Another year, another WonderCon! And once again, WonderCon did not disappoint. It’s probably my favorite “big” convention to go to. It has the right mixture of plenty of comic shops vending, mixed with every other kind of thing out there. There’s a lot of people, but there isn’t too many people.
It’s also really cool, because I always go to WonderCon with Chuck, who I have known since the 4th grade… and let me tell you, that was a long time ago… (in a galaxy not too far away), as well as his soon, Matt.
Typically, when we have gone in the previous years, we typically power walked the entire WonderCon floor in a few hours and called it a day, and check back into the hotel, and go down to the pool and Jacuzzi. This year, however, we didn’t. We actually took two small breaks – once, to go sit outside for a bit, let our old knees recover. And then the second time, we walked back to the hotel (which is literally across the street) and hit up Starbucks for a quick refreshment.
And that’s where something pretty cool happened. Chuck, is is an immense Stephen King and Joe Hill fan had just discovered that Joe Hill was doing a signing at the IDW Booth. While we were sitting there in the hotel Starbucks, Chuck wondered aloud if Joe Hill was staying at the hotel. And literally, five minutes later, Joe Hill, with his wife, came strolling in and stood in line. Chuck managed to say hello from our table (the line was right next to where we were sitting). I saw Chuck fumble for his phone, as if he was going to take a picture, but then put it down. After Joe Hill left, he mumbled that he should have taken a photo. We strolled back into the Convention and went to the IDW booth where we learned all the Joe Hill tickets had already been given out. We strolled around the Con and saw Joe Hill walking around. Clearly, the gods were speaking to us. We returned to the IDW booth an hour before Joe Hill was due for his signing – and Chuck asked about overflow – and the guy said there was overflow permitted, but doubted Joe would have time to get to it, because he had a hard cut off of 5pm. There was only one person after the official ticketed end of the line, so I told Chuck to get in line. Chuck ran over and bought one of Joe Hill’s Locked & Key books from IDW that he didn’t have.
Sure enough, Joe Hill comes strolling over and talking to a few other people. I tell Chuck to go take a picture – but he refuses. So I told him to give me his phone. I walked over and politely asked if I could take a picture of Joe Hill, and he kindly agreed. (See the photo above). Then I asked if I could take a photo with him (with the idea that Chuck could do the same). He wholeheartedly agreed, and snapped a picture with me.
I walked back over to Chuck, who was amazed that I kindly asked Joe for a photo, rather than just sneaking a photo – and that I even asked to take a photo with him. I told Chuck he was extremely cool about the entire thing and that he should do it – but Chuck was too shy. That was until he saw Joe break off from the conversation he was having with those people to meander around the IDW booth. He then handed me his phone and shouted, “Let’s go take a picture!” So chasing Chuck into IDW, Chuck was able to snap a photo with Joe Hill as well. This clearly made Chuck’s day. As we stood in line for Joe Hill’s signature, it became very clear that (despite people with tickets coming to stand in line in front of us, around 4:30pm) – that we were still going to get his book signed. As we got to the end, I even picked up the first Locked & Key book to have Joe Hill sign in. I figured this was at least some way for me to say “Thank you for putting up with us!” I admired his kindness towards us; and though I’ve not read any of his books, he’s made a fan out of me, just from his behavior. So it’s cool to me, that my favorite part of WonderCon wasn’t even anything that really had to do with me; but actually my best friend meeting someone who he had always wanted to meet; and that person being incredibly gracious and kind. Freaking. Epic.
So while that was, probably the highlight of the entire WonderCon experience, there was definitely other highlights. Getting to see Joie again is always a blessing. It’s funny, because I originally met Joie through Lindsay Archer, like eons ago at DragonCon, where she was dressed as Ms. Marvel (now Captain Marvel). I was blown away back then how spot on she was to Ms. Marvel in appearance; little did I know of her artistic talent, back then. Now I fully support Joie any way that I can – because, she really is one of the most down to Earth, kindest, most amazing hearted people I’ve had the good fortune of meeting. So, being able to see her once a year, have a quick conversation of how she’s doing and what she’s been up to, is always a highlight. I’d highly recommend check out her website and check out her Instagram while you’re at it.
I just want to thank the folks that keep WonderCon going and keeping that show running smoothly. As always, an excellent time was had.