This was my first day of WonderCon and I wasn’t sure what to expect. On Thursday, the set up for our High Voltage small press booth revealed a much larger convention floor than I anticipated – especially considering the surprising lack of press releases with come hither incentives from exhibitors. It all kind of clicked while waiting in line to get into the Anaheim Convention Center when a stream of storm troopers marched past talking in loud, distorted voices. Welcome to the magic world of WonderCon!
The boisterous storm troopers were just the beginning of the colorful and elaborate costumes parading around the halls. Today’s cosplay favorites included a spot on David Tennant version of Dr. Who and a Cinderella in a gorgeous blue ball gown. There was also the cutest (and let us hope prophetic) couple walking around in homemade Arrow shirts with his saying something like “I’m with Felicity” and hers, “I’m with Oliver (#TeamOlicity).”
The absolute highlight of my day was a screening followed by a panel for the new drama, Wayward Pines. The dark and twisted ten episode event coming to Fox in May has all the makings of the next watercooler must-see. The all-star cast (which includes Matt Dillon, Juliette Lewis, Terrence Howard and Melissa Leo) all portray their characters to the point where you question every action, motive, and relationship. Howard, in particular, hot off the heels of his Empire hit, is deliciously underhanded (or maybe not?) as the mysterious town’s ice cream-loving sheriff. Based on the Blake Crouch novel, “Pines,” and executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan (who also directed the pilot), you know things are not what they appear when Shyamalan – king of the last minute twist, himself – couldn’t guess the story’s big reveal.
Following the screening was a panel composed of executive producer Donald De Line and actors Reed Diamond and Tim Griffin who play a resident of Wayward Pines and a secret service coworker of Matt Dillon’s Ethan Burke, respectively. Diamond seemed particularly delighted about the project, effusing about the novels and telling animated stories of how the other actors got to visit M. Night Shyamalan’s “compound” outside of Philadelphia to workshop. One final perk of the panel: pine-scented Wayward Pine air fresheners!
Interestingly, there were also several panels on the psychology behind our favorite TV shows. At the Surviving the Walking Dead: Understanding Behavior in a World Without Rules panel, psychiatrists who work on the show taught the audience what it means to be psychotic and discussed what characters (if any) on the show might fit that definition. FYI, the conclusion seemed to be that no one on the show (even the cannibals) is clinically psychotic because the extreme living as seen on that show normalizes some of the behaviors that might, otherwise, define a psychotic. A final happy meeting today was with the president of the California Browncoasts, Firefly’s fandom community in California. It warms my heart that a show that ended so long ago still maintains such a strong presence. I will spend the rest of my ‘Con proudly showing my love of Firefly with a Browncoat ribbon. It goes well with my “Home is Where the Tardis” Dr. Who button and my customizable fandom button which revealed my love of live music and boba (both buttons can be found at our High Voltage small press booth #108). Two more days of WonderCon so come visit us!