Monday, September 14, 2015

Long Beach Comic Con 2015

That is a sign that, every single year for the past four years, I have loved seeing. Coming to LBCC is like one big family gathering of comic geeks and fandom nerds. It is a true fan convention: focusing on comic books, collectibles and interesting panels about art, writing, and much more.
This year at LBCC there was much more to see and do than usual: which was a great thing.
On Saturday, you had Power Rangers, the Hillywood Show, Chloe Bennett (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Marc Guggenheim (writer of Arrow; The Flash) the Space Expo, and much more. On Sunday, Chloe was replaced by John Barrowman (Arrow; Torchwood), and a few more cool cars were displayed (more on those below).
Of course, you also had the amazing classics who show up to a lot of cons to make fans happy: Marv Wolfman, Len Wein, Stan Sakai, Art Thibert, Neo Edmund, and so many more! In the past I have interviewed these classic and new creators, but this year I opted not to do any interviews and instead attend the con simply as a fan, so I can write about it as a fan.
My blog is written simply, the photos are taken from a smartphone, and I don't do anything extremely exclusive for one reason: I might be press, but I am still a fan. I write this blog as a fan, for the fans. I want others to really see what you get when you attend here, and what better way to do that than to write a plain and honest blog? So you will not find frills here: just a blog from a fan, for the fans.
This year's newest exhibit was the Space Expo, and it was my first stop. I was obsessed with astronomy as a kid, and this was really cool to see.

After I checked that out, I did my favorite thing at cons: I went to check out the vendors. Below is a list of some of the best ones there, the places you need to stop by if you like fandom merch, custom jewelry and so much more. Contact info is included as I received it.
These were from a local comic shop that only goes to SoCal conventions. I usually buy much more (especially from the fifty cent bins), but I couldn't carry too much on the train going home. Pictures here are Legion of Superheroes #0, two issues of Impulse, and a Deathstroke annual written by Len Wein.

Above is My Faerietale. Pictured is her Facebook in the photo above, so you can see where she will be, selling her handmade wares. I have bought from her three years in a row, and she's a great stop for the Superwholock community. Everything is one of a kind and she's really sweet, too! (I only bought stickers this year, and put them on my laptop.

There was a store there that only sold Funko Pop Vinyls, so I made four purchases: Smaug 6" from The Hobbit, original Sam from Supernatural, a SDCC exclusive Castiel from "The French Mistake" episode of Supernatural, and an unmasked Deathstroke from Arrow.

Another toy vendor had a $1 bin, so I bought a miniature of R2-D2 and Yoda, along with a Sonic The Hedgehog air freshener.

Comic Art Groupie (above), is a woman who makes custom geeky wallets, clutches and more. Pictured here is what she had already on display (a lot of DC Comics, and even a Suicide Squad wallet!), and her card, where you can get her information to have a custom order made for around $35! I took the card for a custom order later in the year.

 One of the vendors just sold fake weapons, and I was very tempted to buy the swords and guns. Stunning stuff!

You have now entered my Heaven on Earth: Toy Mandala. It is only anime and kawaii, and it is HEAVEN! Plushies, action figures, collectible statues, and so much more. They have Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Animal Crossing, Naruto and SO MUCH MORE! (Can you tell I get excited over their wares?) All at reasonable prices, and all authentic.

A very cool store, catering more to females, with purses, wallets, and backpacks of comic books, Hello Kitty, Star Wars (and they had a LOT of Star Wars), Nightmare Before Christmas and Disney. They had playing cards of comic characters, some fandom Funkos (see the Tardis to your right in the bottom photo.), and really awesome deals for convention goers only. Had I more money with me, I would have bought them out!

These last three photos were all from Toy Mandala again. Imported Pokemon plushies, and exclusive Dragon Ball Z/GT/Super collectibles. The Super Saiyan God Vegeta isn't officially released until next month, but convention attendees were able to get it early!

Action Comics.

Kubert Art School.

The talented and super-sweet Stan Sakai, creator of Usagi Yojimbo.

Wonderful art prints of comics and other fandoms.

Art Thibert, doing what he does best!

Dragon Called had handmade steampunk jewelry for men and women. I loved everything she was selling, and her info to her Etsy is above, as well as her email. She said that if you like a piece pictured but it's not on her Etsy, email her about it. The pocket watches had Supernatural, Attack On Titan, Harry Potter and more!

One store was selling standees. They had Star Wars, Marvel, and those pictured (Sherlock and Arrow.) I loved how the Oliver Queen one was overlooking the entryway, as if to say, "You have failed this con!"

Now, what would any comic convention be without cosplay? Every year, I try not to repeat myself with what characters I take photos of, so each year I go in search of new costumes I missed in previous years. Enjoy the small gallery below. I love featuring cosplay, because these cons are about the fans more than anything else. Seeing the dedication fans put into their costumes is amazing!
A family done up as Star Wars characters.

Two Doctors. Isn't there a law against that? ;)

Not technically cosplay, but as a member of the Echelon, I had to photograph another member who showed up representing Jared, Shannon, and Tomo!

Kagome, from InuYasha.

This was actually at the Space Center, but I thought I'd put it here. So cool!

Weeping Angel. The costume was done impeccably!
Majin Buu Saga Gohan from Dragon Ball Z.

And then there were the cars... I LOVE cars of all kinds, and seeing these is always so much fun.
 My photographer, being photographed by yours truly at the Mach 5 from Speed Racer.

Jim Rockford's car from the classic TV show Rockford Files. Yes, we took a card. ;)


Herbie the Love Bug.

Jurassic Park.

KITT from Knight Rider.

Joker Car. I see it every year, and I have to take a photo (or three) every year because it's the JOKER!

So, there was my version of the convention. I did attend panels, but I never photograph them. I prefer to listen and absorb. I met writers, artists, said hello to those I have previously worked with, and walked over five miles total after going through the convention center four times. It was exhausting, my calves ache, but I would (and will) do it all over again.

For information about next year's Con and Expo, click here. Don't forget to like LBCC on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and on Instagram!

Even if you don't live in Southern California, I can personally guarantee you that this is a convention worth a trip!

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