Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Why WonderCon is the best pop culture convention and you should all be there

2011 WonderCon - Day 2

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Fans at WonderCon 2011 at Moscone Convention Center on April 2, 2011 in San Francisco.

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Fans in Stormtrooper costumes eat at WonderCon 2011 at Moscone Convention Center on April 3, 2011 in San Francisco.

2011 WonderCon - Day 3

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Fans dressed as Power Girl and, um, a male version of Poewr Girl at WonderCon 2011 at Moscone Convention Center on April 3, 2011 in San Francisco.

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Superman in animated film "Superman vs. The Elite"

"The Amazing Spider-Man" Panel - Comic-Con 2011

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Actress Emma Stone speaks at "The Amazing Spider-Man" Panel during Comic-Con 2011 at the San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2011.

2011 WonderCon - Day 2

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A group dressed as Star Wars characters pose during WonderCon 2011 at Moscone Convention Center on April 2, 2011 in San Francisco.


Everyone talks about San Diego Comic-Con International, the ultimate spectacle in pop culture extravagance where devotees of all kinds can let their fan flags fly. Well this weekend is WonderCon, making its Anaheim debut due to construction at its San Francisco home, and you should get in on this while you still can.

It's run by the same organizers who put together Comic-Con, and while there is slightly less to do, there's still plenty to pack the weekend (as you can see on the official schedule) and it's still star-studded. It has the rep as being what Comic-Con used to be before it became impossible to get tickets, overcrowded and overrun by Hollywood, though you'll still find at least a bit of Hollywood encroachment.

I'll be there all weekend, tweeting the experience at @MikeRoe and @WithoutABlog. Until then, come with me as we tour some of the highlights of the convention:

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1930s mugshots of women, Crystal clears Oscar jokes, Star Wars cello battle in our daily roundup

  • Mugshots of women from 1930s-40s Los Angeles. Charges including cons, embezzlement, burglary, prostitution, assault with a deadly weapon, "mental case" and... "lesbian."
  • If Photoshop was a real-world cosmetic:

    (via the Ebert Club)

  • The actor who plays fictional character I most identify with, Josh Radnor (aka Ted on "How I Met Your Mother") is releasing a memoir about growing up in Ohio and... wait, what's this? Doing hallucinogenics in the Amazon? Huh. So, there's that.
  • Host Billy Crystal teased some new Oscars jokes, making fun of the idea that he's a little out of touch with pop culture at this point.
  • Liverpool moviegoers demanded refunds after going to see "The Artist" but not knowing in advance it was going to be a silent film.
  • Herman Cain endorses Stephen Colbert: The Stephen Colbert telling South Carolinians to vote for Herman Cain to show their support for Colbert has hit another level, as now Cain is endorsing the thing personally. So, is this reverse endorsing? Endorsing himself? Cain will be taping a segment with Colbert as well.
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    'Gossip Girl' moves from Upper East Side to beachside in new LA season

    In the season 5 opener of popular CW guilty pleasure TV series "Gossip Girl," the excruciatingly rich Upper East Side cast find themselves in sunny Los Angeles. The cross-country move may be the last gasp of a show running out of New York plot twists, or it may simply be a chance to watch the fashion-heavy show take a stab at at west coast clothing.

    The complicated, lusty and largely unbelievable plot of "Gossip Girl" unravels like a soap opera. The series began in 2007 with the teens in an upper crust private high school, and through an array of backstabbings, mental breakdowns, drug addictions and designer shoes, the beautiful cast manages to make it to graduation.

    Although the series' narrative is decadent and addicting, the real mainstay of the show is the clothing. While there may be some wealthy real-life fashionistas who actually spend $1,000 on Christian Louboutin booties, for the rest of us, the show's a chance to be a voyeur into a world of indulgence.

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