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Wondercon 09 - Exhibitors Recap
Posted on Sunday, March 1 2009 @ 13:16:39 PST

Watchmen coming out in a week. Doesn’t matter. Still channeling Rorschach. As always.

Friday. Wake up at 6 a.m. Far too early. Can’t sleep. Lay in bed watching YouTube. Four hours pass. Not proud. At least know what “Wii Breakfast” is. Send video to Duke for possible manifesto.

Decide to be productive. Shower. Dress. Drink Martinelli’s Apple Juice with multi-vitamin. Wear new fingerless gloves purchased yesterday. Never know. Might get into street fight at Wondercon. That limited edition sketch of Ryu is mine!

Pack camera, notebook, and pens. Feel like Frank West. Make the connection that Wondercon is a likely starting point of the zombie apocalypse. Smirk.

Walk ten blocks to Downtown Berkeley BART station. Purchase ticket for three-day excursion. Step onto San Francisco train. See neighbor holding a conversation piece. A Wondercon booklet. Listen to him explain that he is a librarian looking to stock inventory with underground comics. Listen intently. Despite his bad breath. Eventually lets me see the booklet.

Nothing of particular interest. Except for the back. A fully colored ad for Capcom. Street Fighter IV. Resident Evil 5. Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop. Incredible deals at Capcom Store. Prepaid Capcom Visa card. Almost forgot this is a comic book convention. Return booklet to librarian.

Step off at Powell Station. Walk a few blocks to Moscone Center South (see right). Same venue for Game Developers Conference. Not as jam-packed as GDC but at least three hundred percent more geeky (and wondrous).

Reach registration line for press. Stand in one of two lines. Wait patiently. Reach desk with lady. Asks me a question. No, did not pre-register. Sorry, but please go to the other line. See that their desk has paper and a pen. Wish they knew how to make a sign.

Strut back to other line. Wait patiently. Watch man behind desk tell lady that it’s okay now for people who did not pre-register to wait on her line. Prevent hands from channeling Satsui no Hadou.

Pin press badge onto top jacket pocket. Take escalator down to show floor entrance foyer. Walk past high-priced food stations. Suddenly realize that Moscone Center is essentially an airport terminal. Find entrance doors labeled ‘A’. Walk through.

Admire the change of scenery. Humongous gymnasium-sized room with aisles and aisles of geekery. A flea market of insane proportions. Racks upon racks, boxes upon boxes, toys upon toys. Vendors and artists squeezed into their allotted space. Watchmen booth straight ahead. Capcom banners swaying high and mighty in the back.

Decide to get the lay of the land. Take camera out. Plan to walk down every aisle. Camera running low. Search through bag. Forgot batteries. ****. Need to be quick.

Snapshots. Master Chief artwork by Greg Horn ($20). Street Fighter IV freehand sketches by Bordin Mark Marsinkul. Decide to commission him ($25) for Evil Ryu in under 20 minutes. Initial stencil. 3 minutes pass. Brushwork. 5 minutes pass. Coloring with markers. 6 minutes pass. Polishing touches. And voila! (see full picture at the end of the recap)

Beware the Mana potions. No, not even for $3. Novelty T-shirts everywhere (nearly all under $20). Super Smash Bros. Brawl posters (also under $20). Ninjatown plushies. Captain America’s shield ($600). Final Fantasy XII Lulu doll ($999.50).

Lunch break at the Sony Metreon across the street. Sony Style closing, confirmed. Ate at Buckhorn. $11 lunch for large tri-tip Angus beef sandwich with caramelized onion and mashed potatoes with the skins. Delicioso. Return to Moscone Center. Full and recharged.

Super-awesome Bumblebee costume (actually on Saturday but this is timeless). Cosplay of Kanji (very niche and thus very me) from Persona 4. Magic: The Gathering tournaments. Skeeball. Find your nerdy soulmate at Burnout Paradise with 3D glasses. Club Namco. Capcom Store. Telltale Games (Blake to have preview for Wallace & Gromit Grand Adventure).

And Jim Lee.

Got hands-on time with two Capcom titles. MotoGP for the Wii. Flock for the XBLA. Will write previews soon. Blake to preview Monster Hunter Freedom Unite as well.

Look at watch on cell phone. Been walking and standing for eight hours. Feet and legs feeling the burn. Need to build stamina for GDC later this month. Doors close soon. Meet with Joe Accorsi, Greg Damiano, and Windy near the end of the day. Some girl gives Blake a ticket to see the Watchmen tonight before it comes out. But has plans so reluctantly gives ticket to Greg. Imagined death to Greg.

Getting late. Need time to write and write and write. Decide to head back. Stealthy like ninja, of course. *whoosh*

(Bonus Tip: Unless you are a cosplay fan, go on Friday. Far less people. Far less shoving, punching, and eventual begging for life.)

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