Coming over the skywalk between Yerba Buena Gardens and Moscone South, you knew you were in the right place.
Registration was surprisingly efficient and quick. You had to write your own name on your badge, which suited me, although it took a while before I found someone (Wendy Pini) who had a Sharpie marker so I could write it so people could read it.
The Dealer hall stretched most of the length of Moscone Center South — the first time I've ever attended a convention in this portion of Moscone Center. At the peak on Saturday, it took me around 45 minutes to make my way from one end of the place to the other due to the crowds and the constant outbreaks of photo opportunities.
After confirming that the SF Outreach Project didn't need me for a while, I made my way to the Studio Foglio booth where I dealt with some Westercon 64 travel arrangements for Phil and Kaja. While not usually and mobbed as some of the other booths, the people who stopped and talked were all enthusiastic and fun. I also left the Foglios a stack of Westercon 64 flyers. I would end up coming back several times during the day, to the point where I was afraid that I was going to wear out my welcome. I'm such a fanboy.
As I mentioned, I did end up at the Pini's table and talked to them for a few minutes, but Wendy had fallen so far behind on the sketches she was supposed to be doing that I didn't impost upon them for a photograph. I'm incredibly sensitive to being thought of as that sort of fanboy.
Just before Noon, I went back to the SF Outreach booth and ended up sitting behind the table for several hours talking to people about SF/F conventions, particularly the Worldcon just over the hill and the Westercon coming up a figurative hop-skip-jump away. I'd loaned my display Hugo trophy to the project, and they at first had it on top of the bookshelves, but I had it moved to the table with me, where I could show it off to people. After all, since it's mine, I'm responsible if someone damages it.
Lots of people had heard of the Hugo Award, but most of them were unaware that the Hugo was presented at and by the World Science Fiction Convention. Having the Hugo trophy there generated oohs and aahs and gave an easy opening for pointing out that they could get involved by joining Worldcon. OTOH, a few people said, "You won a Hugo?" and when I explained that it was only a display copy and that there were no actual Hugo Award winners in the booth, they quickly lost interest — nobody important here, move along. I did get a chance to point them at a multiple-Hugo-Award-nominee in the person of Chris Garcia, who spent lots of time waving people at the stacks of "Free Books!"
Some people couldn't believe that the books were really free and had to be convinced that it wasn't "Free books with purchase of something." I took to saying, "Free books! No strings attached — only bookmarks!" as each book had a bookmark listing future Worldcons and other events like Westercon on them, in the hope that people would look into more than really huge events like WonderCon.
One of the nice parts of being in a booth is that the rest of the convention comes to you. This is one of the two Hit Girls I saw. (The other's photo is also in the set. I wish they'd both come by the table at the same time.
On the topic of synchronicity, this photo is an example of it. While Batman and Joker here were traveling together, Harley just happened along at the same time, and when their paths intersected, a photo op broke out in our booth, which was fine with us.
Later in the afternoon, with the "Main Team" having returned from getting food, I headed out for lunch. The queues at the convention center stands were much too long for me, and I went outside, but before getting lunch, I got more photographs.
Here's some members of the Justice League of America: Green Lantern, the Flash, Aquawoman, Green Arrow, Plastic Woman, and Power Boy. Hm. Something amiss here. Did I slip into a sideways dimension?
Not in the main group but posing nearby was Batwoman.
And here's Superwoman. Wonder Man was about, but I didn't get his photo. An impressive group!
The crowds in the San Francisco Center Food Court were almost as bad as those in the Dealer's Hall, but I managed to find a bit of countertop to have my lunch. On the way back in, I photographed this kawaii group, and took one of their flyers for their anime convention in Sacramento, Kintoki-Con.
I made my way around the hall one more time, which took much of the afternoon. Here's one of several Wonder Women who were in the halls.
In a far corner were the celebrity booths, including Elvira. This is actually a better view of her than I got in person, because I was able to hold my camera high over my head and take a shot over the heads of the mob surrounding her booth.
Some characters I know...
...and some I don't — is this an original character, or am I just too far out of the loop these days?
Then it was back to the booth for the last hour or so. By the end of the day, the shelves were nearly bare, and we spent the last half-hour or so restocking.
We had so many willing helpers that there wasn't room for us all. I contributed by putting bookmarks into books and handing them on to the people filling the shelves, so not long after the hall closed at 7 PM, we were ready to go to Chevy's for the post-con feed, and most of us really needed it, too.
WonderCon was rather exhausting, although the fact that I'm still in the late stages of a chest cold made it harder on me, and that's why I sort of collapsed on Sunday. But I still had a good time, and I'm glad I went. If you liked these photos, there are hundreds more by many other people on the WonderCon 2011 pool.