WonderCon is an annual comic book, science fiction, and motion picture convention, held in the San Francisco Bay Area (1987â"2011) and then, under the name WonderCon Anaheim, in Anaheim, California.
The convention was conceived by retailer John Barrett (a founder of the retail chain Comics and Comix) and originally held in the Oakland Convention Center. In 2003, it moved to San Francisco's Moscone Center. The show's original name was the Wonderful World of Comics Convention. The WonderCon logo was designed by Richard Bruning and Tim Zach. In 2012 the convention was moved to Anaheim and rebranded WonderCon Anaheim.
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Retailer Joe Field (of Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff) and his partner Mike Friedrich owned and operated the convention for fifteen years. In 2001, they brokered a deal with the management team that runs the San Diego Comic-Con International to make it part of the Comic-Con International convention family. This gave the San Francisco show a wider audience and has made it a venue for previews and early screenings of major motion pictures, in particular ones based on comic books. These have included Spider-Man 2 in 2004, Batman Begins and Fantastic Four in 2005, Superman Returns in 2006, 300 in 2007, Watchmen in 2009, and Kick-Ass in 2010. All of these events featured the stars of the films fielding questions from the audience.
WonderCon had 34,000 attendees in 2009, 39,000 in 2010, and 49,500 in 2011.
The show moved to Anaheim in 2012 because the Moscone Center was being remodeled and was rebranded WonderCon Anaheim.
Features and events
While the main attraction of WonderCon has always been various retailers selling back issues of comic books and action figures, the exhibitor list has grown to include retailers of specialty DVDs. There is also an "Artists Alley" featuring mainly comic book artists selling artwork, signing books, and doing sketches; and mainstream celebrities signing autographed pictures.
WonderCon hosted the Harvey Award ceremonies from 1997â"1999. Since 2007, academicians and comic industry professionals have held the Comics Arts Conference in conjunction with WonderCon.
In addition, WonderCon features an event called "Trailer Park," where trailers for upcoming films are shown.
The WonderCon masquerade competition usually takes place on Saturday after the convention closes. Awards are given to those with the most creative performances, though anyone can participate.
- Official website
- WonderCon feature on Sidewalks Entertainment
- WonderCon founder's website