On April 2nd-4th, 2010, Racebending.com hosted a fan table at the 2010 WonderCon in San Francisco. As the only Avatar: The Last Airbender fan group with an official fan table at the convention, we were really excited to represent for the fandom!
Ken, Mike, and Dariane at Racebending.com’s Fan Table
Over the three days of the convention, we spoke to over a thousand people about the Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series and encouraged them to boycott the live action adaptation, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender, which has discriminated against actors of color.
Racebending.com Table Swag for Wondercon attendees!
All of the people who visited the table were offered free wristbands and fliers. We also sold shirts to fundraise for the logistics of setting up the booth with all of the freebies. Blacklava.net generously sponsored our t-shirt sales, including our Secret Asian Man: Icons shirt which features Aang, Sulu, Hiro Nakamura, Mr. Miyagi, and other Asian American icons.
Racebending.com Table Display
Oddly enough, despite Paramount’s advertising push for Star Trek at Wondercon 2009, there was no marketing whatsoever for The Last Airbender at Wondercon 2010. Even though there was a Nickelodeon booth on the floor, the booth was there to advertise its animated offerings and recruit interns and writers.
For Avatar: The Last Airbender fans, there was an awesome TV show soundtracks panel on Friday of the convention featuring Avatar: The Last Airbender composers The Track Team and composers from other series like Heroes and Pushing Daisies. Lucky Avatar: The Last Airbender fans at the panel were given an exclusive CD of the soundtrack to the series finale.
Avatar: The Last Airbender fan artist DJ Welch (Dark Kenjie) was in artist alley, selling some prints of his fan art, including this beautiful drawing of an older Katara.
As a fan website, some of our writers were also able to attend the Prince of Persia press conference, which was only open to journalists. We were able to ask a pointed question about the film’s depiction of ancient Persia, which we will report on soon in another article.
Racebending.com’s view of Prince of Persia director Mike Newell, actor Jake Gyllenhaal, creator Jordan Mechner, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer during the press conference.
At our booth, we also had a raffle for our supporters! On Saturday and Sunday, people who were interested in taking a support photo for our online gallery were given Aang Hope pins and were able to draw for a random prize. These prizes including Avatar: The Last Airbender posters signed by creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino (donated from Racebending.com staff’s personal collection), Secret Asian Man books donated and signed by author Tak Toyoshima (thank you!), and giant stuffed Momos!
Winners of the Racebending.com Supporter Raffle
Racebending.com explored San Francisco after hours, including meeting up with io9.com at the 111 Minna Gallery io9.com meet up.
Racebending.com’s Mike Le and Marissa Lee with io9.com editor in chief Annalee Newitz and other io9 staffers
We received such an outpouring of support from the attendees of WonderCon. We witnessed firsthand how the production has deprived itself of a vibrant and intensely loyal fanbase through its casting decisions. Nearly all of the people who spoke with us were appalled by the decisions made by the production of The Last Airbender. The fans at WonderCon were tired of discriminatory glass ceilings and M. Night’s disingenuous version of “diversity.”
Avatar: The Last Airbender cosplayers who visited our table!
We had a blast at WonderCon 2010 meeting so many supporters and fellow Avatar: The Last Airbender fans. Thanks so much for your support! We hope to see you at future conventions!