The Fearist house has been a buzz of excitement and activity leading up to Friday, opening day of WonderCon 2017. Daddy Fearist and I have been finishing up the cosplay for our two kids as well as packing our backpacks with a variety of snacks and water. I picked up my son from school early and tried to excuse his early release as a “doctors appointment” to which my son announced to the school secretary, “Mom! Don’t lie, that is bad! Just tell her we are going to WonderCon!”
After scurrying from the school in complete embarassment, we loaded up the kids and fought the traffic into the Anaheim Convention Center. The air was filled with an eager anticipation that only the first day of a convention can bring. I have been attending conventions for eons and it always takes me a few hours to settle down.
After being bombarded for picture requests of our two children, we finally arrived inside the exhibit hall and proceeded to made our way through the throngs of tables.
Here are just a few highlights of what I saw today:
We ran into Charles Lewin from Southland Ghostbusters who graciously stopped to take pictures with our own little ghostbuster. Like most people who have costumes from the same movie/character, there is a feeling of togetherness. It’s akin to being in a gang. A nerd gang if you will, where like minded people don’t really have to say anything to each other in order to feel like they belong. A head nod, a smile, a thumbs up and you are suddenly one of the popular kids. It feels like home.
I spent a good deal of time at a booth that caught my eye. Jim Hillin, artist/writer is the creator of “Zombie Bunnies,” a comic book geared towards kids twelve and under. Since I am a perpetual twelve year old, I instantly fell in love with the comic and adorable plush Zombie Bunnies. I just couldn’t leave without purchasing the first comic book of the series for my kids. And let’s be honest, for myself too.
Suddenly I see a beacon of Halloween haven. Rhode Montijo‘s booth was quite impressive and is sure to draw any Halloween enthusiast. His artwork is not only right up my alley but also very affordable…also right up my alley. Mr. Montijo’s “Halloween Kid” looks downright devilishly delightful and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. It’s about a little boy who is the protector of Halloween and is currently available through Amazon. Keep an eye out for the animated version coming soon!
Ethan Castillo is a twelve year old artist who is extremely partial to Spiderman. You can find him in artist alley selling his artwork. This incredibly out going and well spoken young person truly commanded his table like a professional who has been doing cons for years. In fact, he has been doing it for four years at WonderCon. I was able to push my way through the crowd to talk to him one on one. I asked him what it was like to have people purchase his art. He smiled and said, “I love to inspire people, especially kids.” Ethan is the epitome of why this convention is family friendly. He is a great role model for aspiring artists of any age.
Another vendor that caught my eye was Optimystical Studios who specializes in geeky and fandom jewelry. Although the baubles were beautiful, it was a simple sign that gave me pause and made me seek more information. Adrian Keith has a safe space “pop up pod” for con goers who need a break from the sensory overload that bombards convention goers. Complete with a cushioned chair this pod cuts out a lot of the noise when zipped up. The sign was very clear about anyone needing a safe and supportive place to come to if needed. Although I am sad that we need such things, it’s nice to know that it is there for anyone. For those of you who have kids with sensory issues, this is something you (your child) have been needing when out for a family day. I was so impressed with this simple gesture that throughout the day I kept thinking about it. I may pop in there tomorrow to test it out. Heck, I may do a little writing while I’m in there.
Day one down. Day two coming up with more booths to see, more panels to sit in on and more cosplay to come!