We attended the first day of WonderCon today. WonderCon, celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year, is currently going on (Friday through Sunday) at the Moscone Center West. We took Caltrain there, walking the easy half mile from the train station to the center with a stop for coffee on the way to stave off impending incoherence from a sleep-deprived week.
Inside Moscone itself, I was struck right away by how quiet it was. No massive, serpentine line clogging everything, no chaos of people pushing to get in. As it happened, there was a small line upstairs waiting to be let in when the exhibit hall opened, but that was it.
Inside, I was struck by how small it was. As I mentioned previously, WonderCon attendence is in the ~15,000 range, whereas Comic Con San Diego is in the ~100,000 range. This difference is reflected in the exhibit hall floor. We were able to quickly cover the entire exhibit hall; some years in San Diego that goal is never reached. Absent from the WonderCon floor are the giant booths set up by film companies and such; the balance is far more toward individual shops and dealers. The difference in scale is especially odd because the trappings of the exhibit floor -- the banners with their numbers labeling the aisles -- are done in the same font and colors as in San Diego.
In fact, it reminds me of the San Diego con, back when it was held in Golden Hall and was not such a focus for pimping new movies and such.
WonderCon also has a smaller suite of events, featuring three event rooms and an anime room. There's a gaming area, but it was nearly abandoned, with just some Munchkin demos running.
In addition to our exhausting of the exhibit floor (with Littlestar and others doing an extensive search of the art books on sale) we also stopped in on the Lucas Licensing Portfolio Review and everyone but me went to the New Challenges in Self-Publishing panel (I feel asleep for a while).
Tomorrow promises a much more intense schedule, with a lot more panels to hold our attention. Given our quick runthrough of the exhibit floor, this is a good thing.