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Committed: Wondercon and self-restraint

Last week, I looked at my schedule and thought I was sorted. With Wondercon finishing just a couple of days before my article was due, I’d obviously have tons to write about.

As it turns out, there was a lot to write about, but instead of pacing myself, I went a little crazy. 040610_kensamRemember that article I wrote just 3 weeks ago, about taking cons easy, taking care of oneself? Maybe instead of just writing it, I ought to have read it too. I completely broke the rules, got so swept up in the excitement of Wondercon, having so many good friends in my home town, and fun comic-related things happening, that I went to the convention every single day, all day. I did exactly what I said I wouldn’t; I got up early, hardly ate, then ran off to the convention center to spend most of the day on my feet roaming the floors, attending panels, and bumping into friends. I forgot to eat right, drink enough water and on top of it all, in the evenings I went to the parties.

Now I am a physical wreck. Drinking a spirulina-infused smoothie every day does not make up for eating donuts for breakfast, french fries for lunch, and potato chips for dinner (i.e. covering the three major non-food groups – carbohydrates, sugar, and fat.) Unsurprisingly, I now I feel like I’m coming down with a horrible cold, or maybe there’s just an invisible cat sitting on my chest…

040610_tongaIt serves me right. This is what happens when you think you’ve got it nailed, I should never have written that article about attending cons in a “sensible” way, it was asking for trouble. The thing is, how often do I get a chance to wander around all day, shopping for my favorite books, taking photos of amusing cosplay, trading reading recommendations with friends that I didn’t expect to bump into, and sitting in on panels simply because they sound interesting, (even when I knew I ought to take a proper break and leave the rarefied air of the convention center)? At one point I did walk out of the convention, thinking “Yes! I made it, THIS is the afternoon that I leave early and have a little lie down before the evenings activities. Instead I bumped into a friend, and while I stood outside talking, my friends inside phoned to tell me to come back and hang out some more. Needless to say, I did.

It’s a shame that I exhausted myself so completely, because I was looking forward to telling you about some fun things. Instead, I’m a broken shell of a person, and all I can offer is an extremely random list of things I noticed in my wanderings around Wondercon 2010. Enjoy!

  1. 040610_amandaJimmy Palmiotti admitted that writing is less time-consuming than drawing, and so he promised to do a little more housework to give Amanda Conner more time to draw great comic books.
  2. Something like 9 out of 10 comic book creators regard Image Comics as the publisher to go to when it’s time to publish their own work. As Steven T. Seagle pointed out; when you’re working on a licensed character for one of the big two publishers, you can’t just kill them off. But if you make up your own characters, you can do whatever you want. Apparently Image is the place to take these leaps.
  3. Apparently Elephantmen will be made into a movie. The mind boggles.
  4. The last episode of Chuck that was on, was intended to be the end-of-season finale, then they got the go-ahead to make 6 more… It seems like an odd place to go with that many more episodes to go, but to be honest, all I could think was “Why isn’t Adam Baldwin in it much more often?”
  5. 040610_adambaldwin1When comic fans are told to go to the Tonga Room en masse, dressed up like pirates, they jump! I’ve never seen so many intimidated Nob Hill locals in my life. It was beautiful.
  6. Jonathon Ross is a charming man who wears oversized, MC Hammer-style sweatpants in public.
  7. If you have a party in a comic store, other kinds of geeks will show up for the booze and be completely unashamed about their total disinterest in the medium.
  8. 040610_supesThe mellowest day to attend a comic book convention has to be Easter Sunday (sorry Jesus.) The crowds parted like the red sea (or not) and suddenly you could breathe again.
  9. While everyone recognizes Brent Spiner and James Marsters as actors, no one really knows what who “Q” is, or what his real name is. I think that most convention attendees think he’s truly an extraterrestrial adventurer.
  10. A cup of hot chocolate is not substitute for a meal. Next year I think Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution should be filmed at a comic book convention, where he can feed us all healthy food to help with our exhaustion and nutrient-deprivation-induced social awkwardness.

14 Comments

Woot, Amanda Conner got a mention!

Sucks that this year wasn’t my year to go. But I’m glad you brought back a coherent grab-bag of events and sightings! I’m glad that it still is as great of meet-up for fans and creators alike. And that the atmosphere isn’t one of corporate image takeover.

OK, I totally didn’t expect to see a picture of a friend of mine hanging out with Superman when I opened this entry.

Ken or Sam?

Q is John de Lancie. I thought everyone knew that. I’ve known his name ever since ‘Encounter At Farpoint’– for some reason, it stuck in my mind even before I’d memorised most of the main Next Generation cast. Maybe it’s because his name always made me think of fer-de-lance.

Alan: That would be Ken. Sam, presumably, is Superman. I’m coincidentally also a Sam, but I’m not at liberty to comment on any caped aliases.

“As Steven T. Seagle pointed out; when you’re working on a licensed character for one of the big two publishers, you can’t just kill them off. But if you make up your own characters, you can do whatever you want. ”

True. What he didn’t point out is that doing whatever you want with a character (especially killing it off) is NOT always the best thing to do. Good writing often needs restraint.

John De Lancie is an underrated actor….and I always thought that one of the Next Generation movies should involved Q taking on the cast like Mytziplik (I know I misspelled that, I tired) in “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” Imagine the crew taking on an insane. power drunk Q on the big screen? That would have been golden…

Sonia, point 7 is dead on! I have been to comic parties and events where people who attended did nothing but trash the event, thinking they were too cool for it. Why even bother showing up? Last one I can recall was the Kirby Krackle performance at last year’s NY Comic-Con….I had 2 people behind me the whole time who wouldn’t shut up in trashing the group and comics in general. Grrrr.

And the Chuck point is right…this did feel like a series ender. But 6 more episodes? I am so there…

For the food thing, I carbo load before an event…2 hot dogs or a slice of pizza before attending…let’s me go for 3-4 hours on energy, a bottle of water during as I walk around….then when I done a sensible dinner as I read my newly bought books. =)

Just to verify Sonia, but you were one of the people who asked questions at the end of the Image panel right?

I need to go to another con. Its been since highschool (I’m 21 btw). I really enjoyed the last con I went to. I was a huge Micheal Turner fan at the time (still am) and I got to meet him and Stugerwald (who is, if you don’t know already an AMAZING colorist). It was a really wonderful experience.

But I haven’t been to one since. The main reason being I don’t have time or money to take big road trips any more.

Also, I have a story of heartbreak to tell as well. See, it was the year after my best friend Leslie (and now, my girlfriend btw) had gone to that con and we wanted to go again. We were pumped for it and had costumes and everything. I was going as ‘the Salesman’ from Sin City and Leslie was dressing up as one of the girls. She had a bustier and everything. It was awesome.

Well I never got to see her in that costume, because her dad shot it down at the last minute (the day before actually). Then a couple of years later Micheal Turner died. I mean, he wasn’t the only reason I’d go (I’m a huge comic nerd so seeing anybody would be fun) but it took a lot out of me.

I think I’m ok now though and as soon as I get some money I’m gunna make Leslie go to a con with me.

I like your article Sonia. By the way. I just also wanted to relate my tale of woe.

Sam has a Superman outfit too? I imagine that’s much more comfortable than walking around a con floor all day in Spider-Man’s body stocking. I guess it all hinges on the boots.

I didn’t really watch John de Lancie as Q, but he had a great part in the second season of Breaking Bad

Sweet! Nice article Sonia! :)

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