This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend WonderCon, the annual pop culture convention, much like the infamous San Diego Comic Con, that is typically held in San Francisco but was transferred to Anaheim this year due to ongoing construction at the convention Center in San Fran.
Early Friday morning I got all my “stuff” packed up and headed to the convention center in Anaheim. Once I arrived there, I picked up my press pass and eventually headed into the legendary exhibition hall. If you have attended a convention like WonderCon before, then you know what I mean when I saw there is nothing quite like it. If haven’t experienced an exhibition hall before, well, I don’t think I could easily explain the insanity; but imagine collectibles of all kinds lining the walls of a large warehouse, people in costume parading all around and commerce up the wazoo as collectors and fans hit up their vendors of choice for all their favorite items.
As a life-long fan of television and a collector of sorts, I visited a few of my favorites vendors picking up new 8 x 10 photos to add to my collection as well as getting a new “Sereni-Tee” t-shirt from my favorite artist Jason Palmer. And, for once I actually had the chance to spend some quality time in the hall, walking around taking it all in and snapping as many pictures as I can to document just what the exhibition hall is really like.
Since it was the first day, Warner Bros. once again sponsored the first panel in the main ballroom – where most of the primary panels were held throughout the weekend – featuring screenings of the pilot episode of Person of Interest and the next new episode of The Secret Circle.
A short while later I moved over to one of the smaller panel rooms for a writers panel, featuring TV and film writers Amy Berg, Steve Kriozese, Jesse Alexander, Ashley Miller, Dave Simkins and Steve Melching. It is always interesting to sit in on a writers’ panel to find out how each of them got their start, listening to their experiences and sharing anecdotes about the inner workings of Hollywood that most of us never get to see.
Moving onto Saturday, I actually had time to meander through the exhibition hall once again, visiting Artists Alley, which is where countless artists have their own tables to sell and promote their creative skills. That afternoon I once again headed to the main ballroom for panels featuring clips, trailers and some of the cast and crew for a number of major upcoming box office films including Battleship, Snow White and the Huntsman, Lockout, Looper, Resident Evil: Retribution and The Amazing Spider-Man.
Among the big names who appeared for these films were Alexander Skarsgard and Brooklyn Decker for Battleship; Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron for Snow White and the Huntsman; Maggie Grace for Lockout; Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Looper; Milla Jovovich for Resident Evil: Retribution and Emma Stone for The Amazing Spider-Man.
Soon enough it was Sunday, the last day of the convention, and it was time for me to put on my press hat. I had the chance to participate in the press room for the FOX fan favorite Fringe which featured Executive Producers Jeff Pinker and J.H. Wyman and actors Joshua Jackson, Seth Grabel and John Noble as well as actress Blair Brown. That was followed up by panels in the main ballroom for Fringe, featuring the aforementioned cast and crew as well as Alcatraz and Once Upon a Time.
The actors and creative minds behind Alcatraz included actors Jorge Garcia, Jonny Coyne and Robert Forster and actresses Sarah Jones and Parminder Nagra as well as Executive Producers Jennifer Johnson and Daniel Pyne and series creators Steven Lillien and Bryan Wynbrandt. During that panel we got a sneak peek at a scene from the season finale and some insight into what to expect in the last three episodes. For the Once Upon a Time panel, the audience was treated to an advance screening of Sunday night’s episode as well as a short Q&A with series creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis.
The last panel of the day, at least for me, was dedicated to well-known TV writer Jane Espenson, who has written for shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls, Tru Calling, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Torchwood: Miracle Day and Once Upon a Time. Jane shared with the audience how she got her start and shared details about her latest online project Husbands.
The convention came to an end much too soon; but I know I certainly enjoyed myself and sure hope that everyone else who attended the annual fete had a great time. Until next year.