Monday, April 10, 2017

'Cause Stone Cold Erik Said So - WonderCon 2017

Another WonderCon has come and gone. For those who don’t know what WonderCon is, it's like a mini San Diego Comic Con, and since I never able to get in that, this will have to do. WonderCon is promoted by the same people who promote the San Diego Comic Con.

For me, the main attraction going to these cons are autographs by creators/artists/inkers/writers of various comic books. Often times these signings are free, while others charge a small fee (usually $5-$10). I often would ask the artist on Twitter/Facebook, or email if provided, how much they charge if any, and the limit of books they will sign. The “unwritten rule” is usually 4-5 max unless there’s no lines. Also, don’t try and bring a stack of comics to try to get them to sign a whole RUN of issues they drew/write.

Even with the admission fee (in this case Sundays are usually cheaper than Saturdays and less crowded, $18 ) and parking, your chances of getting lots of upcoming and veteran artists signed for low price are great. I find conventions like these are the most bang for your buck compared to sports star signing where even a journeymen player will run you $30.

The main attraction was artist Bill Sienkiewicz, who did art for New Mutants among others, but is also known for creating the character "Legion," which is based on the FX TV series of the same name. I had to get New Mutants #24 (first cameo appearance) and #25 which are the hottest issues since the success of the TV show. He was nice and only charged $5. What’s interesting is that he wasn’t mentioned in the Con list of signers, but actually I knew he was signing because I followed a local comic shop that had a booth and mentioned this on Facebook.

Rule #2: When going to a Con pay attention to dealers/retailers who are going to be there. Also, if you follow them social media pay attention to details on if they bringing a “special guest” as a signer. I wanted to meet Ashley Eckstein whom runs the She Universe clothing line that is at Kohl's and Hot Topic. She also did the voice to Tano of Star Wars Clone Wars, and I know that Star Wars signers no matter if it’s the animated voice are in hot demand. Also I noticed that she will sign Funko Pop items exclusively to Hot Topic. A twitter picture showed that the Funko Pop's were going to be sold for $12 each! A look on Ebay says shows that completed sales were $30 on the average!

In addition, Topps certified autographs retail for $40 each. Star Wars related autographs are hot! Now I did ask in early part of the show if Ashley was going to be signing. The clerk allegedly said “no." So I kind of said "Okay". I was gonna leave early, when I took the chance on checking the booth around the time she said was signing on Twitter. Lo and be hold she was there signing! Never take the worker’s word for it (a long past rant about the failed Wayne Gretzky book signing for a later day). She was very nice and remembered me from the last year show when I met her - I didn’t get her autograph then, but her husband who wasn’t there this year, signed a Sports Illustrated at the time.

Often times, I love artist signers/writers are cool because I get to admit that I read and enjoy their work during my high school and college day. I never fully understood why I some sports card collectors adore and gush on retired sports players - as a comic books fan who does the same with artists and writers I admired in my younger days, now I see why.

Another thing in the sports cards hobby that I never understood is why collectors would try and get all signatures of multiple players on that picture or multi player card of league leaders. I now understand why they do this too. One of my comic projects is Harley Quinn. Previously I have gotten at one show the writer for the New 53 and rebirth for Harley Quinn, Jimmy Palmiotti and his wife artist Amanda Conner. I was interested in adding another artist Chad Hardin. He was also only charging $5 per signature. This is a steal since now that I have completed my Harley Quinn #1 New 52 signature project!

All in all, a great WonderCon 2017! Even with the huge number of people in attendance. Check out my Twitter @RiceCube70 for photos of WonderCon 2017. I'm hoping to find another smaller con later this year with good autograph signers involved. Until next time!

Stone Cold Erik

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