LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — WonderCon, a three-day comic book and fantasy gathering featuring panel discussions, author-signings and other activities, continues Saturday at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the second day of its three-day extravaganza.
The sister to San Diego’s popular Comic-Con International moved to Los Angeles this year after being held the last four years in Anaheim. But the move appears to be temporary, with the event set to move back to Anaheim next year.
WonderCon, which drew 60,000 attendees last year, is being viewed as a tryout for Los Angeles to potentially lure the more lucrative Comic-Con away from San Diego.
“It’s going to take a successful weekend like this to show them what L.A. can do. This is our trial run,” Los Angeles Convention Center General Manager Brad Gessner said. “This weekend is going to be very important to us and we’re pulling out the stops to make sure everything goes well.”
Gessner said WonderCon is moving back to Anaheim next year because “we couldn’t find the preferred dates for them,” but Los Angeles is trying to get the event back in 2019, as well as trying to lure Comic-Con. He said the size of the Los Angeles venue is bigger than the San Diego one, and he touted the multimillion-dollar renovations to the Convention Center that city officials hope to have completed by 2021.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, who said last year he is looking forward to helping organizers of WonderCon and Comic-Con set up a “home base” in Los Angeles, began the convention on Friday, saying that “for comic book lovers, for movie buffs, for cosplayers everywhere this is a great day in L.A. And in some way it always feels like this has been your home anyway, because this is where many of these ideas are born or written or brought to a new medium.”
Events are being held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today at the Convention Center at 1201 S. Figueroa St., and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow.
The WonderCon website says badges are sold out for Saturday, but a few might still be available for Sunday.
City officials estimate the convention, originally held in Oakland, will inject at least $20 million into the local economy.
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