Growing up, I went to WonderCon joined by friends and family, so when Kat and I were approved to attend the sister show of Comic-Con, I was ESTASTIC! Kat and I planned where to park, what to wear, who to interview, and what panels to attend. By Friday, we were packed and ready to go!

Friday, I dressed as Ash Ketchum while Kat dressed as Howl. Typically, Fridays are slow since it’s a work day, but the venue was PACKED with so many people I thought we skipped ahead to Saturday for a solid second. Seeing as this was her first WonderCon, Kat was understandably excited but overwhelmed, as was I, but eventually, we got the swing of things and slipped successfully into the crowd.

For the start of our adventure, we took out our trusty map and program guide and toured Artist Alley, trailing along from one end of the booths to the other. One of the first booths that caught my eye mainly belonged to Lothlenan, an artist known for recreating famous paintings with a modern twist. Two illustrations that I liked were her recreations of the Girl with a Pearl Earring, depicting Princess Peach and a sinister-looking Bowser lurking behind, and the Unicorn Tapestries, showing the initially unnamed unicorn from 1982 The Last Unicorn. I highly recommend her work if you like historical art with a twist. I left with a signed print of Princess Peach. 

TeacupBee ran the next booth that caught my eye (yes, I agree. The name is super cute), promoting her WEBOON CANVAS comic, Monster Heart. Her art was pleasant to look at, and I liked the premise, so I subscribed, caught up on the series, and could not wait for the next season! I always loved spying for WEBTOON creators when I was scouring Artist Alley. 

After some looking, I eventually found my family friend April Solomon, who specializes in fine art and fantasy. She was operating her booth and selling her work, so I wanted to show my support. Believe me, if you like dragons with detail, you’ll like her art. Kat bought one of her handmade pendants, depicting a lovely illustration of a sulfur dragon. 

Still lurking in Artist Alley, I raced to say hi to my friend Nekkokya, who had a booth at WonderCon. Her art style is so colorful and creative, and it makes me happy just looking at it, so when I saw she was taking commissions, I decided to think hard about what character I wanted to commission. By Saturday, I decided on She-ra from She-ra and the Princesses of Power, and Nekkokya said it would be ready by Sunday. Safe to say, I was excited!

@nekkokya. Photo Source: Brandi Ortiz of The Game of Nerds

Once we were finished touring Artist Alley, Kat and I entered and explored the Exhibtor Hall before going our separate ways to cover more ground. While Kat attended a panel of her choosing, I toured the Bandai Namco booth. With the senior marketing manager as my guide, I learned about the Bandai Namco products and pledge: We want to create a unique experience with Bandai Namco. Anyone can buy a figure from a store and put it on a shelf, but here they build it. Our number one priority is creating the ultimate experience. I liked that and loved my fair share of buildable figures, so I left with a Mimikyu nanoblock and a Kirby stackable figurine. Do you own any Bandai Namco products? If so, tell me in the comments.

To my delight, my favorite independent bookstore Mysterious Galaxy was stationed in the Exhibitor Hall with a wide range of books. I was told authors would be signing books throughout the weekend, and I was pumped to learn the author of Violet Made of Thorns, Gina Chen, would be signing books. I had just finished reading her week the previous week and was eager to have it signed. 

Not too far from the Mysterious Galaxy booth, I spotted a familiar face: S.G. Blaise, the author of The Last Lumerian, whom I had met at L.A. Comic-Con last year, and she remembered me! She gave me a poster and some stickers (that I happily added to my copy of The Last Lumerian), and I was delighted to see another familiar face amongst the crowd.

By the end of the first day, I had toured all of Artist Alley, explored the Exhibor Hall, attended two panels, and ended the day with some much-needed, old-school quality cartoons. When Saturday rolled around, I dressed as Mimkyu, and Kat dressed as Jinx, which felt like a repeat of Anime Days. I was set to start the day by interviewing the crew of the adult animation HouseBroken, which takes a look at human and animal psychiatry in a comedic but honest way. If you want to see my interview notes, stay tuned!

Photo Source: Kat Johnson of The Game of Nerds

Kat and I attended more panels throughout the day, and we got signed prints by Let’s Play creator Leeanne M. Krecic, known to her fans as “Mongie.” She promoted her newest creation, a dating simulator inspired by her webcomic called Everdate (which you can sponsor here). Suppose you like otome games or dating simulators. In that case, Everdate is a project worth supporting, and if you especially like otome games, tell me below in the comments what games you like best because I want to start a series about otome games.

While wandering the Exhibtor Hall, I came across the colorful and fun-looking Prism Comics booth, which promotes the awareness of LGBTQIA creators and readers in the comic industry. As an ally, I love the idea of LGBTQIA creators getting some well-deserved limelight. I was also happy to learn Prism Comics would host their second annual QCon, to further support their creators and introduce their readers to new materials. If you are in the West Hollywood area on June 18th, check it out and show your support for the community!

After a solid TEN hours, Kat and I were done for Saturday and headed home for rest. Sunday, Kat dressed as Aubrey from Omori, and I decided to dress more casually, wearing sneakers and a Team Rocket hoodie. After wearing platformed heels for two days straight, I was relieved to be wearing comfortable shoes. Can anyone relate? 

I was incredibly excited for Sunday because it was the day I was set to pick up my commission from Nekkokya. She had been sending me photo updates since Saturday, and from what I could tell, it was beautiful! I raced to her booth, and when I saw it, I was almost speechless. It was more beautiful in person and became my favorite purchase at WonderCon. It is now hanging nicely framed on my wall. 

Kat and I attended more panels, bought tea tasters and a dispenser from Tea & Absinthe, and explored more of the convention to our heart’s content. We had seen plenty Friday and Sunday, so Sunday was about catching up on whatever we missed and taking in the last exciting bits of the convention. Throughout the weekend, I saw so many amazing costumes. Emperor Belos from The Owl House. Squirrel Girl. Batman. Jack Sparrow. Princess Peach. Master Chief. And those are only some of the fantastic costumes I saw! I love seeing how much people pour into their costumes. It makes me want to try putting more effort into my outfits! 

Overpriced food trunks and panels filling up fast aside, it was a WONDERFUL experience, and I look forward to next year! I have only touched the surface of what WonderCon can offer you!

Photo Source: Kat Johnson of The Game of Nerds