Tuesday, April 22, 2014

WonderCon 2014 -- SNB booth and beyond (1st of 3 posts on this con)

WonderCon 2014 attendees and guests could find Stuart Ng Books on the exhibit hall floor at booth 1011. Our banner featuring artist Claire Wendling's chinese zodiac animals helped folks find us..

And served as the end cap for our space.

Here's what it looked like during open hours at the  show. That Stitch statue on the shelf above the banner got a lot of looks --- and even found new homes.

We featured our beautiful art books ... as well as some vinyl items including the Chris Sanders Maile girls...

These oversized sketchbooks by Korean artist Kim Jung-Gi were brisk sellers. He will be doing a signing at our store on August 6th!

The large display of books continued around the outside of our booth...

Stuart and our SNB team construct the grid display for these booths on-site for each convention. Those grids are HEAVY. It's not just getting the books there that makes doing a con so labor intensive -- we couldn't do this alone and are so grateful to our regulars Don, Brian and John .. as well as Kurt, Jim and Mando who helped out special for this show.

Lots of attendees enjoyed the chance to see the books in person and select which titles best suited their needs. Since this show is close to our showroom location, we were able to bring new titles each day, as well as re-stock on items that sold out.

The display that featured the oversize Moebius books brought a lot of traffic inside the booth.

Our location on aisle  1000 gave us some breathing room ... and was still close to amenities and was quick access to the lobby and fresh air outside the building.

Here's a sample of our view of the show, since we don't  away from the booth much.

That blur in the aloha shirt running around the booth --- that was Stuart Ng himself.

Here are some classic SNB Wendling titles --- and I love this Pixar related Little Golden Book, featured here along with a nod to internet sensation Martin "Marty" Mouse (yes, he's not a mouse, he's a rat .... Michael J. Fox is not a fox, friends:). Check out his facebook page for great photos by Sarah Hunt that have achieved a world-wide following and over 5,100 likes  --- that's right - 5K plus :)

A popular item for our booth at this show was a close-out on the last of these versions Disney-licensed Pirates statues...

Delighted to catch up with many friends and colleagues as I hadn't been to a con in awhile. Big shout to our pals Shelley and John Loter of Loter, Inc. -- so great to see them at booth 518 that I forget to get pictures! Find more images and their fun t-shirts at Loter, Inc. website --

We had fun neighbors at this con ... and some crossover between our books and their guests. We carry the Mindy Johnson "Tinker Bell: an Evolution" book about the creation of the Disney Tinkerbell character...

And our neigbhors were Gifts By Small Fry --- authentic autographs and quality collectibles. Here's a shot of their booth, which hosted autograph sessions with their featured guests, such as Gary Dubin (foreground), the voice of  the kitten "Toulouse" from The Aristocats.

The lovely Margaret Kerry -- original live-action model for Tinker Bell -- was also a Gifts By Small Fry guest.

And we carry a book by their guest, animator Frans Vischer, who was promoting his Fuddles the cat character in books and on posters.

Afterhours, most of the booths are draped -- for us, it's like tucking the books in for the night :)

Here's what the hall looks like each morning as the exhibitors arrive..

And what it looks like during the tear down after the convention. Again, it's all hands on deck to get the stock boxed up and the display on pallets to mean load-out by the deadline.

It's amazing to see the transformations at move in and load out ..

Every morning at every convention, attendees wait anxiously for the doors to open. It's the same for the exhibitors. Below you see them waiting their turn at the exhibitor entrance.Yes, we get in the hall about an hour before the show opens, but there's so much to do it's hard to see any of the shows we exhibit at. We try to arrange break times for each other to at least wander the floor and get a flavor for what each convention offers. Many small or solo exhibitors don't have that option. Please consider these factors --- and appreciate the service your exhibitors provide.

It's WonderCon --- artist focused ... fan friendly ... outstanding facilities --- it's the ultimate con, man :) Yes, I miss the show being in San Francisco --- but there's a lot to like about this show in it's third year here in Anaheim.

Two more posts follow --- on finds on the exhibit hall floor ... and costume photo ops. Enjoy :)

WonderCon 2014 -- Flat Bonnie, Artists Alley, Observations -- UPDATED Apr 25

For over twenty years, I've been attending conventions. Why? Because it's a treasure hunt. A great con will have a VARIETY of offerings ... and many attendees remarked about the range of offerings at WonderCon. It's not just movie and TV stuff --- there are many individual artists presenting their own unique items -- from sketches and prints -- to apparel and accessories. While I've long ago completed my phase as an active collector, I still enjoy finding a booth or artist where the work works its charms on me. A real find at this show was a booth for FLAT BONNIE. Exceptional handmade plush wonders by Japanese designer Yukari ... also buttons, jewelry, cards and other items from their Etsy shop. Yukari was at the booth, along with Rick who does the animation for the website.

Snaps for Flat Bonnie and their mission of  charm with a cause --- a portion of their sales is donated to bunny/animal rescue organizations, and part of their message is raising awareness of abandoned animals. What got me to stop --- and even COME BACK -- to the booth was the design of the characters, especially Batbun and the Sugar Glider. The booth caught the eye of many attendees...

The plush toys are labor intensive, so production is limited. They sold out of the tigers, but could show me the last example of another popular offering, this sloth (who they think got a boost in interest due to a post on Instagram). Learn more about them at www.flatbonnie.com

Like the lively vibe throughout the exhibit hall... Artist's Alley at WonderCon hummed along with the buzz of connections being forged and discoveries being made....Here's a peek down one of the aisles..

And an example of a table ... one of my fav artists, the lovely Sho Murase chats with a colleague...

See more of her work, like this killer Maleficent, at Shomurase.com

Another popular Artist's Alley table featured Katie Cook. Love how this pic looks like she's got a heart-inspired thought balloon hovering overhead. Why is she feeling the love for her famous little portraits and sketches???
 Possibly because of the long line of patient patrons waiting for their commission....

Here's a sample of her work from her website katiecandraw.com

Of course stopped by to see SNB's own Amber Harris at her table.

Many of you know Amber from her variety of roles as part of the SNB crew -- she interacts with our patrons by manning our booths at shows and processing your phone and mail orders. But that's just her part-time "day job." Her real work was on display at her table in Artist's Alley....

Pictured on her table above is her sketchbook "Mixed." -- which we are also pleased to offer on our website and in our store.

And where does one carry all the treasures as they gather on their journey across the convention floor ... why, a Stuart Ng Books Tote bag of course :)

WonderCon offers many little spots to recharge ---

Best of all .. there is some space in the aisles ....

and quick and easy access to fresh air outdoors ... as well as dining options and parking. Did I mention Disneyland is practically across the street???

Hotels are plush and pedestrian adjacent --- no trek across a gridlocked intersection. This convention center really is an oasis.

Monday, April 21, 2014

WonderCon 2014 - Costume Party --- post 3 of 3 on con

One of the great joys of a con is the cosplay community. I don't know much about this realm of fandom, but I certainly admire the creativity and commitment that goes into becoming a live performance of a beloved character. What's particularly charming is the way the costume invites interaction with the other attendees. Wear a striking costume -- or just dress up as a fan fav character -- and folks will address you by the character's name, ask kindly for a photo op, share chit chat, and go on to the next adventure. From what I've observed ... it all starts with inspiration.... (meow --- zah :)

From there, many opt to construct their own costume (these range from casual attempts to feature film "screen-ready" in detail). And of course there are vendors to assist the transformation with everything from props and wigs to elaborate replicas ....

Many of the costumed attendees gather outside the main entrance of the convention center for photo ops -- so you don't even have to pay the con admission fee to enjoy the experience. Many also roam the lobby --- and you need roaming room in some of these get-ups -- to enjoy interacting with fans and colleagues. Here's just a sampling of some of my favorites:
Elf girl power rocks! Tauriel and Merida...

Flash and Wonder Woman look fit and smashing in red!

Unexpected Disney paring of baskets and blasters.... Aurora and Leia

Sidekicks represent --- this was an outstanding young trooper Russell (with Doug the dog)

This Ripley has bonded with baby aliens....

 and this attendee came in plainclothes .. but with a lively rattie sidekick (puppeted by his companion)

Superheroes abound ...

but you can expect the unexpected as well..

Some other favorites I saw but didn't get photos of:
Guy Slave Leia w/ companion gal Boba Fett; Steampunk Boba Fett; Bumblebee with lights flashing and powered by a segway.
One of the longest lines everyday at the con was the mandatory weapons check....

Not sure how this Wolfman passed ... but his companion certainly got a lot of attention (sorry for the blurry action shot).