A Local Con-Goer's Rant: WonderCon 2014 in Anaheim, CA | Fanboys Anonymous

A Local Con-Goer's Rant: WonderCon 2014 in Anaheim, CA

Posted by Orion Petitclerc Wednesday, November 13, 2013
News of WonderCon's return to Anaheim, CA in April 2014 hit the web today, and as a long-time (albeit not quite a veteran) attendee, I am not happy with the news. This will be the third year the West Coast Comic-Con junior convention has been hosted in the SoCal city, which means it could very well be the third long year I've been without my precious WonderCon fix.

Book tickets and hotels now for WonderCon 2014 in Anaheim, CA!

WonderCon is something special and personal to this Silicon Valley con-goer. My dad—a veteran con-goer who used to airbrush tees at the local conventions and even at WonderCon back when it was still in Oakland—introduced me to the convention experience through WonderCon, and attending it every year after had been a cherished tradition of ours. It goes without saying that I also enjoy being surrounded by like-minded geeks at WonderCon. So while it's great that WonderCon is booming more and more each year, especially after the move to Anaheim, it's not so great that my favorite convention is no longer a hop and skip away.

Yeah, yeah, I get that this seems like a moot point because of the distance and effort that out-of-state people have to endure to attend the convention, but my issue is how big and seemingly inaccessible my favorite convention has become. I've never attended San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) due to distance and costs (and inconvenience, as my parents' anniversary happens to fall around the same weekend, and I like to attend these kinds of things with my dad), but I've been okay with this, because SDCC feels just too big and far away for me. WonderCon was the mini-SDCC that I could always reach, and it never felt too big for me. The last time I went, I might have complained about how much bigger the attendance had been—overcrowding and the near-impossibility of casual panel attendance were issues—but I was able to adapt as the years went on. Now the convention feels just as inaccessible and big as SDCC. So where does that leave me, living as I do all the way back up in Silicon Valley? Big Wow Comicfest didn't wow me, and FanimeCon just doesn't hold my interest.

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Every year, it feels more and more as though San Francisco just doesn't want WonderCon back. Granted, the first time the convention moved to Anaheim it was in response to renovations of its long-time home, the Moscone Center. This year and next, however, Moscone didn't and won't play host to the expanding comic and multimedia convention due to "scheduling issues." If the large, money-spending crowds attending the convention don't interest San Francisco and Moscone enough to allow the convention some wiggle room, perhaps Anaheim will become its new home as of 2014, especially given the convention's close proximity to Los Angeles.

I guess the alternative—no WonderCon at all—would be the least preferable, but I want my convention back in San Francisco, dammit! The Moscone Center and its surrounding facilities can handle the convention's attendance expansion, especially with all of the possible revenue to be had from out-of-towners. SDCC has always been a SoCal mainstay, so WonderCon should remain a NorCal one.

What are your thoughts on the deal? Is this just local ranting or a valid point? Will you be attending WonderCon in Anaheim next year? Leave a comment below!
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