WonderCon 2006 - Nothing to See Here
Feb. 20th, 2006
10:58 pm - WonderCon 2006
I know, it was, like, a whole frackin' week ago. What am I doing writing about it this late? Well, consider that I still haven't got around to writing about the majority of cons I went to last year, and this is pretty speedy.
WonderCon was lots of fun, and has the advantage of being (figuratively speaking) right on our doorstep. It's not the insane crush of Comic-Con ... and while it's a lot smaller, there's still a lot of fun stuff going on.
On Friday evening, we drove up and (after finding out that it was in Moscone West [which explained why Moscone North and South were distinctly lacking in life], not very close to the Moscone Center Garage and dropping off 1000 flyers for Silicon Gulch Browncoats which Alyson created and I printed and guillotined [each flyer was 1/2 a Letter-sized aka 8.5x11" sheet of paper] earlier that day, and after wandering the exhibitors' hall relatively exhaustively) went to the world premiere of Done The Impossible ... which involved seeing myself (and irtluhc, urox, _oy_, agoi, elite, lexigeek, waywardbound and ... well, MANY more -- I'm sure I'm missing many other people I know, even just from those who have LiveJournals; this doesn't even start to mention all the people I know who don't have LiveJournals) on a 30 foot (ish) screen! Eek! Scary. Horribly embarassing. After the DTI premiere, we trekked to Cafe Murano for the official (but super-informal) release party. I got to try Red Velvet cake for the first time (mmm, red food colouring), and actual real food became available a bit later when the Big Damn Proprietor showed up, which was good as I needed something a bit more meal-y and less dessert-y.
We drove home, exhausted, and decided we'd rather not have to drive back and forth to San Francisco the next 2 days, so picked up a hotel room for Saturday night on Hotwire (for cheap, and it turned out to be the Grant Hyatt, on Union Square -- I suspect we were paying way below the rack rate for the room; it was a pretty damned nice deal).
On Saturday, we drove up rather later than we perhaps ought to have, went and checked in super-early to our hotel and went down to the Moscone Center to head straight to the main room (2000, I believe) for the J. J. Abrahms (Yay!!!) and Kevin Smith talks. Since we didn't arrive super-early, we didn't get the opportunity to get an autograph from J. J. (aww), but it was cool seeing him live. J. J. rocks. It's a pity about Tom Cruise being in his movie. :P I want to see Kevin Weisman in the rôle instead (wouldn't that be hillarious and cool?)! :> Kevin Smith was extremely funny as usual, and it wasn't repetition of material we'd heard at WonderCon 2005 or Comic-Con 2005, which was cool. He is an un-ending font of unrepeatable jokes. There was a Pixar presentation after Kevin Smith which was ... alas, pretty damned dull. I never thought I'd walk out of a Pixar presentation, but we did. We had a bunch of things we wanted to do and it ... was not really exciting. I forget what we did, but at some point we went and had Japanese food at the sushi restaurant in the Metreon (review: rubbish; don't bother!), followed by some Just Desserts dessert and a *$$. Back in the exhibit hall, urox picked up some comic books and then we went to the Jason Palmer booth to ogle at his incredible creations. As usual, I looked longingly at his Firefly print, and at a rough of a new Battlestar Galactica piece he's in the process of creating. I was hemming and hawing and thinking about actually buying the Firefly print and they had a fully framed one that they were prepared to cut me a deal on since they were planning to leave early and didn't want to take it back with them and... it was sooo amazingly tempting. I was close to deciding to get it and urox decided to get it for me for my birthday! WOW! I decided to pre-order the matted but un-framed BSG print, since it looks like it will be AMAZING too. So now I have superb artwork to hang. The big question is ... where?!? I still haven't decided. We decided to lug the picture back to the hotel and put it in the rooom, rather than having to carry it around the convention and to the pub afterwards. Alas, we found ourselves blocked from getting to the hotel by the Chinese New Year's parade! D'oh! What should have been an easy 10 minute walk took an hour, and we arrived tired out. We left the print in the room and departed on foot again back to the convention. We arrived late for the masquerade, but early enough to see the last few entries, including the Big Damn Heros group. =) Alas, this also meant we were early enough to sit through the half-time show which was lame with a capital L. Weirdly, while several of us shared this view of the half-time "entertainment", some people loved it. Appartently "Mr. Lobo", who presented it (and who we ended up in an elevator in the 5th & Mission garage with when we dragged ourselves to the convention pretty late the next day), is a cult figure of sorts. I guess it just wasn't my sort of humour, or perhaps you had to have context. Anyhow, after the masquerade, we went and took photos of the entrants and I got to chat with Phil Foglio, creator of Girl Genius, a bit and tell him Girl Genius rocked. Of course, since I suck at reading comics, I am really mostly only familiar with the GG strategy card game. After all that, we went to a bar in a place called Hotel Utah most of the way down to the CalTrain station and hung out with fellow Browncoats and drank overpriced stuff in an insanely crowded bar (well, not more crowded than a pub in Dublin on a weekend night, but ... very narrow, thus exaccerbating the crowding and making it even harder to navigate). We left fairly early (well, after about an hour; not really very early), but not before giving Serenity schwag to the bouncer who seemed genuinely interested in attending meet-ups. Huh!
Got less sleep than I'd have liked in the very comfortable Grand Hyatt room as we had to wake up kind of early for some reason which totally escapes me. Bought urox breakfast at Lori's Diner (the Powell & Sutter location). Yum. Then checked out, got my car back, drove to the 5th & Mission garage, parked (immediately followed by the Lobo encounter), and walked the short distance back to Moscone West. Helped out a bit at the Browncoats booth, ate some Slither Gummy Slugs (hmm, I guess they do taste a bit like banana), sold a t-shirt from the wrong side of the table (I was the marketting master for a minute or two! melissa_mifeng was the one who strictly-speaking made the sale), helped _oy_ fetch about a million (ok, I exaggerate ;) Slither DVDs and a bunch of other stuff from her hotel room which she had to check out of ... attended a panel, Is Star Trek Dead? which included the creators of Free Enterprise, at which I made Robert Burrnett react rather strongly (negatively -- huh...) to the idea of JMS revitalising Star Trek, hung out a bit in the Browncoats meet-up room, failed to win any prizes in the charity prize drawing (yes, I donated :P), bid on some cool things in the charity auction (and got quickly and massively out-bid!), bought urox some comics from a series from which urox had bought earlier books, hung out with people and wandered the con floor a little bit, then left as we were really tired and getting kind of hungry. Decided to go to Ti Couz for delectable crepes (we were quite hungry by the time we got there and got seated) which we hoped would revitalise us. Drove home, feeling more and more amazingly EXHAUSTED to the point where I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to drive the rest of the way a couple of times, arrived around 6:45pm and went straight to bed. Fell asleep almost instantly and didn't actually get up (woke up earlier but went back to bed as I was still tired and knew I needed sleep) until 9:30am or something, just in time to get ready and go to work. Wow! I can't remember the last time I managed to sleep for over 14 hours.
Anyhow, it was quite a whirlwind weekend.
Francis took some cool pictures (as always), though some people weren't quite so keen on the candid pictures of them. :) There's a picture with me in it (looking rather scruffy, as I hadn't [still haven't! eeg!] had time to trim my beard or shave) in the DTI album. =) There's also some more pictures ... and even a few more. I took some pictures too, but I haven't had time to download them off my camera, let alone do anything with them.