Welcome back! This was a very interesting weekend for me. I attended the WonderCon in Anaheim. What's the difference between WonderCon and Comic Con? They're very similar, but I would say there's a much bigger emphasis on fantasy instead of superheroes at the WonderCon. The Anaheim Convention Center was enormous, so the experience was a little bit disorienting for me. However, I still had a chance to meet a lot of people. There were several individuals who allowed me to take pictures and links to post on my blog. Keep reading to find out information about my adventure.
The first vendor I met was R.C. Young. She's the author of a comic book series called Witchman. It seems like the series is a combination of sorcery, fantasy, and superhero elements. She's also a self-published author like myself. I'm pretty sure she's also the illustrator of the series. You can buy her comics through Etsy. She's also available on Deviantart, Facebook, and Café Press. I recommend visiting the official Witchman website and Young's online portfolio.
I met an artist named Andrew Dat Tran. His artwork seems pretty good and heavily rooted in fantasy. Some of his original artwork is supposed to be a personification of the Seven Deadly Sins, including Pride, Lust, Greed, etc. You might be able to comission him for work, so I'll leave some links.
The next exhibitor amused me with her artwork. Jenny Parks has a very unique style of artwork. She combines popular characters from Marevl, DC, Harry Potter, and whatnot with cats. I can see cat versions of Deadpool and Doctor Strange in this photo. She also has a book titled Star Trek Cats. I haven't read her book yet, but it's probably cute and funny. Some of you guys probably think this is weird. Keep in mind, there are plenty of cat fans including myself. As the owner of three cats, I appreciate this line of artwork.
WonderCon had quite a few comic book creators. I had a decent chat with Jamie Gambell. He's an independent comic book creator, most notably for The Hero Code series. His comics are sci-fi adventures with a variety of superheroes. Actually, I thought one of his stand alone comics looked interesting. The Black Wraith caught my attention because the main character seems to have a vague Edwardian flair. Gambell was very approachable and open minded for conversation. You can purchase his comics at Comixology.
A post-apocalyptic version of Luigi from Super Mario Brothers! I really like it when people put their own twist on classic characters. Cool bazooka too. Sadly, I wanted to see more cosplayers. It was a huge convention, yet I didn't see an overwhelming number of costumes. At least I had my steampunk outfit.
This was a great exhibitor for me. April Adams is a fantasy and science fiction author who is working on a really unique series called the Gwen Seven Saga. The lady in the photo is actually her sister. She said April was going to be attending as Jessica Rabbit. Yea, more cosplay! Anyway, her book series takes place in a universe with dragons and other mythical creatures. However, there's a big spin on sci-fi elements. For example, the dragons are partially mechanical. I love it! Body modifications are a strong element in many steampunk books, so I appreciated the close relationship. The first few books are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. However, there's going to be eight books collectively. I think we're going to see a big fantasy driven space epic. April is available on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Take a look at her official website. I thought it was pretty interesting and a great way to learn more about her books.
I don't see dieselpunk fiction very often. This vendor was a rare exception. Paul Roman Martinez is the author of The Adventures of the 19XX. It's a comic book series that takes place shortly after the Great War ended. I didn't have a chance to meet the author, but his daughters were running the exhibition. It's really cool to see other forms of punk fiction. I assume the series will have apocalyptic elements, considering it includes the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Martinez also has a merchandise store with fun dieselpunk illustrations and memorabilia.
WonderCon had several interesting comic book creators. One of them was Daniel Corey. I was particularly interested with his series called Moriarty. The story takes place after the Sherlock Holmes saga ended. Moriarty is trying to find a new purpose in his life and will most likely become a formidable villain again. I thought the comics looked dark and gritty with some steampunk elements. It's on my list of comic book series to try. Red City also sounded cool. It's a violently dystopian and futuristic setting on Mars with mobsters. Corey's books are available on both Amazon and Comixology. Here are some links for Corey and his comic books.
Do any of you guys watch Cosplay Melee? It's a brand new reality program on the Syfy channel. Basically, cosplayers are pitted against each other to build the most impressive costume. Unlike most competitive shows, Cosplay Melee features different contestants on each episode. The winner at the end of the episode receives $10,000. I know some of you are DIY cosplayers. This might be a chance to win big bucks. The costume in the photo was created by Xavier Conley. He was the winner of episode one. You can watch the show every Tuesday night.
Steampunk fans should appreciate this vendor. The Rational Past sells scientific and industrial artifacts. None of their merchandise are replicas. They sell items that were used for laboratories, nautical journeys, calculating, measuring, etc. I saw some compasses, eating utensils, scales, medical devices, and other nick knacks. Keep in mind that repurposing is a key element in steampunk. Little items like this might bring some antiquated elements to steampunk cosplay. You can email the owners to find out more information about their merchandise.
Also, they have an affiliated company that makes custom leatherwork. It's called C&J Goods L.A. Some of their items would also work well for steampunk cosplay. You can get a hold of them on Instagram and Facebook. I'm also giving you a link to their official website.
This vendor is perfect for someone like me. Mystic makes custom merchandise in both steampunk and post-apocalyptic varieties. My book series is a hybrid of the two genres, so this stand was almost like a candy store. The seller didn't have any business cards, but she said Mystic is available on Etsy. The respirators are fully functional. They're popular items for people who attend the Burning Man festival and Wasteland Weekend. It's pretty dusty in those locations, so the respirators aren't a bad idea. Maybe I'll commission Mystic to make a gas mask for me. It would be a good accessory with my steampunk outfit.
The Brass Wardrobe was another exhibitor who should make steampunk fans happy. Their prop guns are imported from Spain. The rest of their merchandise is custom design. The display was mostly accessories, but they might make full costumes too. That's another vendor I should think about down the road. I could use another outfit. Check out their website if you're curious about their merchandise. You can also send an email if you want to inquire about custom work.
This attendee was in the cosplay spirit! What a great Iron Man costume. I really like the battle damage. It's kind of rare for me to see Iron Man at the conventions, so this one was quite a treat.
I bought the first six books of The Heroes of Echo Company. It's a fun looking comic book series that's set in a futuristic and post-apocalyptic timeline. Earth is not longer inhabitable and the series features several beings of mythology, folklore, and literature who are planning to save the universe. I think it sounds very exciting. You can buy digital versions of the series on Amazon and Comixology. There's plenty of information about the Heroes of Echo Company on its official website.
This was one of my favorite costumes. You're looking at a combination of Captain America and Judge Dredd. I love those guys! He definitely has Judge Dredd's iconic frown.
I met some of the reps who work for the Gaslight Gathering. It's a really big steampunk festival in San Diego. The convention is held annually. I was told it's going to take place during Mother's Day weekend this year. Truthfully, I haven't attended the Gaslight Gathering yet, but it's certainly on my list of things to do at some point. The event has plenty of vendors, guests, panels, shows, and more. I'm sure it's a lot of fun and great way to meet other steampunk enthusiasts. Click on the link to find out more details about the Gaslight Gathering.
Here's an interesting group for the ladies. The D20 Girls Project is a non-profit organization that promotes the idea of women being empowered and individualistic through geek culture. I saw magazines on the stand and it seems like a lot of their work focuses on cosplay. They also participate in a lot of community outreach and volunteer work. Kudos to your inclusiveness and bravery, ladies! They have an official website, but I'm not sure if it's working at this time. Curious about joining? Send an email or contact them through Facebook.
Are any Doctor Who fans reading this post? I found a group who might make you happy. The Order of Gallifrey is a Doctor Who fan club. They're actually a really big group with multiple sectors. The Bad Wolf Sector is the sector for SoCal residents. Many of them are cosplayers and some of the members also create DIY projects. You'll probably see most of them at the annual Doctor Who convention called Gallifrey One. They also hold various types of meetups periodically. I'm a member of their Facebook group and they seem to be a very entertaining group of people. Their regular website probably hasn't been updated for a while. If you want to contact The Order of Gallifrey, I recommend using Facebook.
I found some Mandalorians! These guys are a staple at science fiction conventions. Boba Fett didn't have a particularly big role in Star Wars, but his visage is very popular. I see a Mandalorian merchandise club at nearly every comic con. They have some really cool DIY projects. I wonder how they make those guns.
The 501st Legion was also present at WonderCon. They're the Imperial Star Wars cosplay group. I saw a variety of cosplayers ranging from stormtroopers, tie fighter pilots, sandtroopers, scout troopers, etc. The group also runs a lot of charity work. They have a really detailed website with information about their various chapters. I'm pretty sure you can also find them on Facebook.
I had a chance to meet Eric Dean Seaton. He's a comic book creator, writer, and television director. Seaton showed me his comic book series called Legend of Mantamaji. It looks really interesting with cool graphics. The plot focuses on a successful ADA who finds out that he's from an ancient race of warriors known as Mantamaji. It made me think of Daredevil with a lot of mystical elements. I definitely want to try out this series. You can purchase Seaton's comics at any major book seller, including online stores like iBooks. Take a look at Legend of the Mantamaji's website. It has a lot of information. You can also find out details about the series on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
More steampunk comics! Hurray! I chatted with Holly Rosing who created the Boston Metaphysical Society. It's a steampunk comic book series with a strong paranormal element. I wonder if it's a little bit like combining steampunk with the Ghostbusters. It definitely sounds like a comic book series I should try. I found most of the books on Amazon. Here are some links for you guys to explore. The official website has some goodies you can check out.
Here's another set of steampunk comics! Andres Salazar is the creator of Pariah Missouri. It's a supernatural steampunk series that takes place in the American frontier. I definitely noticed some influences from Gone with the Wind in the illustrations. This is another comic book series that I should explore. I saw both paperback and digital copies on Amazon. By the way, Salazar was a really friendly guy. Overall, the comic book creators were very approachable. Thank goodness media isn't corrupting everyone. Take a look at Pariah Missouri's official website for more information.
Well, that concludes my photographs, but I met additional people. I forgot to take photos of a couple exhibitors. Shame on me. I encountered Fan Base Press again. They're an independent publisher who also gives reviews and interviews. I spoke with Barbra Dillon at the Long Beach Comic Expo and then I found her again at the WonderCon. She's the editor-in-chief and very helpful to indie authors like me. Basically, if you like science fiction and fantasy, you'll enjoy the work they publish. I purchased The Odds from their stand. It's a post-apocalyptic adventure with some comical elements. Sounds like the right type of book for me. If I remember correctly, Fan Base Press has both Facebook and Twitter pages. Explore their official website for titles and book sellers. I found several of their books on Amazon.
Okay. I'm a huge fan of Lady Mechanika. It's a really fun and interesting steampunk comic book series with awesome illustrations. Guess what? I met the writer, Marcia Chen. It was so cool! She was pretty popular at the event. A lot of attendees were buying her comics. I have a lot of respect for Chen and the illustrator, Joe Benitez, because they create strong female characters who also embrace their femininity with class. I assume Lady Mechanika is available at major book retailers, but it's definitely for sale on Amazon. That's where I got the first volume. You guys should look at Joe Benitez's website. It has an online store, a list of upcoming events, and additional information about Lady Mechanika.
There were some big companies at the WondCon too. I saw tables from IDW, DC, and Capcom. There were celebrity autograph signings and some gaming events. I didn't stay for the costume contest or panels, but they were probably quite entertaining. It was very crowded. I'm glad the convention had a great turnout, even though it meant space was going to be more limited. I was going to buy Italian food for my lunch, but all the tables were taken. Oh well.
That's pretty much it. I saw a lot of terrific vendors and artists. It would have been nice if I saw more cosplayers, but every convention is different. Sometimes, I see tons of people in costumes. Other times, it's a bit more limited. I hope you guys enjoyed the post. Did any of you attend WonderCon this year? Leave a comment and let us know about your experience. Stay tuned for a brand new post next weekend. Be safe and have a good night.