The 30 Most Awesome Notes on WonderCon 2010

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At a panel Saturday evening at WonderCon, the immense comic book convention held this past weekend at San Franciso’s Moscone Center, a cluster of comics bloggers asserted that the most popular features on their sites, by far, are lists. So, because blog readers demanded it, here’s a list of observations from this year’s show.

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WonderCon: Into the Third Dimension!

1. WonderCon is roughly a third the size of Comic-Con International San Diego at this point: very, very large, but not mind-fryingly so. In part, that’s because it’s not the non-stop Hollywood-fest that San Diego is. That’s beginning to change, though; the largest ballroom at the Moscone Center featured movie and TV panels and previews all day Saturday, and generally came off like a more civilized version of Comic-Con’s infamous Hall H.

2. The most dedicated cosplayer on the show floor was probably the Alien alien, but I particularly appreciated the guy dressed as the Zur-En-Arrh Batman (pictured here).

(More on Techland: Photo Essay: The Secret World of Cosplay)

3. One unexpected announcement came from Detective Comics, Blackest Night: Wonder Woman and Action Comics writer Greg Rucka at a fascinating and unusually-candid-for-a-con Friday-afternoon panel: he declared that he’d just finished his final script for DC, and was planning to concentrate on his own projects from here on out. His Batwoman serial with J.H. Williams III, he noted, might not ever get finished–although he and Williams have been developing another project of their own. The split with DC seems to have been amicable enough that Rucka was still signing at their booth later in the weekend (as well as at Oni Press’s booth, where he was promoting the second issue of Stumptown).

4. The comics WonderCon focuses on are generally the periodicals-to-collections kind: DC, Dark Horse, IDW, Image, Boom! Studios and Avatar all had substantial, bustling booths, but most of the major art-comics publishers were absent.

5. At the Image booth, British TV interviewer Jonathan Ross was signing the first issue of his and Tommy Lee Edwards’ gangsters-and-aliens miniseries Turf.

6. Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan made a surprise appearance on Saturday to show a preview of his forthcoming movie Inception. It’s a dark, surreal variation on heist-movie tropes, involving a company that’s discovered a way to invade and plunder people’s dreams. It looked terrific: crisp angles, moody colors, an unnerving electronic soundtrack.

(More on Techland: Riddles and Rumors: Big Batman 3 Plot Points)

7. Speaking of Dark Knight: Jim Lee announced that the long, long, long-overdue final six issues of his and Frank Miller’s series All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder will appear beginning in February of next year, under the new title Dark Knight: Boy Wonder.

8. Resident Evil: Afterlife looks like it’s going to involve some particularly in-your-face 3-D effects, judging from the footage shown on Saturday. (So are a lot of other movies: virtually every filmmaker at the convention fielded at least one question about 3-D, whether their movies were actually made with a 3-D process or not.)

9. Jake Gyllenhaal noted that he’s very happy to have gotten to play video games as research for his starring role in Prince of Persia.

10. WonderCon is still small enough that tickets and housing aren’t a problem to find, and in fact a lot of out-of-town visitors and show guests are at a single hotel: the enormous Marriott two blocks away, whose lobby became the default late-evening mingling spot for attendees.

(More on Techland: Is Comic Con Headed to Anaheim?)

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