LONG BEACH HAS AN INTERESTING CONVENTION DURING PRESIDENT’S DAY WEEKEND!
On February 16, 2019, I took a long drive to Long Beach for the Long Beach Comic Expo. I didn’t have much of a plan, however, the day turned out to be very productive.
I started the day early walking the floor. The convention has about ⅓ of the total layout taken up by Artist’s Alley in the middle of the Dealer’s Hall. While they weren’t there early, Gerry Conway and Kevin Nowlan had lines of people waiting for them when they arrived.
I decided to check out a couple of early panels including Comics: Breaking In and Staying In. The panelists included Joseph Illidge, James Jameson, and Javier Hernandez. They tell fascinating stories about getting into the comics business from varying backgrounds and viewpoints. The most interesting point the panelists agree on is that the image of comics being a “good ol’ boys’ club” came from a few gatekeepers who were the funnel point of creator hiring. Thankfully, that era does appear to be ending.
Meanwhile, I went to the Captain Marvel: Origins panel. I wasn’t expecting a panel starring Margaret Stohl, the writer who modified Carol Danvers’ origin, and Gerry Conway, the man who originally created Captain Marvel, as well as having a role in the creation of Power Girl, Starfire, Felicity Smoak, Vixen, the Punisher, Mockingbird, and Mysterio. It was entertaining to watch Margaret Stohl geek out over Conway and ask almost as many questions as the moderator. If you have a chance to ask either about Captain Marvel, I recommend it. They have a lot to say about how they see the character.
Cosplay and Final Reactions
I went back to the Dealer’s Hall. While it wasn’t large, I did feel bad that I didn’t have money to spend. This was an unexpected trip and is rather close to WonderCon and a trip I have been planning for 11 months. Meanwhile, the dealers are very talkative, informative, and willing to deal if you have your eye on something. I watched a couple of vendors make good deals for everyone involved and pushing sales.
The cosplay scene at the convention… I describe it as “focused.” Most of the cosplayers are dressed up for particular planned gatherings or groups. Outside of these driven cosplayers, there are more cosplayers, though they tend to wander around outside of the Dealer’s Hall.
Long Beach Comic Expo is a good convention, however, it appears to primarily be attended by Southern California locals. That is a bit troubling when even this smaller convention has some industry legends in attendance and who very talkative. in the end, this is a good place to find deals and a chance to interact with creators in a semi-personal way.