Posts Tagged ‘Wonder Woman’

I hadn’t planned to go to Wondercon today, but events fell out such that I was going to be in the area, and I could get the time off, so we went. When we last visited, three or so years ago, Wondercon was Comic-con’s little brother, colorful but far less intimidating, and far easier to navigate. What a difference three years can make.

Apparently a lot of people have decided that Wondercon might be less stressful, because now they all want to go there. We arrived at the Anaheim convention center area at noon. We actually had our badges before two. Not much before, but still. Yeah, it took two hours to park, shuttle from our parking, and get our badges. And this was with pre-registration. Admittedly, there were times when that was the only fact that kept me in the building (since we’d already paid up).

Finally, though, we got through, and from then on it was everything we hoped for–and less. “Less” as in fewer people, and no more lines (although we had written off trying to see any panels, which might have changed the dynamic). We spent our time in the dealer’s room, a well-stocked and diversified marketplace largely devoted to comic book shops, but also featuring books, clothing, jewelry, and a seller of custom furniture designed specifically for gamers(!). And of course there was the people-watching.

Odd as it may be for a writer, people-watching is not my favorite pastime. But today–cosplay has come a long way in the past several years. I saw some very good character impersonations today, most notably Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn.* Many of the most ambitious costumes were apparently manga and anime characters, with which I am not familiar, but they were impressive.

One of the most pleasant (and disappointing) aspects was inspecting the used comic book vendors’ wares and pointing to various items: “I’ve got that,” was good; “I used to have that, and now it’s worth–oh, don’t tell me!” was not so good. There was more of the latter than the former. Who knew they were going to start making X-Men movies when we were kids?

Perhaps the high point was seeing Nichelle Nicholls greeting fans, and at the moment we walked by, she was being approached by two small girls (maybe ten years old) wearing classic Star Trek uniforms. The looks on their faces as they met this iconic woman were priceless. I doubt they will ever forget what they did today.

I won’t forget it soon, either, because by the end of the day I could hardly walk. That’s one big exhibit hall! Will I go again? Probably, but I want to be a guest next time and avoid the lines. Or become a superhero and fly over them…


*I know what you’re thinking, and get your mind out of the gutter. I can’t help it if women make better cosplayers. There were a couple of remarkably good Jack Sparrows, too.

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Recently, Entertainment Weekly ran an piece on “The 50 Most Powerful Superheroes.” Not limited to actual power(s), this article used criteria such as “mythology,” “modern relevance,” and “bankability,” in addition to sheer strength. Each item was worth 10 points, with the exception of “cultural impact,” which was worth 20. A perfect score was 100.

In the main, I had no argument with their choices; after all, there were 50 heroes to choose from, and all of these studies are as subjective as they are non-scientific. But right up front, I have to take issue with their choices. You see, before I started the list, I thought: “Well, obviously Superman is number one.” Wrong. Superman was number four. Number one was Wonder Woman.

Now I have never been a Wonder Woman fan, but I understand her standing in the pantheon. I also understand that at this particular moment in history, she is leading the DC charge. (Forget Superman and the guy with the mask; they’re blown until DC figures out how to make a Marvel movie.) But

Wonder Woman is not Superman. She is not as powerful (10 points), doesn’t have the nemesis (10 points), the mythology or the cultural impact. She does have the edge in cultural relevance, but bankability? She has had one TV series which lasted longer than it should have. She has a movie coming out, and it may be a huge hit, but it hasn’t come out yet. Superman has had four TV series (counting Superboy), and seven movies. Like it or not, Superman is the reason there’s a DC movie universe today (or a Marvel movie universe, for that matter).

They picked Wonder Woman because she’s the trendy choice. She has a long way to go before she reaches the international and historical plateau that Superman occupies. DC is choosing to lower the bar that she must hurdle (not her fault), but she still has to hurdle it.

I’ll give her credit, though. She’s off to a running start.

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(I took a trip recently. See if you can guess where.)

  1. Well, it’s a gamble. Duh.
  1. Depending on where you go, your luck may change. Say you’re at the “Iron Man” game and it’s taken half the double sawbuck you put in with no appreciable result. You think, “Maybe the last guy here got a big jackpot already,” so you get up, move to the “Wonder Woman” game, and see if your luck changes. The same applies to story markets. The problem may not be you, it may be that the editor just bought another story as good as yours, and now he’s full up. Move to a different machine, your luck could change.
  1. The amount you put in determines the amount you get out. You bet 50 cents and get a jackpot, you maybe get $68. (Hmm, I wonder where he got that number?) If you’d put in $1, you would’ve gotten $136. The downside is, the more money you put in, the faster you can lose it. It works the same with writing: the more words you put down, the more money you can make. But at the same time, the more words, the fewer markets are open to you. What’s best? Who knows?
  1. Play the wrong game and lose. I like slots. You don’t have to make a lot of decisions and you can play for practically nothing. For a while, I tried switching to video poker. Bad move. I lost every time. I was playing the wrong game. What game are you playing? Fantasy, hard SF, humor, crossover mystery, steampunk romance…? Like slots and video poker (or roulette, craps, whatever), there are games you’re good at and games you’re not. Try to avoid the things you’re not good at. The best way is to play (and write) what you enjoy. At least then if you lose you can tell yourself you had a good time doing it.
  1. Your chances depend largely on someone else. I work with securities. A security (like stocks and bonds) is defined, in part, as something designed to make money entirely on the efforts of others. When you’re gambling, you choose a machine or a table, and then you depend on the slot machine programmer, or the dealer, for the outcome. (Vegas gambling and securities investing are far more alike than your stockbroker wants you to know.) Once you sell a story, your success is entirely dependent on the efforts of others: editors, marketers, artists. So stories are by some definition securities (which is why writers should have to be licensed, but that’s another topic). But stories are also, as we have discussed, a form of gambling.

You can become a better writer, just as you can become a better gambler. But it helps to remember just how much of writing success is out of your hands.

  1. (You won a free spin!) People get there at different speeds. The road to Las Vegas is long and empty. People drive like madmen. (Trust me on this.) Some drive faster than you. Some drive bigger vehicles. And some drive so slowly you wonder if they’ll ever arrive. The best you can do is drive at your own pace, the one that gets you where you’re going alive. That works for writing, too. Nobody moves at exactly your pace. Just let them pass (or pass them). Just keep on driving, and you will get there.

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