Thursday, June 5, 2014
OVERVIEW: Long Beach Comic Expo, 5/31/14
(My first official press pass! As a relatively new blogger/journalist, this was a very proud moment for me!)
I put in an application for press passes for Long Beach Comic Expo, wondering if my achievements on my blog in the comics industry were enough to warrant meaccess to all of the amazing creators at the event. Well, they were more than enough and on May 31st I took 3 buses for over three hours to get from Downtown Los Angeles to the Long Beach Convention Center.
It took a minute to realize that the entrance was on Pike, not Ocean, but once I climbed the stairs to the upper level, my photographer and I were accosted by the already large crowd, most of whom were amazingly garbed in cosplay that ranged from the popular (I counted about seven Deadpools, three Green Arrows, plenty of Harley Quinns, and at least ten Wonder Women,) to the rare (Red Robin, The Mad Hatter and a lone Castiel from TV's Supernatural). There were even people dressed as the telephone booth from Dr. Who!
(My favorite Wonder Woman cosplayer, the professional burlesque dancer Ms. Fever Blister.)
(Accurate Deathstroke portrayal.)
(Sailor Moon, my favorite anime!)
My first thought was, This is home.
After getting my badge, I went to the exhibitor room first, and picked up some great comics, all of which were written by Marv Wolfman. Were I rich, the place would've been sold out!
The ballroom space was densely packed with comic shops, toy collectors, and plenty of artists and creators, including Todd Nauck (Young Justice, Nightcrawler, Teen Titans GO!), Scott Koblish (Deadpool), Scott Lobdell (Teen Titans), Len Wein (X-Men, Spider-Man and many more) and so many others whose work us comic fans have devoured over the years.
The only people who I felt were missing from the guest list were George Perez and Geoff Johns.
In the main lobby were novelist Davidson L. Haworth and renowned comic creator Marv Wolfman, amongst a couple others. Mr. Haworth was there all day, greeting fans and making new ones (like yours truly).
(Davidson L. Haworth and I by his table.)
I interviewed him first for my blog here. It was one of the most informative interviews I've done to date, talking about religion, history, hockey and J.R.R. Tolkien. You can read that interview by clicking HERE .
I then went to Marv Wolfman and Len Wein's panel, where Mr. Wolfman's career was spotlighted in detail. It is amazing that his career has lasted nearly 50 years and it's refreshing to know that he still loves what he does. He was my first "official" comic book when I was 9 and picked up the graphic novel edition of Tales of the New Teen Titans' "Judas Contract".
After that we took a break for lunch (and to read my comics!) before I went to Todd Nauck's panel and career spotlight. Mr. Nauck was another of my first ever official comic books, when he was drawing Teen Titans GO! in the early 2000s.
Right after the panel I had the privilege of interviewing him as well. We talked about No Child Hungry, Nightcrawler and superheroes on reality TV. You can read that interview by clicking HERE .
(Todd Nauck talking about Wildguard at his panel.)
(Mr. Nauck after the interview with me.)
I walked around after that with my photographer, peeking at different vendors, displays, cosplayers and taking photos. I won't include all of them, just the best ones. My only regret is that I couldn’t get a photo of the one particular Green Arrow cosplayer who looked like he stepped right off of my Arrow DVD cover.
I saw the Sailor Moon cast, Deathstroke the Terminator, Raven, Beast Boy (Changeling) and a particularly accurate Riddler. Of course there were the usual suspects, like Darth Vader and Stormtroopers from the Star Wars franchise, along with the Joker (all three versions, from 1966 right till Heath Ledger's amazing portrayal) and a few Batmen. There was even a Nightwing! Black Canaries and Poison Ivys were also around, some of them shockingly accurate.
I had wanted to do a Raven cosplay (the 1980s George Perez version, not the Cartoon Network version) but was unable to find a dress in time. Oh well, maybe in September... ;)
(After my interview with Mr. Wolfman.)
(Speaking with him and him signing my Crisis On Infinite Earths and Tales of the New Teen Titans 1984 Judas Contract finale.)
At 5pm I went to interview Marv Wolfman, and was stunned and pleased when I was able to sit behind the signing table with him while we spoke about his lengthy career, the Teen Titans, Night Force, killing Supergirl and why he stepped down as editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics, amongst many other topics.
He is a very to the point and interesting man, whose career is one to be admired. Read that interview by clicking HERE .
I left before the very end to take photos of the amazing collection of cars they had outside: the Mach 5 from Speed Racer, some of the Jurassic Park Jeeps, the cop car from the Blues Brothers and, yes, the Batmoblie, along with a Batman-themed golf cart. Yes, I stopped being a professional and fangirled at the Batmoblie, ad my photographer did for the Mach 5!
All in all, this was one of my favorite events to attend. Every one of the workers and volunteers was kind and well-informed, the exhibitors were professional and very nicely organized, the guests were accessible. I did get a little turned around at the Artists Alley, but that was a minor issue.
Everything was on time, and ran very smoothly.
This is a great event for those selling their geeky wares, for creators and especially for the fans. It was like a big family reunion with people you've never met.
I'd go again and again!
Thank you to the people behind the scenes at LBCE for letting me be a part of the event. See you in September! :)