We went relatively frequently when the convention picked up at least part of our hotel costs to have Len in attendance. He went without me sometimes when I was too busy for work, and then he had many long gaps in attendance, during which time the convention moved across the Bay to the Moscone Center and the convention would no long kick in on the rooms.
Last year, Len was once again invited to be a guest and I took several days off from work to drive up to San Francisco and enjoy the vacation. Things had changed. It was approaching Comicon size with some 50,000 people expected. It was the kind of event where you had to make plans to meet with people, because you weren't going to run into them anywhere. (The only time we saw Neil Gaiman was at his panel, even though we were in the same hotel.) We were actually assigned a couple of minions (for which we were grateful) who managed to make sure we got lunch while we manned a guest table on the show floor or who watched out for stuff when we went to panels.
Because of Mark Evanier (in the photo with Len before the interview he did at Wondercon), we also got to see Beach Blanket Babylon, which has been running since I lived at Stanford in 1974-75, but which we had never seen. Hysterical, but the wigs and costumes were the truly amazing part. We saw a few friends we normally don't get to see and we had some notable meals. We met the "Goths" from the Amazing Race (which was on the air at the time and they hadn't yet been eliminated) and it was the first time that strangers came up to me because the recognized me from Jeopardy! Having had such a good time, we resolved to return this year.
There was one guest I was intent upon meeting at the convention: Joe Hill. I'm a big fan of his Tweets and I had been following him for quite a while. Since Len has known his father since they were comic fan boys in the 1960s, I figured it was a good bet that we would meet him. As it happens, Joe was a huge fan of Len's and invited us out to dinner with his publisher and some friends the first night of the convention. It was the best meal of the weekend, and the conversation was sparkling.
Wondercon was the first opportunity for DC to promote Before Watchmen, the somewhat controversial project which will be published over 38 weeks, starting in June.
The thing that happens at conventions is that we run into people who live very close to where we do, whom we rarely see outside of the convention circuit. Here's Len with Michael Davis, a very funny and talented gentleman.
Hall costumes and costume competitions are omnipresent at comic and science fiction conventions. I'm very fond of the steam punk look that is so popular these days. I haven't yet attempted to participate, though Len has.
Next year? We're not sure where Wondercon will be. If it is back in San Francisco, we might go. If it is in Anaheim, we will most certainly attend. This is going to be a major travel year for Len. I've already traveled to Chicago with him for Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) where he was a guest and we got to see my niece perform at Steppenwolf. He followed that with trips to Vancouver and Dallas and will be off to Albuquerque in two weeks, Toronto in August, Montreal in September, and New York in October. There's also an invitation to London in February. And we'll be in San Diego for Comic-con in July.