WonderCon 2017 marked a return to the Anaheim Convention Center after a brief stint at the Los Angeles Convention Center. WonderCon in many ways is like the long lost step child to the larger and more well-known Comic-Con International in San Diego. Walking around WonderCon feels much like exploring a world of outcasts – as a good portion of attendees are fans not lucky enough to secure a Comic-Con badge and most vendors are those who can’t afford a booth at Comic-Con or are on the long waiting list.
This doesn’t mean that going to WonderCon is not a treat as there is plenty of nerdness fandom to go around but it does make it feel not quite as ‘special’ as it should be or could be. WonderCon doesn’t have an identity in the same way as other conventions like Comic-Con International or New York Comic-Con. It really just needs to stay in one location and build year after year upon what it wants to be and how it wants attendees to feel when they walk in the door.
While there was plenty to see and do at WonderCon probably the biggest thing missing was a lack of spectacle. WonderCon didn’t have any large scale items on display like props or vehicles and that is something their competitors like the Long Beach Comic-Con and Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic-Con have been able to provide on a smaller budget. We would love to see WonderCon secure some TV or movie properties to showcase at WonderCon so fans in attendance have a reason to explore the show floor. WonderCon’s lack of visuals stands out, even more, when you consider their close proximity to Disneyland.
(Photos by BlankLogo Photography)