The weekend has come and gone, and with it the joys of Long Beach’s very own comic book convention has also passed. Still, it was quite a week to remember. My first trip to the LBCC was last year, where the convention, at least to me, seemed much smaller. I did have the misfortune of only attending the very final day of the convention, but compared to Saturday’s hustle and bustle, it’s evident that the convention is growing. Still, Sunday showed a significant lack of enthusiasm, with fewer events, and even fewer guests/exhibitors on site. Dustin Nguyen, the artist on the previous run of Batgirl, is one of the significant names who only showed up for one day at this years Long Beach Comic and Horror Convention. For Saturday, however, the convention was alive with geek enthusiasm, and joviality as fans rushed about eagerly trying to meet their favorite comic artist, creators, celebrities, and let’s not forget to spend superfluous amounts of cash!
Day one of Long Beach Comic Con was definitely the day to go, Saturday had the most anticipated panels; with celebrity guests like the cast and crew of The Guild who offered a screening of their entire fifth season! Season 5 takes place at a gaming convention, Megagame-O-Ramacon, which just happened to be filmed at the Long Beach Convention center. Not surprisingly, this is probably the best season of The Guild to-date. On top of having just a fun, and well written story, it also has several surprise guest appearances from celebrities all over the geek spectrum. Neil Gaiman, who had my absolute favorite guest role, and Nathan Fillion are just the tip of the iceberg of surprising appearances! The season ended on an almost final note, however, leaving the future of the Guild up in the air. When asked if there would be a sixth season Felicia Day responded by saying that she would love to have a sixth season, and that she had more stories to tell, however, it was all a matter of being picked up. Also in attendance was the majority cast of Cartoon Network’s Robot Chicken, including actors Seth Green and Breckin Meyer. Definitely the funniest panel of the convention as anyone who asked a question, and was in cosplay, immediately garnered the attention of Seth or Breckin , who the in good fun would make jokes about their attire. Shits and giggles aside, the team previewed a Lois Lane and Superman sketch that left the room in stitches, which will be appearing in their Robot Chicken DC Comics special!
The Panels weren’t the only entertaining factor however, as the floor of the LBCC was a show in-and-of itself! From Aquaman to a horde of Zombie girls; virtually every character was represented at Long Beach Comic Con! Surprisingly, however; the conventions Masquerade did not have many contestants. Of the seventeen who signed up, only 16 showed up…and one of those was actually a double sign up. That’s not to say the costumes were lacking, in fact there were some amazing concepts displayed. Mike Shields kept the crowd captivated, and provided narration when needed. The group Gothic Toy Box, with outfits designed by Julie Vance, provided a Gothic Twist to the Toy Story concept. The group won several awards, and provided was has to be one of the most entertaining entries I’ve seen. Other contestants included: Alice from Alice in Wonderland, an all female cast of Chekov, Sulu and MCcoy, Halo Spartan, Bellatrix, and of course Kick-Ass.
Then there were the several merchandising booths, often my focus at a convention, where deals could be found in plenty. Trade-paper backs were being sold with a 45% discount on their cover price, and some vintage comics could be found at more then half their value! Of course, you could also buy the product directly from the writer, artist, colorist or inker themselves! Brian Buccellato was just one of the many industry exhibitors at the convention weekend. On top of selling issues of his most recent title, The Flash, as well as some truly amazing prints (One of which I was able to snag the last one of!) he was also willing to talk about what to expect in the future. When asked what was happening in regards to Wally West, a fan favorite that has seemingly vanished since the new 52, he let out a long groan and said, “I’d like to say, but DC is keeping quiet.” Other notable guests of the comic book industry were: Peter Nguyen, Ray-Anthony Height, Scott Lobdell, Amanda Palmer, and many more!
Yet, LBCC had much more to offer. One thing I found, that really dropped a brick of nostalgia on my head, was the Magic the Gathering tournament! The event was very much under advertised, resulting in minimal turnout; however it was still worth the effort to mosey over to the tables! $10 purchased you two booster backs, and as much land as you needed to build a 30 card deck. From there, every round you won got you another booster pack until the finals. One prize up for grab was a full shit of foil. Sadly, I didn’t get past the first round.
Without a doubt this years Long Beach Comic Con was a monumental success; and although by the end my legs were killing me and the very thought of standing was enough to send me into a 24 hour coma. It was so, freaking, worth it! My pockets may be empty, but hey, you can always make more money.