I’m writing this article the day after WonderCon 2012 ended with a deep exhaustion, as if I’d just tried to race the Flash around the block and seriously thought I could win. I’ve filled myself with coffee and soda throughout the day, and I still feel like I’m going to fall asleep on my keyboard. It’s the all too familiar con fatigue that usually settles in on the third day of a convention and lasts for most of the following week.
I love it.
As tired as I am, I had a blast attending panels and tweeting every fresh tidbit and tease that was fed to me by my favorite comic creators. I enjoyed meeting new people and marveling at some of the very creative cosplay on display throughout the weekend. I love comic book conventions and the people who gather for them, from the professionals speaking on their work to the fans who flock to indulge in their love of all things geeky. I might be soaking wet and freezing cold (like I was early on Saturday), but being in the middle of one of the greatest conventions outside of San Diego Comic-Con put a big smile on my face every day.
WonderCon, as you no doubt know by now, relocated to Anaheim for a one-time engagement, and since the convention was practically delivered to my doorstep, I had to see what it had to offer. I was a bit dismayed that the weather was uncharacteristically cold and rainy for SoCal over the weekend, but it certainly didn’t hurt attendance that badly. WonderCon attendees were plentiful, braving the elements for the convention, even in costume. Speaking of costumes, you’ll never see more green-clad cosplayers than you will at a convention that happens to land right on St. Patrick’s Day!
What about the glut of information that poured out of WonderCon? Well, you can find a good sampling of the major announcements here. I also live-tweeted some juicy news as the panels happened from my @RBLeMoyne Twitter account. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can explore my timeline for every piece of convention-related news (and, uh, the insanity that happened in the evenings), or you can read on as I hit the highlights of the best comic book panels!
MARVEL: House of Ideas
Ooh, good question: what side will Wolverine take in Avengers vs X-Men? The entire panel weighed in, and the official answer is that Avengers vs X-Men will be a huge event for digital content and the new digital format!
Marvel is on GetGlue and YouTube! Crazy!
Mighty Marvel Podcast: Giving you your behind the scenes news every week!
They invited people from the audience to check out the new digital comic. Flows naturally, like a real comic book.
http://Marvel.com got a new look?
Marvel AR: Bringing more content to your printed comics through your devices!
Marvel ReEvolution: Digital comics the way the should be. No flash or glitz, just a really good comic.
Mark Waid totally gets how digital comics should work.
Marvel Comics is committed to publishing both print AND digital. No one format will be greater than the other, as it should be.
Comic book coupons in digital comics for use in comic shops? There’ll be more on the way!
Buy a comic, get a free digital code! It’ll be in all their Marvel Comics, to give people more reasons to go to the retailers.
Marvel Digital Comics is the first talking point. Who uses their digital comics app? More people than you think by show of hands.
Lessons Learned from Batgirl About Female Superheroes and Trauma: Resilience, Recovery and Re-launch
Black Canary and her relationship with Green Arrow after a personal trauma. Resilience at its finest.
Steph Batgirl rose above the circumstances of her trauma to be a hero.
Why would Steph go back to fighting crime? She wanted to strike back against the circumstances that created.
Wow, Stephanie Brown has a LOT of trauma in her life. Holy hell.
Zatanna’s trauma is losing her father, the loss driving her actions.
Batgirl and trauma triggers. Freezes at the sight of a gun, or the sound of doorbells.
Every superhero experiences trauma, but men and women experience different types.
Wow, real psychologists talking about superhero trauma. Nerdiest room in the con, hands-down.
The Official Aspen Comics Panel
No crossovers between series titles. Charismatic characters will never interact with Shrugged characters.
Check out Aspen’s Charismagic: The Death Princess image on their site later today! http://Aspencomics.com
Aspen is committed to bringing in new artists to work on their titles, and you’ll be seeing their work later this year.
Aspen Digital is expanding greatly, including exclusives.
Aspen still working with Marvel and DC on art, and Axe Anarchy building steam and becoming a great audience participation story!
Dead Man’s Run is halfway complete, Haunted City going strong and could be a film soon!
Executive Assistants returning later this year!
Soulfire: SftL will be a weekly series! Emphasis on the Masters. New artist announcement coming soon re: vol. 4!
Soulfire: Search for the Light is a series coming this summer that leads into Soulfire vol. 4.
David Wohl taking over Fathom, and will continue to be Aspen’s flagship title.
Broken Pieces story is halfway told. Corey Smith will be taking over the art duties on the book.
Charismatic: The Death Princess! An origin of magic story, coming this fall!
Lady Mechanika‘s arc has grown huge, forcing Joe to narrow down the story.
Lady Mechanika! More reprints are coming, new covers, and issue 4 is coming! The covers look GREAT!
Homecoming is an alien abduction story set in high school. Sounds compelling!
Homecoming starts in July, the last comic that Michael Turner drew designs for. Also in the FCBD issue.
Idolized preview will be in their FCBD issue. #WonderCon
Idolized sounds awesome. A tale of vengeance/redemption, their first ever superhero book!
DCE: Meet the Publishers
Ralph Dibny: The New 52 is all open, some characters to be featured gradually instead of flooding the DCU with too many at once.
Wally West: Not saying he does or doesn’t exist, but the New 52 is still young.
John Constantine: the only character both in DC Comics and Vertigo.
Experimenting with different price points instead of the “all you can eat” approach to digital comics.
Wow, they just did a show of hands in the room of who’s buying how many of the New 52. One guy is still buying all 52!
We Can Be Heroes: bringing awareness of the Horn of Africa and helping with the hunger crisis there.
Digital first was met with someone saying “Noooooooooo!”
Oh hell, the Smallville comic is going digital first, then print.
Collected Justice League volume of the first arc, with extra material on the designs!
Jim Lee wanted to create something referential to the past but still create something new. #BeforeWatchman
Lots of Before Watchmen coming at us this summer, including sequential art by Adam Hughes! One book a week, guaranteed!
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo graphic novel: Bringing civilians into comics.
Big reveals in the FCBD issue, not something you want to miss!
Pandora: Featured in the FCBD issue, with ties to other heroes and kicks off stories for the next year.
The new website, showcasing every aspect of DC Entertainment!
Talking about the new logo: “It looks really cool when it’s animated.”
DC Nation, exposing the general public to new superheroes, like Animal Man!
I’m pretty impressed with how Anaheim WonderCon turned out, though I wish I’d been to it in San Francisco to have a better comparison for its success in SoCal. Still, all things considered, it had a SDCC line-up with a Wizard World L.A. size, which made my anxiety of large crowds very happy. I completely understand if they want to keep the con in San Francisco from here on out, but I think an annual comic convention in Anaheim would be a wonderful thing.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to treat my con fatigue with some well-deserved rest.