A small part of WonderCon
A small part of WonderCon (click for bigger photos)

On Saturday, my husband, my friend, and I went to San Francisco. We went to a convention called WonderCon. This convention is for fans of comic books, animation, movies, TV shows, and so on. Last year, about 32,000 people went to the convention–women, men, kids, older people, etc. It’s not the biggest convention like this, but it’s pretty big.

More of WonderCon (sorry about the glass)
More of WonderCon (sorry about the glass)

Every year, there are a lot of things to do at the convention. In the Exhibition Hall, you can buy all kinds of comics. Often, you can buy the comics from the artist or writer and talk to him or her. You can buy paintings and drawings from artists. You can buy books about comics, history, and computer graphics. You can talk to publishers and ask them questions. You can meet actors and other famous people from TV shows and movies. (You usually have to pay to get their autographs.)

On the left, a friend who's an artist. On the right, another friend and two more members of Legion Fantastique.
On the left, a friend who's an artist. On the right, another friend and two more members of Legion Fantastique.

Look at the photo above. The three people wearing costumes are looking at the original comic book art that is for sale by an artist. (They are members of a group called Legion Fantastique. If you’re in California, you can see them at the Great Pan-Kinetic Exposition in August.) Lots of people wear costumes and walk around the convention. You can usually take their photos if you ask them.

Some people work hard on their costumes
Some people work hard on their costumes

Another reason that people go to WonderCon is because you can go to presentations and panels (group presentations). At these, people talk about topics like how to make costumes, how to teach reading using comic books, religion in fantasy movies, and so on. Actors, writers, and other people are also on panels. Sometimes new movies or TV shows are shown for the first time.

Who's on the escalator?
Who's on the escalator?

We had a lot of fun, and we’ll probably go next year. There’s “something for everyone!”

Have you ever gone to a convention? What kind of convention would you like to go to? You can answer in the comments!


“Convention” (n.): A big meeting of people on one topic. It might be for people who work in one kind of business, like web designers. Other conventions are for fans of something, like Japanese animation, trains, growing roses, or comic books. People often travel a long way to go to the convention. Conventions are usually held in convention centers or hotels. “Convention” comes from the verb “convene,” which means “come together.” “Conferences” (n.) are almost the same, except that word is usually used for academic (teaching and researching) conferences–teachers, scientists, historians, etc. “Conference” comes from the verb “confer,” which means “talk” or “discuss.”

A “publisher” (n.) or publishing company is a person or a company that makes books, comic books, etc. A publisher isn’t a printer or a bookstore. A writer sends her book to a publisher and hopes that the publisher will accept it. The publisher agrees to buy it and pays the writer. The publisher pays a printing company to print the book. The publisher sends the book to bookstores. The bookstores sell the books. The publisher, bookstores, and writer share the money from selling the book. (The author doesn’t get very much…)

“Autograph” (n./v.): If a famous person writes his or her name on something, their written name (signature) is an autograph. When you write your name on a check, letter, etc., it’s just a signature (n.). If a famous person signs something, it’s an autograph.

If I didn’t explain something, please ask in the comments!

6 thoughts on “WonderCon”

  1. Hi, readable! I’m from ‘Twitter’.

    I read your post. It’s exciting! :)
    I felt, it looked like a ‘Comic Market’ at Tokyo Big Site, in Japan. Is it right?
    However, I have never gone to such a convention yet. :(

  2. Hi! Thanks so much for commenting. WonderCon is smaller than Comic Market. The activities at WonderCon and Comic Market are different. I think Comic Market’s main purpose is selling and buying 同人誌 (fan comics). Fan comics are basically illegal here. However, a few WonderCon artists sell drawings of famous characters. This is probably illegal too, but somehow it’s OK.

    Anyway, although the activities at WonderCon and Comic Market are different, I think the interests of the fans who go to them might be similar. :) I think you can see some guys in the photos with backpacks who look just like Akihabara types…haha. :)

    I haven’t been to Comic Market either…I went to a similar event in Taiwan, however! It was pretty cool!

    At the end of May, I’ll go to an anime and manga convention. I’ll probably blog about it, too. Sometimes there are fans from Japan there. They always say “This is so different from Japanese events!” (because there are presentations, game rooms, video rooms, clothing sellers, jewelry sellers, etc.–there are even two dance events, one formal dance and one club-style dance!).

  3. Hi! I enjoy your post every time. I like your each post! Some posts are difficult for me, but I could understand it well this time. Also, I like your photos. Did you wear costume? I will wait for your next post and tweet.

  4. Hi! Thank you for commenting. :) No, I didn’t wear a costume, although my friend did. I’d like to wear a costume someday, but not a superhero-type costume. I’d prefer the steampunk or neo-Victorian kind of costume like you can see in one of the photos. Thank you for commenting on my photos, too!

  5. Hi Clarissa,
    Your renewed site is already open!!! I have your blog in google reader, but there are many articles I have to catch up, so I might have missed yours.
    I do read this throughly later.
    Keep on a good work!!!

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