My approach to conventions, of any kind, is like going to a large party. I will see people I know, and people I’m casually acquainted with, find out about things I’m interested in, and meet new people who are enjoyable (or not) to talk to, even if I’ll never see the person again. I used to have a primo spot for meeting and greeting at comic book conventions, since I helped Peter staff the ComicBase booth. Now, however, he has Atomic Avenue, and a bonafide staff to man the booth. I still get to have a convention badge, but I’m free to see whatever I want, whenever I want to. The downside is, especially if a convention is large and vibrant enough (as Wondercon has become), I may not get to see the people I’m looking forward to seeing, including my own husband.
So when I was strolling towards Moscone Center on Saturday afternoon, I was delighted and surprised to run into a friend from the show right on the street. And a few steps later, we bumped into yet another mutual friend. So I hadn’t even gotten into the convention center, but the party had already started.
Inside, the hall was crowded, though not uncomfortably so. As an exhibitor (or at least one associated with one), this is a good sign: people are clearly coming to the show, and are interested enough to look at what’s being promoted on the show floor. I especially appreciated people who dressed up in costume, and they were in well-thought out, carefully constructed, elaborate costumes as well, from the omnipresent Storm Troopers to an amazing HR Giger Alien. Loretta and Shiaw-Ling refer to the costumed people by the Japanese term “cosplayer,” and it’s accurate. The cosplayers are very much a part of the entertainment, but it’s impromptu and done merely for the love of the art. Anyway, Wondercon had a fair number of cosplayers added in to the mix.
As an attendee, however, it’s not always so much fun when the floor is crowded, particularly if (like me) you’re pushing around a stroller. Miraculously, Peter managed to get away from the booth to have a late lunch at Mel’s (downtown-y and not so drive-in-y)Diner. Afterwards, Neil and I stumbled upon the fact that the Spy Store was in the Metreon, which surprised us because we’d visited it not so long ago, but it was at Fisherman’s Wharf. So I took the children to the Metreon, even if that meant cutting out of our Wondercon party for the moment.
When we returned, Peter was working again. I led Neil around the show floor, but he was stunningly half-hearted about it. He loves nothing more than to see the show with Peter. I suspect I don’t bring the same amount of enthusiasm to seeing action figures and rare comics. Neil ended up hiding in the booth, reading a newspaper, and I was having none of that while I was paying by the hour for parking. So we concluded our Saturday in San Francisco and headed home.