Photo: comic-con.org
WonderCon is an annual pop culture convention held in California, United States. It was founded in 1987 by John Barrett and Mike Friedrich. Since 2001, WonderCon has been run and managed by the same team that organizes Comic-Con International: San Diego, one of the world’s largest fan conventions.

WonderCon was the brainchild of John Barrett, a comic book retailer from the San Francisco Bay Area known as the founder of the retail chain Comics and Comix. He partnered with a number of associates and friends and organized the first convention that took place in 1987 in the Oakland Convention Center. Originally named the Wonderful World of Comics Convention, WonderCon got its current name withing the third year. It included all the features of a classic comics convention.

The convention was owned by comic book writer and publisher Mike Friedrich and retailer Joe Field for 15 years. In 2001, they decided they could no longer devote enough time to maintain the quality of the show so the management team that runs Comic-Con International: San Diego took over the event. WonderCon became part of the Comic-Con International convention family.

The show was held in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1987 to 2011. It moved to Anaheim in 2012 because Moscone Center in San Francisco was undergoing a renovation project. The 2016 show was held in Los Angeles, but in 2017 it moved back to Anaheim. Since the show’s inception, its attendance has been growing steadily. The 2016 edition attracted about 60,000 attendees.

The WonderCon is the sister show to Comic-Con International: San Diego. It embraces all the main aspects of traditional fan conventions, including comic books, television shows, movies, animation, cosplay, and more. Its program includes a large Exhibitor Area featuring various retailers, an Artists Alley, panels, autograph sessions and photo-ops with celebrities, previews and early screenings of movies based on comic books, the traditional Masquerade (cosplay contest), and other exciting events for comic book lovers and pop culture fans.

In 2021, the event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Photo: Mat Luschek | www.MatLuschek.com



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