Long Beach Comic Con returned to the geeky masses this past Halloween weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center. While still not as big as the famed San Diego Comic Con and not as small as many other conventions, this one is growing just right.
LBCC had a lot to contend with being on Halloween weekend, but they managed to bring in a good amount of people. Cosplayers could be seen throughout the weekend with costumes ranging from Batman and Harley Quinn to Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers (and everything in between). The HERO Initiative, which helps to provide emergency support to comic creators, held a special charity costume party in Downtown Long Beach on Saturday night. On Halloween Sunday, children were welcome to trick or treat on the exhibit floor which brought an even more fun and inclusive element to the weekend.
This year’s LBCC boasted a bigger exhibit floor and participation from companies such as Lionsgate, Image Comics, Aspen Comics, Universal (who had some of their famous movie cars on display) and Avatar Press. Guests this year included Stan Lee, Max Brooks (World War Z, The Zombie Survival Guide), Thomas Jane (The Punisher), Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s The Ultimates 3, Hulk), and J. Scott Campbell who designed the LBCC exclusive Ultimate Thor #1 variant cover.
Attendees even got to see some exclusive screenings. On Saturday attendees were treated to a screening of DC’s Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam before its release on DVD and Thomas Jane presented his film Dark Country in 3-D. Marvel also was there with a screening of an episode of their newest series The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as well as a preview of new Iron Man anime series due out in 2011 on G4.
To add even more to this weekend, Long Beach Comic Con continued their relationship with Mach 1 Pro Wrestling of the famed National Wrestling Alliance and brought them back after a very positive reception the previous year. Their exhibition matches on Friday and Sunday drew sizeable crowds and their big event Wrath of Con II drew even more with a main event featuring Mach 1 Champion Willie Mack defending his belt against the legendary “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels (TNA Wrestling, Ring of Honor). Mach 1 even hosted a panel linking comics to pro wrestling and a spotlight panel on the aforementioned Christopher Daniels. The inclusion of pro wrestling to the convention really shows that Long Beach Comic Con is really willing to reach out to different facets of pop culture and show they are all in this together.
When talking to some of the attendees, I found a lot of positive reactions to the still growing convention. Attendee Klaryssa Korol told Flash Flood Media, “ I am so overwhelmed, this is even better than Anime Expo,” when talking about her first experience at LBCC. The organizers will be back in April 23, 2011 with the one day Long Beach Comic Expo and Long Beach Comic Con returns in late October 2011.
Long Beach Comic Con on the web: http://www.longbeachcomiccon.com
The HERO Initiative on the web: http://www.heroinitiative.org
Mach 1 Pro Wrestling on the web: http://www.m1wrestling.com
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