Event Recap – WonderCon Anaheim 2018!

WonderCon weekend has officially closed and while I’m totally exhausted and my feet still hurt and I’m probably still a little dehydrated and I may feel a con cold coming on, I’m sad that its over. I count down the minutes to the con each year and I always have a blast and I’m sad to see it end for 2018. This year was a good one though, full of both familiar and new experiences.

Friday was a short day for me. I ended up having to work in the morning so we didn’t get to WonderCon until about 230 pm, but Fridays are usually slow so it worked out nicely. We figured out a way to park nearby and take Lyfts in, instead of having to deal with the INSANE parking that apparently people had to go through. We did that all weekend and found that to be WAY  less of a hassle and WAY worth the money we paid (which was basically next to nothing because we parked so close). We were also doing Week of Logic last week, which is a week long celebration for the anniversary of one of my favorite breweries (which is NERD themed), Bottle Logic.

 Friday ended up being SUCH a fun day, even though we only had a few hours there to stay but we made it totally worth it. I really wanted to meet both EK Johnston (author of many novels, but in this case, author of the novel, Ahsoka) and Ashley Eckstein, who does the voice acting for Ahsoka in Clone Wars, Rebels and much more. They were only signing on the Friday and I’ve met them both before, but I wanted to try and snag a paperback cover of Ahsoka in order to do a giveaway soon (so keep an eye out!).
They were SO nice to meet again. Ashley actually recognized me, which was nice, since I’ve done my best to try and meet her every year at WonderCon for the past couple of years. My boyfriend, Daniel, gave her a compliment on her audiobook reading of Ahsoka and I think she really appreciated that; she said she was avoiding it since she felt like she did an awful job at the voices for Darth Maul and Bail Organa haha.
We ended up staying in the autograph area immediately after since an author Daniel really likes,  Patrick Rothfuss, was signing as well. He was a super cool guy and I even snagged a copy of his first book for my friend, Alyssa, who is a big fan and could not go. I love watching my boyfriend meet people he admires, especially since he doesn’t get to do so often and he really only started to once he started dating me haha. I’ve met a lot of people so its fun to see someone else do it, especially someone who isn’t so used to meeting famous people.  I definitely enjoyed that.
Mostly on Friday, we wandered Artist Alley, where I get the most in trouble with my wallet. I love seeing all the artwork and I always have a couple goals when looking for art. Last year it was Mei from Overwatch and any Hamilton art, and this year I was all about Wonder Woman and Ahsoka!
Saturday, we ended up in SO many panels, which I super loved because that almost never happens for me. I always end up spending so much time on the con floor that I barely make any panels, but not on Saturday and that was so great!
We went to a panel called the Science of Pacific Rim, with the host Kyle Hill, who works for Nerdist, amongst other things, to discuss the science-y stuff behind the cult movie, Pacific Rim. This just so happens to be Daniel’s favorite movie and the panel was SO much fun. I’ve only seen the movie once but honestly it was a bunch of science nerds, geeking out and discussing the finer points of a movie and I LOVE and LIVE for that stuff. Truly it was such a fun panel and I would’ve never thought to go to it if it hadn’t been for Daniel.
That night, we ended up in three back-to-back fantastic panels. One of them we stumbled to on accident, waiting for the panel after it. It was about Latinx in Comics, and had three woman who run the podcast Comadres y Comics (which I’ve now started listening to and LOVE) and an author Sebastian Kadlecik, who wrote the comic Quince, about a girl who gets super powers at her quinceanera. It was such a fun panel and I’m so glad we got to the room early for the following panel because I would have missed out. I’m sad I didn’t get a picture but it was nice to see woman who look like me, talking about comics and stories like that. One of them even owns a comic book store in Santa Monica with her husband and that’s just the coolest.
We also did the Dark Side of Women, a panel that talked about exploring the darker side of women in fiction, which was incredibly enjoyable and incredibly inspiring. I’m not really nice to my characters and its nice to know that I am most definitely not the only one. We also ended up randomly in a Dungeons and Dragons panel as well. Daniel is HUGE fan and has been playing for a few years now and dedicates a lot of time and energy into it and he’s even gotten me to play and I actually ended up liking it a lot. I love to watch more than anything and get inspired for my own world building and story telling but I truly love playing too. Its really a chance for adults to play make believe and the panel was full of people who’ve been playing for decades and had a lot of cool advice and experienced insight to share, even for someone who has been playing for a bit, like Daniel.
Sunday, I think, was my favorite day though and I may be a little biased when I say so. I was lucky enough to be a moderator at my very first WonderCon panel ever and it was basically a dream come true. WonderCon is my favorite convention and its been a bucket list item for quite some time to be on panel and my dear friend, Alexandra Monir, asked me to moderate the Women Writers in YA Science Fiction and Fantasy panel with Alexandra, along with Robyn Schneider, Kiersten White and Livia Blackburne. Its a subject that is SO near and dear to my heart and it didn’t take me more than a few seconds to say YES.
I was definitely nervous for it, especially when I discovered our panel was in such a BIG room, but the turn out was so great, and the authors were amazing. I felt confident up there and we had great discussions about being women in male-dominated genres and being aware of our own personal brand of feminism in writing and so much more. It felt awesome to be up there and I couldn’t have asked for better authors, a better audience or a better time. It was SUCH a great experience for sure.
All in all, it was another banner year at WonderCon and I’m sad to see it go once more. I always have such a great time, meet great people, see friends I haven’t seen in a long time, and buy too much fan art…if that is even such a thing. This year was even better than usual; I got to discover new podcasts and cross a bucket list item off the list. I am always counting down the days until the next year because, again, I always have such a great time. I can’t wait for next year!

I was in a search for some good Wonder Woman fan art and I saw a lot of it but this is the one that honestly made me the happiest and I had to get it. Irene also had a ton of awesome buttons and some other fabulous fan art as well and you can check her out as beanclam on instagram.

I bought a ton of Hamilton fan art from a sunnydisposish last year and I knew I needed this fan art in my life, especially after Kelly Marie Tran, who plays Rose in The Last Jedi, shared it on International Womens Day!
I had been looking EVERYWHERE for Ahsoka art work and I found a few but none that really jumped out or spoke to me until suddenly, out of nowhere, I spotted this one from Albert Nguyen (albertnguyenart) and immediately purchased it without a second thought. I love Ahsoka and Sabine and was immediately sold on this artwork.
I knew the moment I saw Chrissie Zullo’s booth that I was going to get something from her, it was just so hard to decide. She had an excellent Wonder Woman art piece (which she actually uses as her business card, so I have that in my clear phone case now haha) and an incredibly Leia one as well but I’m a sucker for snow bunny aka Hoth Leia and got my hands on this one. Make sure to follow her on her instagram here.
FREAKING LUNAR CHRONICLES FAN ART! CINDER, SCARLET, CRESS, WINTER AND IKO! I told myself that I was cut off from buying more fan art but how often do you see YA fan art at a con? I had to buy them. HAD TO! Follow the artist here and beg her to do more YA fan art because I’m truly in love.
I didn’t even realize Karen Hallion was going to be at WonderCon again and so I was pleasantly surprised to see her, and I immediately got my hands on her calendar, because I’m totally super in love with her original character. She’s well known for doing her Disney-Doctor Who crossovers but she honestly is my fave in fan art and always draws ALL the badass ladies in fiction.
My last little guilty pleasure purchase is from a vendor called Pixel That. I saw them last year on the last day, after my wallet was tapped out so I was determined to get something from them this year. I definitely want to buy more of them because they’re cute, sassy and insanely comfortable and now they have leggings too! They said the magic words. You can follow them here.

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