This year’s WonderCon convention was an animated character cosplay extravaganza.
This year’s WonderCon heralded the start of convention season with characters I primarily recognized - with costumes ranging from Darkwing Duck to the entirety of the Crystal Gems, this is the year of animation!
While the casual Castiel (Supernatural) and Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones) were glimpsed among the masses, the majority of people I saw at WonderCon represented old loves from the Mario Bros. days all the way through League of Legends. Most non-animation related merchandise was geared towards the tried and true Batman/Marvel/Doctor Who trifecta - though as a Trekkie I was very pleased by the range of Star Trek offerings - and the vast majority of costumes this year represented nostalgia for the 90s (and early 2000s).
My favorite addition to WonderCon’s cosplay community this year was the inclusion of the Crystal Gems (I am “gem trash” as Tumblr has dubbed fans) running around bringing their brand of cheer to the courtyard. It was a treat to see people really embracing these characters who are bringing back to children’s cartoons the tradition of complex themes that mirror our current societal climate.
Which isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy Velma, Daphne (Scooby Doo) and Kim Possible hanging out together, or even remotely disregard the full Liger Zero (Zoids) suit walking around giving the Transformers a run for their mech money. Eustace Bagge (Courage the Cowardly Dog) menaced everyone, and Jonny Quest ran through with Haji and Bandit as I ate my ice cream sandwich in front of the convention center. It was a veritable parade of fun.
Countless Disney Princesses and Fairies, Aladdin, and Mermaid Woman and Barnacle Girl (Spongebob Squarepants) were there making their statements, and even the Dee Dees (Batman Beyond) made a surprise show of themselves this year. It was by far one of the most animation-heavy general geek conventions I’ve ever been to and I couldn’t be more excited! Cartoon Hangover’s Bee and PuppyCat (while less cosplayed) had merchandise represented in quite a few very well-trafficked booths, and Bravest Warriors was constantly being mentioned between people speculating about the new Avengers movie coming less than a month from now.
As I saw it, the trends emerging for convention season include a new fandom trifecta in Steven Universe, Gravity Falls and Over the Garden Wall, everyone still being in love with the Avatar: Legend of Korra, Batman and Marvel remaining sustainable, and a glorification of nostalgia on a massive scale.
SDCC 2015 is on the horizon already, so I hope to see even more cosplays and even cooler merch. With Disney only just starting to really push their Tsum Tsum line, I have no doubt they’ll try to give POP!’s successful model a try. With the new Mini-POP!s and the Avengers movie fanning the flames, I look forward to another repeat of Baby Dancing Groot in the future. Until then, I’m going to build this tiny metal model of the Starship Enterprise. If you have any questions or comments about the convention or fandom, feel free to drop them in the comments or tweet them to me @hipster_safari!
Til next time. See you, Space Cowboy… (Cowboy Bebop).