Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Geeky Ring Girls and Conning Wonder from Comic Books

Geek Speak: Come in from the Rain, Ring Girl
This is going to be a long one, so I'm putting the cartoon up front. This was drawn, I kid you not, while I listened to the open enrollment presentation where I work.

If it looks a little odd it was drawn freehand in my notebook, so I didn't get an opportunity to layout proper panels and you can still see some of the "rules" from the notepaper. 

WonderCon Anaheim 2013, Day 1 - Part 1
No blog post about my time at WonderCon this year would be really complete without mentioning my friends Phoenix and her husband Benni. Phoenix is a good friend and fellow artist who was able to register with ComicCon as a professional, which comes with a couple of guest passes that she was generous enough to share with me and my wife, Mildly Sensational. Thank you, Phoenix and Benni, it's possible your generosity has changed my life. I could write several blog posts about how I felt at WonderCon, and the surge of joy I get when I so much as think about walking the floor and attending professional panels, or about the overwhelming sense of belonging I felt, but enough of that, it's time to talk about the Con itself.

Although she provided the professional registration and secured the passes, Phoenix was unable to attend herself. Benni was only able to attend on Friday, so agreed to meet and spend the day at Con together, which was a bit of a relief to me. As much as I love comics, and in for all the years I've lived in Southern California, I've never been to a comic book or science fiction convention. I hadn't the foggiest clue how to go about attending a Con, so it was nice to know I'd be with someone who could show me the ropes even if it was just that first day.

I should back up and mention that it was not at all certain that I would be going to WonderCon until the week before it happened. Around the same time that all of this was being planned Mildly Sensational and I found out we're expecting a second set of little hands. When we found out I immediately set about adding her to my insurance, which caused us some stress, but that's the subject of another blog post. In the end I was able to get her on my insurance, but any visits to her doctor in March would be out of pocket. This financial set back would have meant there was no possible way for me to go to Con, but then our tax return cleared. Although I made enough money this last year to kick us into a new tax bracket, the money we got back from the government was still substantial, and more than enough for me to go to Con without being overly worried about finances.

The first day of Con was Friday morning and I was supposed to meet Benni at the professional registration desk at 9:00. Those who don't have children will have a hard time really understanding how impossible it is to keep a schedule when you have a two year old to provide for. Between diapers, and feeding, and dressing, and playing I didn't get out of the house until almost 9:00.

As I was leaving I made sure to let Benni know I was running a little late. No problem, as it turns out he wasn't going to be able to make it. As it turned out I didn't need to be in such a rush.

My getting into WonderCon came with its own drama. As soon as I arrived I found my way to the
professional registration counter where I got into the line. You can see the photo off to the right here. As long as it looks it paled in comparison to the line for the regular guest registration. That line went out the doors I came in, up the stairs down into the hall, out the doors to the convention center and wound around the courtyard outside. Insert your own joke here about waiting in line so long your children are no longer eligible to be covered on your health insurance.

When I did get to the counter I told the person handing out badges that I had been registered as a guest of a professional and gave them Phoenix's name. Without blinking the guy said, "I can't do that. She has to pick them up." I asked him if that meant I couldn't collect my pass if she didn't pick them up in person and he said "yes" and looked behind me at the next person in line. Thus dismissed and beginning to panic I slipped out of line and sent a quick message to Benni along the lines of "The rooster is not in the hen-house, I repeat, the rooster is not in the hen-house."

We agreed to meet outside before getting back in line to give it another try. Worst case scenario I would just spend the weekend pretending I was Phoenix as her name can be given to males as well. As it turns out we didn't have to do that, Benni was able to secure my actual guest pass by explaining Phoenix's situation (who was at a wedding) and we were on our way to Con!

That's when we ended up in this line. The one behind the weird viking guy in the "coexist" shirt.

There were a few bright spots to waiting for Benni outside, then waiting in line to get into WonderCon. I did get to take some photos of particularly good costumes. Here are a few of the shots I took outside.

I took a photo of this group because I really liked the one in all black with the claws. For those not really familiar with Marvel's line up of heroes this is X-23, Wolverine's daughter by way of genetic cloning and a surrogate mother.

This woman's costume is spot-on for X-23. The other two costumes I feel like I should know, but it's also a case of, "this kids today and their crazy damn cartoons. In my day we didn't have mystic vampire foxes."

I took a picture of this guy because I like that he's dressed as Captain Hammer. I also think it's hilarious that he looks kind of like what the character from that web-series by Joss Whedon that everyone should watch would look like if he let himself go for a while.

There were several guys at Con who were dressed as characters played by Nathan Fillion. This guy's outfit was one of the best I saw all day.

I talked with him a little bit and he said most of what he was wearing he'd bought over several weeks. Some pieces were easier to get than the others. It was worth it as the results are pretty authentic.

In fact I'm pretty sure I saw this guy later being pursued, sweat faced and panicked, by a group of cosplay Kaylees and Inaras.

I saw them later. I didn't see him again. I don't want to know.

It wasn't too long before we were able to get inside. By this time it was afternoon and we were both so hungry we were about to faint. We made a beeline for the concessions where he got a dodgy looking hot dog and I got slightly less dodgy looking pizza. Dodgy or not we scarfed down the grease and calories and headed out onto the floor.

That's where I'm going to have to leave it for now, as this post is already a lot longer than my usual. More to come soon. I promise.

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