Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Wondrous, Wacky World Of WonderCon 2012

WonderCon 2012 came and went, and it was a great experience for me, especially because it was my first time at a comic book convention.  I got to see all of the fans dressed up in costume and confirmed why spandex suits aren't for everyone.

I grew up reading comic books and have always enjoyed the art style, but my recent visit to WonderCon has really increased my appreciation for the artwork and the amount of talent that these artists possess.

Comic book art has really grown from the days when the drawings were simple figures printed on newspaper in black and white.  Today's artists use advanced drawing and coloring techniques to paint vivid scenes full of life and emotion.

Here's an example from comic book legend Jim Lee:
The Justice League via

And another example from one of my favorite comic book artists, J. Scott Campbell:
Beauty and the Beast via

I learned that comic book conventions aren't just for fans either; it's also the industry's talent search/job fair as many of the top publishers hold private sessions to view portfolios from up and coming artists and writers.

One thing that did strike a chord with me was the back corner of the convention center where all of the "fading" celebrities hawked autographs and photos.  The original Hulk, Lou Ferrigno sat across the aisle from Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira (who is actually a natural red head), Jim Kelly, John Saxon and Bob Wall from Bruce Lee's Enter The Dragon sat next to each other and Cindy Morgan from the original Tron sat by herself in the far corner.  It was kind of a sad sight as young people walked past these no-longer-relevant pop culture icons without so much as batting an eye.  Even more painful to watch was the longing look in the celebs' eyes for someone to recognize them and ask for an autograph or a photo.  As disheartening as it sounds to be looked over by a younger generation of fans and to have to resort to charging someone $20 to have their picture taken with you, I've decided that I'm going to strive to be that old guy in the corner of the convention center selling youthful headshots of myself because it means that I accomplished something big at one point in my career.

Let's all strive to be the old person in the celebrity section of a comic book convention!

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