[Since we couldn’t go to WonderCon, we charged writer/Elite Beat Operative Matt Maxwell with covering it for us. Maxwell is the author of MURDER MOON, and the webcomic STRANGEWAYS, and has a blog, Highway 62. He also likes to go to conventions.]
PART I – PDA
by Matt Maxwell
WonderCon is kind of an odd duck for me. I’ve been attending for five years now and I’ve gone from freshly-back-into-comics to jaded blogger to frustrated professional to small publisher in that time. Okay, it only seems like an overnight transformation in retrospect, but that’s where I’m writing this from, so you get retrospect.
The show has grown up significantly in the time since I started attending, and has probably ballooned since it was the Oakland Wondercon before it was exiled across the bay to downtown SF. Perhaps Jimmie Robinson could tell me more of the show’s history. I know that Rory Root could’ve. This was the first show in his absence, a fact I was reminded of every time I passed the Comic Relief booth and didn’t see him there with mug in hand and smile on face.
This year, the show was held in Moscone South, which is in the larger cluster of halls. To my memory, it was only held in Moscone West (a new add-on to the convention center) once, several years ago, and that felt too small. In fact, I recall the doors being closed for a short time more than once so that the fire marshals could regulate the population density. It hasn’t felt that crowded yet, but I can imagine it’s going to be a near thing.
Hell, they may have closed the doors while I was sitting at my booth and I’d have never noticed since #1240 is pretty far back from the main doors. Though, to the merchants’ advantage, 1200 is a bathroom aisle, so it’s guaranteed a lot of traffic. “I’d rather be on a bathroom aisle than an aisle connected to the snackbar that they never open,” quipped Brian Johnson of Khepri.com (a retailer, friend and con neighbor, kitty-corner across the intersection from me.) I couldn’t assail his unassailable logic. He also sold me a copy of PIXU II, the collectively-authored book from the likes of Cloonan, Bá, Moon and Lobos. Get the single issues while you can, folks. They won’t be around forever.
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