The Long Beach Comic Expo is hands down one of the most family-friendly comic conventions I have ever had the pleasure to attend. This year was jam-packed with tons of art, comics, toys, games, and lots of other things for kids and their parents to enjoy. For a smaller convention, I think they do a great job of setting themselves apart from the other Southern California conventions by catering to kids of all ages, (including the adults who are kids at heart). Here’s what made this convention such a great experience for my family.
Kids get in free. Let me start by saying one of the best things about most comic conventions is that the kids are free! Outings for families can really add up, especially when there’s a cost for admission, which is why I think this comic convention is great for families.
Panels for kids. Panels are pretty commonplace for conventions; however, a majority of them cater to adults. At the Long Beach Comic Expo, they have a room with scheduled panels that help kids learn different things. Some of the panels include Q&A sessions for how to draw comics and how to get into cosplaying. We got to sit in on the “How to Draw Comic” session which was basically an open forum discussion with two comic book artists who shed advice and insight on where to find inspiration, how to get started, and how to acquire the skills.
Free and low-cost activities for kids. This year, there were more booths that had free activities for kids including the Columbia Memorial Space Center exhibit. They had a free “Build a Rocket” activity for kids, which was pretty cool. They also had various space suits on display with explanations on how they were used. There was also an area where new board games were being demoed. Some were very easy to learn while others were a little more complicated; however it was a lot of fun exploring new games. The Long Beach Public Library also had a booth there where kids could make free buttons or magnets. (Freebies are always a plus). As far as low-cost fun goes, there was also a videogame area where you can pay $1 for unlimited play and laser tag for $4. Did I mention that Nesquik was outside the convention hall handing out free chocolate milk?
Costumes, costumes, and more costumes. There were so many amazing costumes to see at the Long Beach Comic Expo. My youngest son was so excited about some of the costumes that he asked to take pictures with them. Here are some of our favorites.
Comic book creators and artists. This event has a huge Artist Alley where comic book creators and artists sell their original artworks and prints. They’ll even sign their work for you if you purchase something. We got to meet a few big names including Terry and Rachel Dodson (artists for the Star Wars Princess Leia comic book series, Harley Quinn, and Wonder Woman), Todd Nauck (Teen Titans, Young Justice, and Amazing Spider-Man), and Chris Claremont (X-Men writer). We were lucky enough to find some X-Men #1 issues and got them signed by Chris Claremont!
All in all, it was a fun and memorable experience for all that I highly recommend for families. Did you attend the Long Beach Comic Expo this past weekend? If so, share your experience by commenting below!