Last weekend we made a quick stop by a con that’s definitely in it for the long haul: Long Beach Comic Con, a very comic-friendly show with a horror tinge reflecting its past life as the Long Beach Comic and Horror Con.
By far the most impressive part of LBCC is its respect and admiration for comic fans and creators. Creative professionals are front and center on the floor, while Artists Alley makes up the majority of the exhibit hall – a far cry from the cobwebbed corners it’s often relegated to at the big-box shows. Kudos to LBCC for remembering what comic conventions are all about.
As always, LBCC has a big cosplay presence (check out a selection in our gallery below); not only are the crowds dressed to the nines, but the con devotes a corner of the floor to professional and semi-pro cosplayers. Their programming schedule seems to add more and more costuming panels each year – and it’s always encouraging to see cons focus on both the how (Sunday’s “Facial Recognition: Makeup for Cosplay”) and the why (“Cosplay and Criticism”). Perhaps the biggest cosplay disappointment of the weekend was the long gap between the end of regular Saturday programming and the beginning of the costume contest, especially considering how the Saturday afternoon crowds began to thin drastically as early as 4:30. More programming in the afternoon or the evening, to keep attendees around a bit longer, would certainly be welcome.
Also in the programming realm, LBCC has a great Kids Room with programming like “Kid’s Get-A-Sketch,” which handed out free art to kids. For adults, the show’s horror history lives on to ask what the “new weird” is in “What is Modern Horror?” For the kids at heart, the Disney Afternoon reunion panel was a popular choice. And don’t think a show with such a big comics presence on the show floor would ignore the medium in panels: several Batman panels celebrated the Dark Knight’s 75th; Jimmy Palmiotti spoke to a full house; and Babs Tarr was on hand as a special guest to discuss the (extremely awesome) revamped Batgirl.
Logistically, the Long Beach Convention Center is a lovely venue; parking and traffic are arguably easier than they are at many other cons in similarly-sized locations, and having The Pike directly across the street compensates for the always-terrible convention center food.
LBCC has struggled to find a season to call its own, due in large part to their attempt to maneuver around the never-ending movement of Stan Lee’s Comikaze’s dates – but it will return next year on September 12 – 13, 2015; don’t miss its sister show, Long Beach Comic Expo, on February 28 and March 1, 2015. Here’s hoping the mid-September dates continue to stick; this is a show that has earned a bigger audience.