IRL: Long Beach Comic Con, Sept. 17

On September 17, I went to Long Beach Comic Con, held in Long Beach, California.  Started in 2009, this is a young and growing convention.  I’ll admit that this was my first time at the con since that opening year, and quite a lot has changed!

This is the first convention where I have ever applied for a press badge.  I was happily surprised to be approved, given that my blog is still on the new(ish) side.  But look at it!  I feel all official and stuff.

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Honestly, there was only really two panels that I was interested in attending, so after getting my badge, I decided to find the room where the Con Man and Firefly panels were going to be held.  The programming schedule in the guidebook thingy was a bit confusing.  Those panels were to be held in the “Knerds of the Round Table” room, but I had no idea what that was!  All of the other rooms had cutesy names followed by what the room was actually called, but for Knerds?  Nothing.  So I sort of just wandered around.  Luckily, I stumbled across the room (officially Ballrooms A&B) pretty easily.

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Since my panels were still a few hours away, I decided to grab some food.  The entrance of the con had a small collection of food trucks, so I decided to try some Tri-tip Cheezy Fries.  Among the food trucks were some awesome fan reproduction cars, including cars from Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, Transformers, The Blue’s Brothers, and Back to the Future.  The DeLorean was my absolute favorite.  It had so many small details from the movies, including a “Save the Clock Tower” flyer and Biff’s sports almanac.

I took my food, and I went to go get in line for the Con Man panel, since I figured it (and Firefly) were going to be super popular.  I got there, but they said we couldn’t line up for Con Man.  The current line was for the Batman panel only.  They would clear the room after Batman before letting the Con Man people in.  They also clarified that, after MANY complaints, they would NOT be clearing the room between Con Man and Firefly.

So, this left a bunch of browncoats milling around in a hallway, which I believe is much more unsafe than letting people line up.  I won’t go in to the full story, but I will just say that it was upsetting, confusing, and only about 1/3 of the people in line got to see the Con Man and Firefly panels.  I was one of the lucky ones, but I know that there were a lot of unhappy people.

I won’t go into detail about the panels (if you care enough, I’m sure that someone has uploaded it to youtube or something), but I did laugh quite a bit.  Nathan Fillion is probably one of my favorite people to watch on a panel.  He has so much energy and humor!  The Con Man panel was also really interesting, because I haven’t watched the show yet.  The panel focused almost entirely on the app game, which I also had not yet played.

I have now played Con Man The Game, and I am absolutely addicted.  It’s a game where you build your own comic convention.  It’s kind of like Roller Coaster Tycoon, but even nerdier.  I love it!

After the panels, I went down and wandered around the exhibit hall.  I’m trying to save money, but I couldn’t resist buying just a few things.  Like a shirt from teeturle.com, a couple of comic books, and some amazing fanart key chains!

I want to give a special shoutout to TealGeezus over on tumblr for the amazing slash fanart key chains!  I saw the Tim Drake/Kon-El picture and knew that I absolutely had to stop at her booth.  And then I saw the Wiccan/Hulkling pic.  She also had an amazing print of Batman with all his Batgirls and Robins hanging out in civvies on a couch.  I loved pretty much all of her art, but I only had enough money left to buy 1 key chain.  She was super nice and gave me 1 for free when I kept going back and forth about which one a wanted.  TealGeezus, you are the absolute best!

So, that was my day at the convention.  I like that this is a smaller con, so it’s more low-key than even something like Wondercon.  The Batman, Con Man, and Firefly panels seem to be the biggest things they’ve had thus far, so I hope that they keep growing.  They really should try to get a bigger space for the popular panels, though, and they need to work on the organization and communication of their staff when it comes to the lines for popular panels.  That Con Man/Firefly line was a huge mess!

Overall, I had a lot of fun.  This was an easy convention day, and I would recommend it to any Orange County/L.A. people who are intrigued.  If you’re not local to the area, I would highly recommend doing some internet research to find a convention near you.  Recently, these small cons are popping up all over the place!

 

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