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My 2018 Wondercon Experience :-)

Hello :hi: It's been a little while since I've done a journal. A lot has changed, also a lot has stayed the same (thumbsu First off I would like to say thank you to CGC for their part in providing one of the best convention experience I've ever had! :golfclap: As a comic collector, for me when books are graded it is the final step of the journey of my books. I love the signature series program, and getting yellow labels is the cherry on top. :cloud9: Blue labels are awesome too and I enjoy having them both. This convention was the culmination of many different factors. I have my first set of books on the way back from CGC so I thought now would be the perfect time to share my experience. My 2018 Wondercon experience actually began in 2017...

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So 2017. The week after Wondercon that year my kids were going to be on Spring break. So we decided to combine Wondercon with a family vacation. We went to Sea World San Diego the following couple of days. This was my first time going to Wondercon. As far as books went my main focus was getting some books signed by Jim Lee. I saw he was going to be there Friday and Saturday. We went with Saturday tickets so I didn't have to have my kids miss school and they could settle in the hotel. When I get books signed I do a lot of prep work. I use top loaders with a window cut as well as a backboard in front. I have all my info filled on the backboards along with a separate bag & board to put the books in after they are signed. I started off with 7 books but narrowed it down to 5.

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Unfortunately I didn't realize how in demand Jim Lee was. After fighting traffic to get to the parking lot, I got in the convention on Saturday shortly after they opened. First stop CGC. They had done their private signing with Jim Lee the day before. I thought no biggie I wanted to meet Mr. Lee anyways. My witness and I went to his line just to find out that it was closed off. They actually had people lining up at 6 in the morning for a chance to be in a raffle to win a wristband to be in his Saturday signing. :facepalm: Well there goes that. I didn't want to submit those book for blue labels so I just held onto them until this year. Coming off of Terry's show Cal Comic Con about a month before I didn't have big comic plans other than the Jim Lee books. There wasn't much interest for me on the guest list. Craig Kyle was a guest at the CGC booth so I brought my NYX 3 to be signed. In this instance I didn't want to crack it open so I had him just sign the case. (I had just got it reholdered in the new case) I'm happy with it. His signature is nice and neat and doesn't look bad even though it is on the outside. My 2 year old daughter loves super heroes so we had her cosplay as X23. The Logan movie was being released around this time. Mr. Kyle thought my daughters cosplay was really cool. I told Mr. Kyle that his X-Force team got me back into collecting and NYX3 was actually the first CGC book I purchased. A very good move on my part as back then it was cheap.

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Edited by STORMSHADOW_80

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To conclude the 2017 convention. We made the best of it. My kids enjoyed seeing all the coplayers and took pics with some of their favorites. For me it was great meeting Craig Kyle. I learned the layout of the convention at least and learned what to expect from a Jim Lee signing. Onto to 2018...

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Now for the good stuff of 2018 Wondercon :bigsmile: Once again after Cal Comic Con in Yorba Linda I decided to give Wondercon another shot. My initial planning was I could at least get the Jim Lee books done even if I just turned them into CGC for the private signing. So I bought a Friday ticket to be at the first day of the convention. Little did I know how much I would pack into that Friday. What I learned from the previous year is creator contingencies and to make a plan B. Not too long after I bought my tickets I saw Dan Jurgens name on the guest list. I was like cool he did death of Superman. I loved the story arc and it's historic impact. Still I wasn't like I have to have him sign something. Then I saw Larry Hama's name on the guest list. That was a game changer for me! As almost the sole G.I. Joe creator I had to meet him. I have a few graded Joe books already so I was sure I could come up with something.

Everyone collects a little differently. I like to think of myself as a well rounded collector. I hunt books, I hunt books a lot! I'm not a reseller so finding books in the wild helps me stay in my budget tremendously. The other year I went to an estate sale a little further than I normally would travel but I took my boys with me after their game. They found some baseball stuff and I found a nice lot of Superman 75s still in sealed bags along with some 90s X-Men metal figures. Fast forward to just a couple weeks before the show I was ecstatic when I came across some awesome Joe books in the wild!! I never even seen a Special in person before much less think I would find it in the wild. I decided to get 155 and the GI Joe Special 1 signed by Larry Hama instead of cracking my other graded Joe books. To top it off I saw Scott Koblish the Joe artist was going to be in artist alley so I could get them double signed!! Since I was getting those books done now and with my good fortune I thought I got to check out my Superman books to see if I had one in high grade. It's a slight risk as most people want them still sealed if I was to sell them later. At this point I already gave away about half of them to my friends, but I still had some. Out come the scissors. BOOM! The first copy I opened was super clean. :smile: I opened a few others in case I wanted to get two done. The others weren't that great. One of them has potential but I decided to set it aside for now. The Special, 155, and Sup 75 I was going to have fast tracked and CCS'd.

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Edited by STORMSHADOW_80

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X-Men 94. This is a book I've been meaning to pick up for a while. X-Men is one of the focuses of my collecting. One of my friends who is also the shop owner of Comics, Toons, & Toys in Tustin just got back a graded copy from CGC that would go perfect with my GSX. He gave me a great price on the book and was going to have a booth at the show so it was a great opportunity for me. Now I shifted gears and went into selling mode. I've had a few books I've wanted to offload for a bit as they don't fit in with my collection as good anymore and needed the money for Xmen 94 as well as CGC/signature costs. I sold a couple on my IG page. The rest one of my friends helped me out with listing on his ebay account. I got pretty much what I hoped for just in time. A few late nights packing up boxes but it was all worth it. Since that went well I decided to do another blue universal batch to drop off at CGC. A couple of these I already have graded copies of so they will help recoup the cost. There is a Robotech panel at the convention so I sent my New Generation 1 to keep with the theme :foryou: 

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Edited by STORMSHADOW_80

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As con time got closer, Wondercon did something different this year. Instead of having lines for the raffles for exclusive signings and panels they did it all online. Which I think is brilliant. You had to log in and confirm which exclusives you were interested in. I was only really interested in the Jim Lee signing as I haven't got a chance to meet him yet. Unfortunately I didn't get selected but it's all good it didn't affect my CGC books for Jim. I was really impressed by this system and wouldn't be surprised if SDCC did this too as many people complain about the linathon convention and Wondercon is part of the same organizers for SDCC.

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On to the convention... I got there early. First stop was CGC. I dropped of my universal batch of books. Then started getting signatures. Alex Sinclair was added to artist alley a couple days before the convention. He is the colorist for Jim Lee so I had him sign my batman books. Unfortunately I forgot to take a pic and never saw him later as he was doing panels and exclusives with Jim all day. It was great meeting Larry Hama!

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Dan Jurgens was a little hard to get a hold of as they had a lot of focus on Superman at the convention with panels and such. I did catch up to him later though. Real nice guy.

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13 hours ago, nepatkm said:

Awesome!! Thanks for sharing, wishing the best on the grades. (thumbsu

Thank you! Thanks for checking out the journal 

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Had Jim sign my X-Men 268 back in the early 90's. It was basically just a black loop on the cover. Gave it away a long time ago.  xD

Great pics!!!

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5 hours ago, Alf Pogs said:

Had Jim sign my X-Men 268 back in the early 90's. It was basically just a black loop on the cover. Gave it away a long time ago.  xD

Great pics!!!

Thank you! It was hard to remember to pics this time around going solo lol 

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Remember when Chris Tucker signed those girls autograph books in the 5th Element? It was basically like that.  :bigsmile:

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Apparently I thought I wasn’t busy enough for a one day trip. I also packed books with me for trade. A couple slabs and some raw books that I had to go back to the car for. This is what I got. I’m pretty happy. Shopping books around at a convention isn’t exactly something I would recommend though. It’s a little bit of a hassle. Only reason it worked out is because I knew some of the dealers and type of books they deal with. 

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7 minutes ago, Alf Pogs said:

Remember when Chris Tucker signed those girls autograph books in the 5th Element? It was basically like that.  :bigsmile:

lol I’m going to have to rewatch that

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1 minute ago, Alf Pogs said:

So many epic moments in anything Larry wrote. Well maybe not Wulf the Barbarian.

He was everywhere in comics at one point. I enjoyed a lot of his work on Wolverine too

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I actually went to a panel for a little bit at the end of the day. meh it was ok. I do love Robotech though

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I left the panel early to get Larry Hama to sign a couple trading cards for me. In hindsight I wish I would’ve had him do a sketch for me. I saw one he did for someone else. He’s a great artist still :headbang: Also picked up a few Joes for me and my boys while I was comic dealing

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All in all, like I said one of the best con experiences I’ve had. A lot of planning and some luck with everything coming together. I am one happy camper. Hopefully I have more convention experiences like this in the future 

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Moment of truth.... I picked up my books from FedEx today before seeing infinity war. First up. GI Joe 155 signed by Larry Hama and Scott Koblish. I figured the book for a 9.4/9.6 as part of the front cover was lifting a little from the spine in the middle. I missed the back cover having some edge wear near the bottom. Still really happy though. I love this cover. Very iconic in the Joe run

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