Wonder Northwest 2011: Recap
Sad to say – even with no expectations, Wonder Northwest did not live up to them. The DH and I each bought a weekend pass but only ended up attending Day One. It was advertised as a Comics and Pop Culture expo, but was severely lacking in the comics department.
The show floor was anemic compared to either Stumptown or the Portland Comic Book Show. The only publisher there was Dark Horse Comics. TFAW and Cosmic Monkey were representing with some books and a few artists/creators were sprinkled about…but mostly it was Toys and Collectibles. Those are the elements I usually steer clear of at cons. Did pick up two hardcover collections of The Stand and The Dark Tower series however. Digging on the Stephen King adaptations.
I did appreciate the live DJ (lots of great soul songs) but the volume made it difficult to chat so I’m kinda glad there weren’t artists or writers I wanted to see. We wouldn’t have been able to talk anyway. The booths in the registration area were cool – lots of great Portland organizations like PDXYar, The Alter Egos Society and PDX Browncoats representing.
All of the panel offerings were enticing, if not heavily attended. We were bummed to miss the Boilerplate, Zombie Epidemiology and Geeking Back to the Community panels due a series of unfortunate events (late arrival, leaving to put on zombie makeup, forgetting ID and having to drive home and back). I’m sure the costume contest on Sunday was awesome too, but we opted for dinner with my fam instead.
I guess what really threw me was the average age of the attendee. At least 50% of those in attendance were teens or early 20s. Loads of anime kids in costumes. It just made me feel so incredibly old! Didn’t really start enjoying myself until we hit up the hotel bar for a Zombie (the alcoholic beverage) and watched some nerdy Rock Band. Sadly cut short for zombie evening exploits.
The Zombie Walk itself was lackluster compared to previous outings and getting all dressed up didn’t seem worth it by the time we got to the Bossanova Ballroom for the Zombie Prom. We arrived 30 minutes early to stand outside in the evening drizzle. Eventually many of the other folks split off and filtered on over to the Lovecraft for the official after party.
We debated whether or not to go and eventually ended up doing neither…as sometimes happens. Instead we opted for a second viewing of “Thor” in 😄 and 3D. This was somehow a much better end to the evening.
So yeah – I might be getting too old for conventions with after-parties. Or maybe I was just having an off-weekend. Things haven’t been going smoothly on the work front and I was stressing about all of our at-home chores. Plus, Dan is on a diet that eliminates alcohol intake. Therefore Zombie Prom would not have been excessively fun or entertaining. What hit the spot was a nice visually pleasing bath of Chris Hemsworth and giggling Natalie Portman.
In the future, I’ll most likely be skipping this convention, unless there is something extra special attractive in the listings. It DID inspire me to want to hit up Rock Band Tuesdays at Ground Kontrol. In costume would be extra special fun. One of the highlights of the weekend was watching Ezio/Desmond from Assassin’s Creed sing “Bad Romance.”
Wonder Northwest helped solidify that I like my conventions with more comics than pop culture. And I might be “over” zombies. Unless we can get contacts and really sexify our outfits, my days of lurching through the streets have probably come to an end.
What Was Awesome: Scoring a cool dress. Gaining knowledge of The Lovecraft’s existence (totes wanna go there soon!). Wonder Northwest therefore was useful. But not really enough for a repeat visit.
Here’s a slideshow of the fun from Day One of Wonder Northwest: