Tag Archives: Long Beach

Return of Long Beach Comic & Horror Con!

Yoda Is My Co-Pilot

I spent the first Saturday of November in Long Beach, California for the fourth annual Long Beach Comic and Horror Con. Despite the name change last year, the show remains focused on comics, and horror feels like an afterthought tacked on to fit with the Halloween timing of the show. (It makes me wonder whether they’ll return to the original name next year, when it’s held at the end of November.)

On the main floor, Artist’s Alley continues to be the centerpiece, both literally and figuratively. SDCC has been shoving the artist’s tables off to one end of the insanely-long hall, Wizard tends to put them in the back, and I hear NYCC put them in a different hall entirely (not quite behind a door labeled “beware of the leopard”), but Long Beach has always made a point of putting them right in the center. Publishers at the front, fan groups at the back, dealers to the sides, all wrapped around the artists….

Read the whole post at K-Squared Ramblings!

West Coast (OK, mostly California) Comic Cons: Comikaze, Long Beach, WonderCon & Wizard World

A quick round-up of West Coast (well, mostly Southern California) convention news:

Downtown LA and Convention Center

Fall 2012 in LA: Comikaze & Long Beach

First off, Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo is this weekend in Los Angeles. Flash co-writer Brian Buccellato will be there, and has posted his schedule on his site. It’s a something-for-everyone pop culture con, and while I enjoyed last year’s event, I’m going to be too busy this weekend to make it.

Secondly, Long Beach Comic & Horror Con is coming up the first weekend in November. This is a good comic-focused convention (despite the addition of “and Horror” to the name last year), and I highly recommend it to anyone in the Los Angeles area who wants to attend a show that’s really about comic books.

Update: I totally forgot that Las Vegas Comic Expo is coming up at the end of the month (September 29-30). Brian Buccellato is on the guest list there as well. It’s been a while since someone tried to do a big comic convention in Vegas, so it’ll be interesting to see how this goes.

Captain America, Bucky and USO Girl at WonderCon 2012

WonderCon in 2013

WonderCon is going to be a bit weird. Usually it’s held in San Francisco, but renovations at the Moscone Center this year caused them to move to Anaheim. Scheduling problems mean that they’ll stay in Anaheim next year next year, but might also return to San Francisco. They have solid dates in Anaheim for March 29-31, 2013, and a very tentative “maybe” for fall in San Francisco, but they’re reaching the point that if they’re going to do a con in March, they have to commit to it.

Why not try another location in the Bay Area, like Oakland or San Jose? The Beat looks at various convention centers and compares them to the space WonderCon typically uses these days. The options aren’t that great unless you leave town, shrink the show, or hold out for Moscone.

The convention is on for Anaheim in March, one way or another. If they can get San Francisco in fall, they’re planning to do that too, and make that one WonderCon, at which point they’ll call the Anaheim convention something else.

Clear as crystal, right?

I’m looking forward to the Anaheim con, whatever it ends up being called. This year was great, except for parking. Though I wouldn’t mind an excuse to return to San Francisco, either, and IMO it’s best if WonderCon does return to its Bay Area roots.

A wizard at Wizard World LA in 2008.

Wizard Goes West in 2013

Finally, Wizard World returns to the west coast next year (this year, I think the furthest west they got was Texas), but not to the Los Angeles area. Instead, they’re opening shop in Portland on February 22-24, 2013. Wizard has a long, troubled history with the Los Angeles area. They launched Wizard World Los Angeles in Long Beach early last decade, moved it to Los Angeles after a couple of years, and then abruptly canceled 2009’s con with only a few weeks’ notice. After a year’s absence, Wizard came back, launching Anaheim Comic Con in 2010. That only ran two years, and while they announced WWLA for 2011, that con was canceled before it happened – again with only a few weeks’ notice.

Frankly, it’s probably just as well. I don’t think Wizard World has ever run a show in the Pacific Northwest before, and Southern California has been burned enough times that I can imagine people would be a bit shy of booking hotels and transportation. And as you can see above, the convention scene has changed a lot since the days when WWLA was the only mid-sized con around, and you had to either go to a tiny con or drive three hours to San Diego.

It’s a bit close to Emerald City Comicon (the following weekend in Seattle), but I suspect the audience for Wizard’s current style of show is different enough that they won’t interfere too badly.

Support Your Local Comic Con

Returned tickets just went onsale for Comic-Con International, and have probably sold out by the time you read this. If you can’t make it to San Diego, check out a local or regional comic con.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo is coming up in September and Long Beach Comic Con in November. Or visit one of the smaller shows like the bimonthly Los Angeles Comic and Sci Fi Convention. Here are my write-ups & photos from last year’s LBCC 2011 and Comikaze 2011, both of which I’d recommend. I haven’t been to the smaller LA Comic/Sci-Fi Con in a few years.

Convention Scene has a huge list of fan conventions for comics, sci-fi, and all sorts of other interests. And don’t miss Speed Force’s own Tips for Comic-Con.

Long Beach Comic and Horror Con 2011 – Yeah, Still Got It!

Me and the Flash at Long Beach Comic Con

When I heard that Long Beach Comic Con was rebranding itself as Long Beach Comic and Horror Con this year, I was a little concerned. One of the things I liked most about it the first two years was the heavy emphasis on comics compared to San Diego (which has plenty of comics, but is so big that it’s easy to miss them) or the Wizard conventions (which seem to have refocused around celebrities). As it turns out, the horror didn’t drown out the comics at all. The front of the hall was still mainly comics publishers, with dealers (mostly comics and collectibles) behind them in a U shape, wrapped around the core: a gigantic Artist’s Alley.

Of course, Halloween and horror did make their presence known, starting with the signs for zombie parking, and continuing with programming, guests and costumes.

Continue reading at K-Squared Ramblings, or jump straight to the photos.

LA Comic Cons 2011: Long Beach & Comikaze

It used to be that if you lived in the Los Angeles area and wanted to attend a comic book convention, you had to either trek down to San Diego for Comic-Con International or hit one of the smaller cons like the one at the Shrine. These days, you can actually take your pick of several mid-sized cons. Wizard World has been well-established since 2004, starting in Long Beach, then Downtown Los Angeles, then Anaheim (skipping 2009).

More immediately: Long Beach Comic Con will hold its third full convention this weekend, and the latest entrant, Comikaze Expo, bursts onto the downtown LA scene the following week.

Flash fans in the area will be able to catch co-writer/artist Brian Buccellato at both cons.

I’ll be attending both conventions, though just one day each. As with this year’s San Diego trip I’ll be focused more on having fun at the con than reporting news (not that there was any shortage of Flash news coverage here), but I doubt there will be any real Flash news announced at either event. I’ve really enjoyed Long Beach the last two years (though I’m a bit concerned about the split focus this year between comics and horror), and I’m curious to see what kind of a convention Comikaze will actually be.

As always, I’ll be taking photos and posting them on Flickr. Con write-ups will go up at K-Squared Ramblings, and I’ll be sure to post anything Flash-specific here. If you can’t wait until Monday, keep an eye on @SpeedForceOrg on Twitter the next two weekends.

Southern California Comic Cons – 2011

After last year’s five-con blowout, I’ve backed off a bit from Comic-Cons this year. In 2010 I attended at least one day at WonderCon, Anaheim Comic Con, Long Beach Comic Con, the general sci-fi/fantasy convention Westercon, and a full week of Comic-Con International in San Diego. (Those links go to my writeups and photos.)

This year I missed WonderCon (we weren’t sure about traveling with a baby), Anaheim (I’d rather catch Long Beach), and the one-day Long Beach Comic Expo (a busy month after moving, the new place desperately needed a no-plans weekend for some unpacking).

The second half of the year looks better.

Comic-Con International (July). I’m only going one day this year — new job, new baby and plans to move all conspired to keep things uncertain back at the time that tickets went on sale. So I’ll be a lot more focused on experiencing the day that I have than trying to report from the floor, but I’ll post my usual photos and writeups afterward.

Long Beach Comic Con (October). I’m still kicking myself for missing their April event, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. During its first two years, Long Beach has been a fun regional con focused on the actual comic part of Comic Con, and while I couldn’t make it to WonderCon this year, I really have no excuse to miss this one.

(Wizard World) Los Angeles Comic Con (September). Just announced a month ago. I sort of figure this is a second chance to catch Anaheim in case I change my mind, since Wizard has been really big on standardizing their shows lately. Also, I suspect they’re trying to crowd Long Beach out of the market, which is a big reason for me not to go.

Comikaze Expo (November). I only just heard about this one today, through the press release on Newsarama. It looks like they’re trying to out-Wizard the Wizard cons, judging by the heavy emphasis on TV/movie celebrities in the guest list, and maybe throw in elements of Anime Expo and GenCon to boot. It bothers me that they’re trying to hype it as the first con of its type in LA, ignoring the history of the Wizard cons and nearby conventions that aren’t within the Los Angeles city limits, but are close enough to be considered LA. I might drop in out of curiosity, assuming I’m not conventioned-out from Long Beach the week before.

So, current plans: San Diego and Long Beach. Maybe one of the two LA cons.