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WonderCon 2010 main exhibit hall
|Venue||1987–2002: Oakland Convention Center
2003–2011: Moscone Center
2012-2015 Anaheim Convention Center
2016: Los Angeles Convention Center
2017- : Anaheim Convention Center
|Inaugurated||May 2, 1987(as WonderCon Anaheim)|
|Organized by||Comic-Con International|
WonderCon is an annual comic book, science fiction, and film convention, held in the San Francisco Bay Area (1987–2011) then, under the name WonderCon Anaheim, in Anaheim, California (2012-2015), and most recently WonderCon Los Angeles starting in 2016. The convention will return to the Anaheim Convention Center in 2017.
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.[not in citation given] The show's original name was the Wonderful World of Comics Convention. The WonderCon logo was designed by Richard Bruning and Tim Zach.
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.
The show left the Bay Area after the 2011 con, because San Francisco's Moscone Center was being remodeled. The convention moved to Anaheim in 2012, and was rebranded WonderCon Anaheim. When the move to Anaheim was first announced, Comic-Con International said they would be returning to San Francisco after the Moscone Center renovations were complete; however, the convention ultimately stayed in Southern California. In 2016, a new convention started in the Bay Area, called the Silicon Valley Comic Con.
WonderCon relocated from Anaheim to Los Angeles in 2016, and is now called WonderCon Los Angeles and was held March 25-27, 2016 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The 2017 edition of the convention will return to Anaheim and will be held March 31-April 2.
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.
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.
- MacDonald, Heidi. "WonderCon Hosts DC's Rebirth Debut in Los Angeles". PublishersWeekly.com. Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
- "WonderCon Moves To Anaheim With Costumed Avengers In Tow," CBS 2 San Francisco (March 17, 2012).
- "WonderCon". Comic-Con International. Archived from the original on December 8, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
- Albert, Aaron. "Wondercon Profile", About.com.
- Boucher, Geoff. "WonderCon shows the comic convention circuit's power is growing". Los Angeles Times. April 6, 2010
- MacDonald, Heidi. "WonderCon Brings Fans, Publishers, Excitement to San Francisco", Publishers Weekly. April 4, 2011
- Minotti, Mike (April 17, 2015). "Steve Wozniak and Stan Lee are bringing Silicon Valley its own comic con". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
- Variety Staff (April 6, 2015). "WonderCon Moving to Los Angeles for 2016 Convention". Variety. Archived from the original on March 17, 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
- Woerner, Meredith (March 25, 2016). "WonderCon will go back to Anaheim in 2017, but L.A. wants it back for 2019". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2016-03-30. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
- Press release. "2003 Harvey Awards Banquet Cancelled, Awards Unaffected, Comic Book Resources (January 24, 2003).
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