The cold, biting rain leading into the weekend could have been taken as an ill omen. However, when morning broke on the Long Beach Convention Center, home of the Long Beach Comic Con (LBCC), the air was crisp and the sun brilliant. Fridays misery forgotten, people began arriving in earnest for the 5th anniversary of LBCC. Darth Vaders, Boba Fetts, X-Men, Batmans, and more Dr Who’s than you could shake a sonic screwdriver at (LBCC did happen to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Dr Who), parents and children and cosplayers alike all began collecting in the lobby. It was comic convention day, and the atmosphere in the convention center was electric as the costumed masses, general public, creators, illustrators, and vendors milled about, collecting weekend passes and badges, taking photos, and striking conversations with friends and strangers alike.
Once inside the hall, LBCC spread out in front of attendees, a labyrinth of toys and comics, costumes and books, aisles and art prints. Armed with cameras, wanderlust, and programming guides (with convenient map), attendees began filtering through the convention floor. Aspen Comics, IDW, and Boom! Comics occupied a commanding presence right upon entering the doors, with independent comic vendors selling Silver and Golden Age comics at deep discount spreading out from there. The highlight of the show, however, was the massive Artists Alley, a virtual who’s-who of the up-and-coming and veteran independent illustrators, writers, and creators of all kinds. With stand out independents such as Brewhouse Comics (Josh Henaman), the QuadShot/inSanity, AZ team of writers (James Ninness, Marcel Losada, Joe Pezzula, and Michael Fountain), Joel Gomez, Andrew Robinson, Brian Soriano, DeWayne Feenstra, Tony Fleecs, the Asylum team (Sandy King), Steven Hoveke & Mike Scigliano (Steamworld Chronicles), Margaret Wyman, Jimmy Palmiotti and many, many more, there was quite literally something up everyone’s alley.
There were plenty of panels, discussions, and other programming to stop in on as well, from a behind-the-scenes of making a web comic, to the ins and outs of inking comic panels, to general comic discussions and Star Wars Origami. As if the festivities going on inside didn’t provide enough eye candy and photo opportunities, the walkway in front of the convention center was turned in a pop-culture car show. Leaving the convention, attendees were greeted by The Batmobile, Doc Brown and his time traveling Delorean, Kit (from NightRider), The Ninja Turtle’s van (complete with Ninja Turtle appearances and “Foot Stinks!” decals), and the Jurassic Park Jeeps. Photo op’s galore, people were eager to drop their newly purchased art, books, toys, and treasures to pose for pictures and selfies with their favorite vehicles.
Coming well after the chaos of San Diego Comic Con, LBCC fills an important niche as one of the last big cons of the year. Regardless of age or affinity for comics, the Long Beach Comic Convention catered to every attendees needs and wants in a convention, from cars and comics to cosplay and custom prints. It’s time to add LBCC to your “must attend” list of conventions stops for the 2014 season.