(We were provided media tickets to cover this event.)
Long Beach Comic Con 2016
I cannot tell you enough how much of a blast I had at the Long Beach Comic Con this past weekend! It was my first time attending, although I covered their spring event, the Long Beach Comic Expo, earlier this year. Luckily, they had a lot of the same things that we loved from the last show with a few more exciting additions! One theme that I noticed about the Long Beach Comic Con and Expo is how much they focus on creators, whether it’s the artists that exhibit at the show or the cosplayers who show off their amazing outfits or the niche brands who sell their handmade creations. There’s one thing that’s for sure, this year’s Long Beach Comic Con was one of the most inspiring conventions I’ve ever attended thanks to all the wonderful exhibitors and guests speakers at the show. Here are a few thing that caught my attention at the show:
I love getting unique things – items that you wouldn’t find at the mall or your local Target. If you’re the same, then this convention is for you. At the show, we found a few exhibitors selling truly one-of-a-kind wares including carved wooden magnets with pop culture themes by Smoketree Workshop, mix-and-match earrings by Nerdy But Still Girly, and kawaii accessories by Happy Goods Unlimited.
There are plenty of creative people with interesting stories to share. Unfortunately, they don’t all get backed by huge publishers. That’s why these conventions are so awesome! You get to come face to face with authors who have unique stories that you won’t find at your local book store. One author and illustrator by the name of Travis Hanson was promoting a few of his titles which featured whimsical illustrations of characters like bear pirates, wizards, and dinosaurs. He was also offering to sketch anything you can imagine – for free! My son had him sketch a hamburger dancing on top of another hamburger. Another author, wrote a children’s book about Shadow People with an augmented reality feature where you hold up your phone to see hidden pictures. (Don’t worry, the Shadow People were friendly).
Fun and Educational Activities and Exhibitions
The Columbia Memorial Space Center and Long Beach Public Library both returned to the event to inspire kids to learn. The Space Center booth had fun photo ops with real space suits, a sign up desk to join the R2-D2 Builders Club, and high powered telescopes. The Long Beach Public Library booth featured a cool floor maze, a superhero photo booth, and arts and crafts stations where kids could make free pins out of old comic book pages and superhero masks.
One of the things that I love about the Artist Alley section of any comic convention is that you get the opportunity to meet some of the biggest names in the comic book industry. However, what makes this experience different at the Long Beach Comic Expo is since the show isn’t as overly crowded as some of the bigger shows in Southern California, you have more one-on-one time with the artists themselves. Whether you’re a fan of their work or an aspiring artist yourself, you get the opportunity to discuss with them any questions you may have.
Aside from the big-name artists at the show, there are also plenty of talented artists as well. I met an artist who paints with a toothpick. There was also an artist who was selling an amazing print that included ALL the Pokemon including every generation on TV and in video games!
I ended day one of the show with the Cosplay Contest. It was the first time that I had ever witnessed a cosplay contest and boy was it quite a show! So many talented fans designed, created, and personified their favorite characters for a chance to win some amazing prizes. The crowd favorites included Rufio from the 90s movie, Pan, Bobble Head Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma, and characters from Invader Zim.
Cosplay, cosplay, cosplay!
Speaking of cosplay, there were plenty of notable cosplayers throughout the convention including a life-sized Transformer, an incredibly realistic Deadpool (whose eye covering were removable and magnetic), and Disney’s newest character, Moana, and that doesn’t even begin to cover it!
There’s so much more that I’d love to talk about, but it’s really something that you’ve got to experience for yourself! Did you go to the Long Beach Comic Con? If so, share your experience in the comments section!