After Hours At The Hilton WonderCon

Posted by March 18, 2012 Comment

Ryan King writes for Bleeding Cool, whilst lying in a gutter.

One of the saddest parts of any WonderCon attendees’ day is the climactic last minute ushering of fanboys and fangirls out of the convention center doors. Out of nowhere, a jarring voice appears over the intercom telling the masses that the convention will be closing in ten minutes and to please make your way to the nearest exit. No more Felicia Day signings. No more unexpected encounters with Stan “The Man” Lee. And absolutely no more Storm Trooper entourages.

But if you’re under the assumption WonderCon ends when the convention center doors close, then boy have you got it wrong.

In the Hilton Hotel (a mere building away) most of WonderCon’s special guests entertain friends and others over a celebratory drink at the central bar. I personally made it a requirement to tread these murky and often hostile waters. Upon making my way past the entrance doors, I immediately noticed Mike Mignola sipping on a drink and Joe Hill working the crowd with his loquacious personality. Perfect, I thought. This is just the place to be.

But before mingling amongst the crowd, I had to fill an empty stomach. Good thing upstairs the team behind ShiftyLook comics and games offered a free dinner for all WonderCon attendees. I ate a dim sum style dinner with the likes of Sean Galloway (character designer) and Jim Zub (Skullkickers). Zub excitedly shared ShiftyLooks new comic projects, all which happen to be previously abandoned Bandaii Namco videogame titles: Xevious, Sky Kid, Bravoman, and Alien Confidential. Guests were invited to play and test companion video games to these comic series. Zub, who happens to write the new Sky Kid, offered to show off his skills on these handheld games. Sadly I had to decline. Back downstairs, the party was only beginning.

While chatting and sharing drinks with old friends I happened to strike a new friendship with Dave Dwonch. Dave is the impressive creative director of Action Lab Entertainment and writer of Double Jumpers and Space-Time Condominium. Besides speaking about his obvious talent, Dave and I debated Alan Moore’s vocal integrity as well as the possibilities of movie sequels, like future continuations of The Goonies, The Last Starfighter, Monster Squad, and Ghostbusters.

At one point in the evening I noticed DC Comics’ writer Scott Snyder (Batman, Swamp Thing, and American Vampire) floating around the bar. I quickly pounced on the opportunity to meet Scott, which was tremendously easy compared to the endless line that followed him whenever he showed his head within the convention doors. After complimenting several of his series, I asked about the possibility of snagging an interview for the cool folks that read Bleeding Cool. To which Scott said, “I would love to speak with Bleeding Cool. But DC would never let me. They fucking hate Bleeding Cool.” Damn. Better luck next time, Rich.

As the night continued, more industry favorites made surprise appearances, like Rob Liefeld, Jim Lee, and Dan DiDio.

Fans of G4 missed Chris Gore share his newest electronic gadget with slightly drunk and curious minds. Attached to his smart phone was a smart-phone-like device that allowed him to project videos onto the wall, people, or even the ceiling. My friend Matt and I struck a conversation with Chris about his work on G4’s Asian Underground and spoke to him about cult films like Vampire Girl VS. Frankenstein Girl and FUBAR. Before leaving Chris to entertain others, he complimented my punk-inspired wardrobe, claiming he enjoys punk rock as much as ever. After comparing patches and buttons we said our goodbyes.

Now I’m back at the hotel writing this and it’s nearly 4:30am in the morning. In my honest opinion, this convention has been one of my absolute favorites. And the best part is knowing WonderCon continues again tomorrow. Or better yet, knowing WonderCon continues Sunday as soon as those convention doors shut for good.

And by the way, if you may have happened to wonder if I’m drunk. The answer is no.

Not any more.

 Photo from  iamosi.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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