I was kind of hoping that Smudge would say something about this one. She has a silly con quote and everything…. (Edit: So of course she posts while I’m posting…. X_X )

Anyway, Wondercon is a regional comic-book convention held in San Francisco, and owned by SDCCI.

I could say they’re turing it into a mini-ComicCon, but while that matches the surface, it doesn’t really describe what’s going on.

Similarities: It is growing fast. It was held in Moscone West this year, and the Fire Marshal closed off the dealer’s room for part of Saturday for overcrowding. Estimates handed out to the city businesses are woefully underrepresented. The Taxi driver on Friday said they were expecting ‘about 500 people’ this year. Um, Wondercon had something like 14,500 last year? Hello? Chamber of Commerce, Reality calling….

With it getting too big for Moscone West, there’s not much to do to expand the dealer’s (overcrowded) room without splitting it between two locations. There’s a few things they can take out, like the open gaming which was 90% deserted the entire time (the other 10% being SJG-sponsored demos).

Sales were poor. I don’t think we made back the relatively low table cost. We were stuck in a corner of Artist Alley that seemed to get less traffic than the rest. But even with the people who went by, it was hard to grab their attention at all. Wondercon seems to have been filled with people there to get their fix of whatever it is they’re already into, and have no interest in anything else.

All too often it feels like the comic industry as a whole is becoming more and more like this.

ComicCon itself seems to fight this trend, but for all I know it’s just so large that the minuscule percentage of people looking for something new turns into a noticeable number.

I did what I could to buck the trend, and went hunting for something new. I didn’t find much that caught my eye, but did come home with a couple new things:

Tales of the Moonlight Cutter is a pair (so far) of done-in-one stories about a ghost hunter in 12th-century China. He’s done his research on history, but they are (deliberately) Wu-Xia stories. The storytelling is okay (certainly nothing wrong with it), and the art is very strong.

A Monk’s Tale is also set in ancient/medieval China, but draws it’s inspiration from Chinese history, rather than hewing to any particular period. The story is a very warm adventure tale of three sheltered monks making their way across a China wracked by civil war and a corrupt military. Well recommended with engaging characters, a good story, and some very nice penciled art.

I’m not generally a big kung-fu fan, but that’s what the new stuff I happened to find was.

Not new, but I was happy to see the creator of Little Bat Koku, which I discovered last year, again.

Between the corner of the room given over to Playboy/porn or whatnot starlets, and various girl-attendees that seem to have installed springs under their shirts, the con needs a jiggle-counter…. -_-;