So I'd say there were about 4,200-4,500. The ballroom when used to max capacity seated 3,800ish. Those are just my guesstimates.

Offline rabbitwarren

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Re: WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2013, 06:31:28 PM »
First Wondercon.  Before, I've experienced both extremes, the small hotel conventions and SDCC so didn't know how to compare these experiences.  Overall, I'd say this is somewhere between a B+/A-.  The quality of panels I went to (BSG, Superman, Warner,sony,Joss whedon, nerdist, arrow) were good except for Revolution which sucked and actually ended early.  I think the convention is missing 1 or 2 big panels and a few more major vendors(and that's not counting marvel) to really make it an alternative for people who couldn't go to SDCC.  That's not to say I want this to get any bigger.  I liked being able to wait only half an hour in line for Joss Whedon and still get a good seat and aside from waiting 2hours to get the shirt and DC exclusives, I liked going around the exhibit hall and being able to chat with the vendors and artists and not feel like being swarmed by a crowd. 

My only gripe is that I am really sensitive to smells

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2013, 06:35:27 PM »
That's an interesting review.

At the talkback panel, one of the people said that this year's WonderCon was 90% of the good stuff about SDCC without 90% of the bad stuff. IMHO those percentages are somewhat high. What do you guys think?

Offline rabbitwarren

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Re: WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2013, 06:45:11 PM »
I think those percentages are a little high.  If there were a few more good exclusives, more swag, and maybe Man of Steel, Iron Man, or Star Trek panels, then it'd be a 90.  And the line for DC stuff was a lot longer than anything I waited for in SDCC.  Also missing was the area really getting into the spirit of it.  Aside from the banners, you couldn't tell Wondercon was in town.

Yzrfan

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WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2013, 07:16:32 PM »
Wondercon will never be the level of SDCC. It will always be the little brother/sister of the big show and Ape is the red headed step child of it. In my opinion it surpassed last year. WC still has to work out several kinks in the system. You need to remember that this is Anaheim first real major con. Yes they had Blizzard, Anime, and Wizard World two years. Those past cons compared to this weekend was like comparing a pop Warner team to the Super Bowl champs. A great con will always find ways to grow and become better. Heck would of thought last year panels would have been filled, days being sold out, or a huge line for DC exclusives. I think WC was a success this year. Now if it stays the same next year then I will change my mind. Plus if there was a con just like SDCC then the big, then SDCC would loose it's magic. Trans you've been to both locations, have you been able to see WC grow and change?

Offline perc2100

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Re: WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2013, 07:51:30 PM »
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That's an interesting review.

At the talkback panel, one of the people said that this year's WonderCon was 90% of the good stuff about SDCC without 90% of the bad stuff. IMHO those percentages are somewhat high. What do you guys think?

I would agree that it has most of the stuff I love about SDCC minus most of the stuff I hate.  I'd like to see some more of the high profile vendors in the exhibit hall, but other than Marvel all of the big comic companies were there I think.  Part of me would love to see more hollywood studios in the exhibit hall, and likewise I'd love to see more high profile movie panels.  My son would really like more of the big toy companies showing off their stuff (Hasbro, Mattel, LEGO, etc).  The video game companies were fairly well represented, and I don't remember a ton of that last year.

That all being said, I kinda like that the focus is seemingly more on comics, and on lower key stuff with only a little bit of hollywood presence.  I spent more on comics this weekend at WonderCon than I have at probably the last 5+ years at Comic-Con combined.  I loved how laid back everything seemed compared to Comic-Con, and I really liked how every panel I attended (which admittedly weren't a lot) felt a bit more intimate, even in the arena.  I didn't have an interest in the vast majority of panels, and there were more last year that I was interested in.  That's no one's fault though: just an observation.
I didn't have any traffic issues other than what I assume is typical holiday weekend heavy travel.  I would LOVE to never had WonderCon on Easter weekend again if possible.

I've only been to two WonderCon, and I think this year was significantly better than last year overall.  While I wouldn't mind if WonderCon grew to be even bigger profile than it is, closer to SDCC than now, I'm OK with it staying low key.  My son and I had a blast and don't have any real complaints

Offline oneroomdisco

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Re: WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2013, 08:28:14 PM »
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At the talkback panel, one of the people said that this year's WonderCon was 90% of the good stuff about SDCC without 90% of the bad stuff. IMHO those percentages are somewhat high. What do you guys think?

I think that's definitely too high.  While I enjoyed WonderCon and got to attend some awesome panels with really awesome seats (Pacific Rim/The Conjuring, Much A Do About Nothing, Cartoon Voices, Starship Smackdown), there where large swaths of time when it felt like there was simply nothing to do.  While some of this is a matter of taste (a lot of the major film/TV panels simply weren't for things I was interested in), I do think WonderCon could really use a few more big panels/exhibitors.  I don't want it to turn into SDCC, but I would like having more options in terms of film/television related panels and signings.

In terms of swag, the hall still felt really lacking--most of the stuff I got, I got outside the exhibit hall.  I did think the selection of vendors seemed better than last year, although due to We Love Fine only bringing one of the shirts I was interested in (and thus preventing me from reaching the $40 deal) and trying to not buy more books at the moment, I didn't purchase much.  All in all, I had fun and really hope that CCI comes back to Anaheim next year.  The location is convenient and even if there were boredom issues at times, it's a great show and an awesome way to start the con season :).

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2013, 08:35:49 PM »
Yzrfan, I have definitely seen WonderCon change. When I first went in 2009, it seemed like a small, local Con with one big Hollywood type panel. Each year it seems to add one or two more big panels, and a bunch of smaller panels. The Exhibit floor seems to have stayed about the same, Marvel's absence this year excluded. The video game companies have been attending for a few years. I remember my daughter and I earning Nintendo toques for playing their demo games in 2010.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 09:11:18 PM by Transmute Jun »

Offline kappolo

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Re: WonderCon 2013 Reviews
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2013, 09:10:14 PM »
Here is my short review. Just got back home after dinner in OC.

The good:
- Alleys were pretty much walkable
- Arena seating was awesome, always found a seat
- I've met Kahnh, Yzrfan and Rando
- Got some nice swag (even though it was not much): Ducktales poster, some lanyards, Remember Me poster signed by few developers, Last of Us poster, Bravoman poster signed by few guys, Bravoman t-shirt, few comics, Nintendo bag + puzzle, few pins.
- Lots of costumes (the percentage is way higher than Comic Con)


The bad:
- Lots of people for some panels, didn't get in in some panels because I showed up late
- Not as much swag as expected
- Didn't meet other forum members :(
- No "official" forum meet up
- Marvel missing
- No interesting exclusives (this can also be a good point, for my wallet)

The ugly:
- Staff was rude, when I tried to take a picture of Stan Lee at a booth. (But overall the staff was good).
- It looks like it starting to get too much Comic Con like, I prefer if it stays smaller.