Photo Trip Through Wondercon 2018

Jason McDonald

So i’ll be straight with you here. I’ve actually been using my cell phone to take pictures whenever I go to events.  Like some kind of savage I thought “surely my smartphone is good enough to document these journeys, the pictures come out purty.”  And, yeah, it did the job for awhile.  However, I finally decided to upgrade my arsenal and I got this Nikon camera.  And, like the smart guy that I am, I decided to get it the night before going to Wondercon.  Basically what I’m trying to say is that this was a journey in learning about how to use my camera and maybe along the way we’ll also learn a little about ourselves. Maybe.

Wondercon is the first big con of the year for many geeks and nerds and this year brought some several large events to the con.  From a surprise screening of “A Quiet Place” to a panel with the cast of “Ready Player One” there were plenty of panels and screenings to appease fans of all genres.  For our purposes the only major interview I had this weekend was with the cast of “Fear the Walking Dead” which I’ll be posting later.  However, there’s still plenty of things to see at Wondercon so let’s take a look at what I captured.


For those not in the know Wondercon takes place in Anaheim, California where Mickey reigns with an iron fist.  It’s been rainy lately, but today was a beautiful slightly overcast day and as a result the con was a bit more packed than previous years.  But it wasn’t just the weather that brought people out.  Today there were quite a few big panels and presentations.  First of all was the premiere of “Batman Ninja.”  I’m not gonna write a review about this movie, but if you like anime “Batman Ninja” is anime as hell.  We’re talking mechas and crazy Naruto-style jujitsu.  It’s a wild movie, but super fun.  After that there was the Warner Bros Film Presentation which was all about “Ready Player One.”  Up until a few days ago it was believed that James Wan and Jason Momoa would show up to reveal the first trailer for “Aquaman,” but Warner Bros decided in their infinite wisdom to not do that. And then there was the “Fear the Walking Dead” panel which, while not as big as a draw as “The Walking Dead,” still pulled in a lot of fans.


With “Black Panther” being the biggest movie in the world right now I fully expected to see plenty of “Black Panther” cosplay throughout the con.  However, it wasn’t as plentiful as I was hoping.  In fact these two guys and one other Panther were about all I saw.  A bit disappointing considering how many colorful and wild costumes could be pulled out of the movie.  Still, these guys were cool and the formal wear T’Challa even wore the sandals that he wears in the movie.  It was a nice attention to detail.


This really rad Iron Woman had a well designed costume so of course I had to get a picture of her, but WHAT IS GOING ON BACK THERE?!


Food themed Avengers!  Check out Long John Silver Nick Fury and Incredible Hulk Panda Express.  Starbucks Carter has a frappuccino gun! This is the kind of weird cosplay I really enjoy.


The “Ready Player One” panel had a huge turnout.  There were a few things that I picked up during this one.  For one, Ben Mendelsohn is fantastically charming and loves to play the bad guy and I’m completely fine with him continuing to do it.  Secondly, it sounds like Steven Spielberg likes to humble brag.  Apparently he would be having conversations with the cast and would like to interject with stories about himself and other actors.  So if someone is talking about motorcycles he would talk about how he used to ride bikes in the desert with Steve McQueen. Just rub it in Steven. Also, apparently Tom Cruise just walked on to the set one day cause .  . . he’s Tom Cruise and he can do whatever he wants.


So around this time I had to go into a press room for AMC’s “Into the Badlands” and “Fear the Walking Dead.”  To be honest with you, I haven’t watched an episode of “Into the Badlands” so I had no idea about what people were talking about during this interview.  But hey, Nick Frost was there and Nick Frost is cool as hell.  “Into the Badlands” also sounds pretty rad and all the talk about kung fu action is a post apocalyptic world get me jazzed about the series.  I might wind up watching it now.


After going through with the “Into the Badlands” crew we got to sit down with the “Fear the Walking Dead” cast and crew.  I mostly included this picture so you can see how glamorous these interviews looks.  I always love the ugly pile of audio recording devices that get thrown on the tables.  Not scene in this picture are the twenty-thirty bloggers/reporters sitting on the other side of the room asking questions.  I tend to be sarcastic about the whole process, but internalize that sarcasm when I’m doing these things.  However, the people covering the events tend to be super grouchy about having to do it.  I had one guy show up next to me and say “Oh, we’re doing one of these stupid ass press interviews?” and then proceeded to talk through the whole thing and not even pay attention to what was going on. Like, okay, maybe you don’t care about the show.  Faire enough. But then why the hell are you there taking up a spot someone else could get?!

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This was a lesson in taking pictures of people with my new camera. For one, there are a set of photos where I didn’t realize how intense the zoom was.  Through the viewfinder it seemed like max zoom wasn’t even as close as I needed to be and then the actual picture was deep into people’s pores. So I’ve since destroyed those ones.  However, I also learned some other valuable lessons.  Things like lightning and when to use flash.  Or how people are posing.  Check out Garret Dillahunt there, it looks like I’m taking his DMV photo.  But then Jenna Elfman and Danay Garcia are striking these wonderful poses and I was just lucky in capturing them.


And in case you’ve been wondering, the guy in green is definitely not Bob Saget.

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A fully mobile R2-D2 and a Mouse Droid that were going nuts and driving around the convention floor making all sorts of crazy noises.  They were really awesome and had some neat features where there panels would open up and gizmos would just flap about.  Also, in the last shot you can see a Wacky Inflatable Tube Man tried to get into the picture. Like, nah bruh, you’re not on R2’s level, I’m sorry.

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As the day wrapped up I managed to snap a few more unique cosplay pictures. The Lego Lord of the Rings characters were pretty well done and much more massive than they appear in the photo. Watching them navigate the show floor was hilarious.  Then I found a furry Columbo. Let that sink in as you absorb that picture, he’s a furry dressed as famous ’70s detective Columbo.  Amazing.  But not nearly amazing as this giant Apocalypse.  That’s not a statue or anything, that’s a guy in a costume.  I didn’t get to see him move around, as he was just posted up in one spot, but he was impressive to watch as he swung his cannon arm around and it lit up.  And finally, a White Walker with an adorable possessed ice baby.


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