Written Revelry! WonderCon 2014 – Conference Wackiness, Food Truck Redunkulousness and Costume Amazingness

So this past weekend was  WonderCon 2014 in Anaheim, CA.  I went down on Saturday with a couple of my friends, one of whom likes to cosplay Capt. Jack Harkness from Torchwood and Doctor Who.  She gets a lot of people in Who-play asking her for pics because she’s generally the only Jack Harkness walking around.  I talked them into heading down early so we could make it around the time the Con opened at 10am and I feel they gave me good traffic and parking karma.

After grabbing our badges I headed outside with Capt. Jack to get an official “I’m at WonderCon” photo with #PocketJaime:

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Then we saw a Who and Dalek so Jack had to get a pic:

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After those obligatory pics, we met up with our other friend and went inside to get our Con on.  We started in Artist’s Alley:

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Which is a cool place to go if you are into the art that is such an integral part of comics and life in general.  I always find it kind of sad that they don’t give them the love that the other parts of the Con (like the Studios, or Publishers or Game Studios, etc) get.  They’re on hard concrete with fold out chairs:

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I mean what comic, game, movie, anime, etc. would exist if it weren’t for artists?  Where’s the love?

Anyway….

I had to split from them fairly early on because I was invited to participate in the “20th Century Fox” conferences for How To Train Your Dragon, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Maze Runner (sooo excited!) and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

The room was kind of sad and disorganized.  They had no one waiting outside to check us in.  The room was partitioned with curtains, which didn’t help with the noise coming from the other side where the “red carpet” was located.  All through the conference all I could hear were the questions and clicks of cameras coming from that side.  It was so distracting I could barely hear the people on our side speaking.   And the microphones did nothing to help with that.  The room just swallowed the sound.

I took videos, but honestly, after hours of trying to adjust the volume and minimize the background noise, you can still barely hear anything.  So I’ve nixed them. Thankfully I could get some pics and took some notes the old fashioned way.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 – out June 13, 2014

P1040219 L-R: Writer/Director Dean DeBlois and Jay Baruchel

Hiccup is still trying to fit in with his tribe and their traditions.  His world goes topsy-turvy when he encounters a dragon named Drago, who threatens the future of both men and dragons.

It’s rather nice that they’ve kept Jay as the voice of Hiccup not only in the movie, but in the TV series as well.  Of course, he joked around with us that he’s kind of protective about the character now, so he just can’t let anyone else play him.   Plus, he said that doing the television show helps to keep his head in the character.  According to Dean, Jay is so in tune with his character at this point, that he always welcomes suggestions and insights from Jay about Hiccup for use in the film/show.  Jay also talked about the differences between the TV show and films; on the show they can go into more of the day to day minutiae,  while in the film it has to be a finite span of time.

I find it interesting that they’re doing the sequel since it spun to television but Dean said that he pitched it as a trilogy because he knew there was enough material there for sequels.

They talked about the challenges of voice-over work, and how it can be rather isolating.  Dean said he likes when he can get more than one actor in the booth at the same time because then some lovely impromptu moments happen that might not have been originally written down.  Jay was asked how he prepares for the role, he said “I might take a shower.”  Ha ha…

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – out July 11, 2014

P1040222L-R: Gary Oldman, Kerri Russell, Andy Serkis and Director Matt Reeves

This is one that I really wanted to have some cool stuff to show you.  Dang blasted acoustics.

A lot was said about the themes of this film, which takes place around a decade after the last film.  The virus has left a few surviving humans and the evolved apes led by Caesar (Serkis).  Matt said that it was important to him that there be no right side vs. wrong side because essentially both sides are right and both are wrong.  It just depends on which side you happen to be standing on.  He said the film is mostly about how both sides are just struggling to survive.

Serkis and Oldman joked about how they didn’t eat at the craft tables together because there were tables that each faction chose.  The ape table, the orangutan table, the human table, etc.  Kerri and Matt jokingly agreed about how uncomfortable that made things on set.

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Matt also went into how these recent films don’t have to worry about getting to the ending because we already know what happens.  These are more about how, not why or what.  It’s about the journey these two populations are taking to survive the devastation of their world and wondering if they can coexist.
Evidently not at the lunch tables ;P

The Maze Runner – out September 19, 2014

P1040235L-R: Author James Dashner, Dylan O’Brien, Will Poulter and Director Wes Ball

I’m excited for this one.  Based on the book by Dashner, this movie is about a group of boys who wake up in a place called “The Glade” where they have no memory of life in the outside world and can only remember their names.  Thomas (O’Brien) is the main focus of the story as he tries to start piecing together what The Glade is, why they are there, how these mechanical slugs called “Grievers” fit in and how they can get out.

I feel some people will groan over this because it’s another Dystopian/YA story but according to the group it’s more a Lord of the Flies than a Hunger Games which is pretty true and why I’m on board.  I also like the fact that the author did the screenplay.

Like every panel I’ve sat on for YA Dystopia (books, film, tv) the question was asked about why?  Why is it so popular?  Wes said that it’s because people that age like to be treated as adults, therefore these kind of mature themes resonate.  Dashner stated that he (like most) didn’t set out to write a YA novel, he set out to write a thrilling story set in this world and it just happens to be about teens.

 

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For the most part it sounds like the actors really clicked with the characters and story and they hope they’ve done it justice.  It also sounds like they’ve put together an awesome soundtrack that’s less “pop” music and more of a score that fits this kind of dark and gritty subject.

The X-Men conference was cancelled so I headed back over to the main convention center to meet up with my friends.


We decided to get some food, so we headed over to where the food trucks were.

We picked the shortest line, which was for tacos.  It took 20 minutes to get our order in and 45 minutes to get our food.   And I wish I was exaggerating, but I timed it (evidently they were having issues with their broiler).  To top that off, it had no taste.  Spiced and simmered pork, cheese, guacamole, salsa…and no taste.   We chose poorly.

After that completely disappointing meal we headed back into the Con to walk the floor.   In regards to Comic Con it can take me a couple of days to see everything on the floor level.  It took us a couple of hours at WonderCon.  But I had to wonder if that’s because I didn’t do any panels, like I will during Comic Con?  I mean if you’re constantly going from Con floor, to a panel room, to a signing line, back down and repeat…well then yeah, it might take you a couple of days.  Not to mention I’m usually stalking the publisher booths over and over for authors, to see if they’ve got new books out, etc.  None of that here.   I did manage to find a couple of independent authors and took their info.  One was giving away copies of her first book:

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I was very proud of myself that I resisted the vendors.  There were some awesome cosplay wigs and brass cuffs that I wanted to buy.  I mean one of the cuffs had a Parasol Protectorate emblem on it!!!!  WE WANTS IT!  But I resisted the shiny.  Mostly because of all the money I spent last week at the Festival of Books.  I also had a mega fail because I missed the signing for Beautiful Bastard, which would’ve been awesome for a giveaway of something.  Honestly, though, I just didn’t check to see what authors would be appearing.

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The one thing I never see at Comic Con is the gaming stuff.  I’m not talking video, I’m talking RPG.  It’s kind of awesome they have tables set up on the Con floor for that stuff.  People can walk buy and see what’s being played and several different games can go on at one time.  Kind of cool.  I never got into that, but the concept always intrigued me.  I think it would’ve built my analytical skills more so I kind of regret never delving into that world.  I mean all “Oregon Trail” taught me was that I’d die of dysentery but RPG seems to teach you politics, tactical skills, reasoning, etc.  Maybe they should start putting these on the curriculum at schools….hmmmmm.

The Con was running until 7pm that night, but my friend and I decided to duck out around 5:30-ish to head home.  We wandered a bit to find some more costumes to check out, but eventually we had to call it a day.  I’ve realized how out of shape I am, and must start back exercising so I can survive San Diego! 😉

I never did run into Mike or Susan, but that’s not surprising since we always have different agendas.

So in all it was an enjoyable day.  Hopefully next year will be even better, and I’m gonna go do some weights and cardio to prepare for Comic Con.  Right after I eat this cupcake…omnomnomnomnom…

Here’s some costume pics for your viewing pleasure:

2014-04-19 16.32.35Sort of a Pirates of the Caribbean version of Wonder Woman and the Tardis

2014-04-19 16.34.43An awesome cosplay of the Joker and Harley Quinn as a slate girl and director

2014-04-19 16.36.39The most adorable Predator ever!

2014-04-19 16.45.29Watching this actually move was just…I mean so amazing…words failing…

2014-04-19 16.46.44Capt. Jack at the foot of the Tardis….again 😉

P1040262I mean, c’mon, this is an AMAZING Silver Surfer.  Well done.  Bravo!  And the cosplay ain’t bad either ;P

2014-04-19 11.15.31 “Goblin King, oh Goblin King!”  Kind of gets me excited for the Labyrinth of Jareth Ball coming up…

2014-04-19 13.15.07Cinderelly’s Evil Stepsisters and Stepmother enjoying a day out minus ‘the help’

2014-04-19 13.18.37NOOOO…The Hessian has found me.  Where’s hottie Ichabod when I need him!?!?!?

2014-04-19 13.20.26Those stilts are just amazing

2014-04-19 13.33.33Dear heavens it’s my worst nightmare.  Not one, but TWO Jubilees!  NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

2014-04-19 13.50.45I really liked these Villainess ball gowns

2014-04-19 14.16.42Just…fjazxoicvsaldfjl…awesomeness!

2014-04-19 14.42.19I heard he couldn’t really get into the main floor because the arms wouldn’t fit through the doors 😀

2014-04-19 15.05.00Oh, it’s a jolly Con with Mary and Bert

2014-04-19 15.50.341940’s Marvel.  Evidently there were about 7 others around somewhere.

2014-04-19 16.00.17Fantastic Gomez and Morticia

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Best. Who. Ever!

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Anyone need an out of work S.H.I.E.L.D. agent?  I feel we should start a charity….

2014-04-19 16.17.33I don’t know…is it me?  I feel like it might be me…

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Comments(3)
  1. Jubilee April 25, 2014
  2. TheNovelStrumpet April 28, 2014
  3. Caitlin Shea August 4, 2014

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