DC Nation by Jared the Greek
This panel featured several DC comic writers and they discussed their work as well as the DC Universe as a whole. It was interesting hearing some of the stories about their first experiences with DC characters and their push to bring new ideas into the continuity. However, they also talked about how DC’s staff fears Twitter wars and tries to tamper down ideas that might be a bit too weird. It was a fun panel that really showed the passion and energy the DC creative staff has. While this wasn’t as organized as a focus panel, it was still a fun way to begin the day.
Knoxx Pro Wrestling by Eri Kagami
During the convention, the dealers hall had a section dedicated to pro-wrestlers. WWE’s Rikishi and other wrestling stars signed and posed for photo ops with fans. The convention floor also had a wrestling ring wherein Knoxx Pro Wrestling professionals did battle for real. The match I caught was a Deadpool and Spiderman tag team against Obi Wan and Qi-Gon Jinn. The kids were really into it. Kids 10 and younger crowded the wrestling ring to see pop culture legends to battle against each other. No promos, just all out battles. This really brought in people to check out what the fuss is about. While this may have distracted dealers hall sales, it did add more to the convention. The first Long Beach Comic Con had a wrestling ring and it was nice to bring this back. I would love to see this return!
Christopher Priest Spotlight by Jared the Greek
This was a great way to learn more about an unsung writer of great comics. Christopher Priest talked about his early work and moving into the late 90s run of Black Panther that would later be used as the template for the movie. Then he talked about leaving comics because he got type cast as the ‘black comic writer’ instead of just being viewed as a ‘comic writer’. Finally he talked about his feelings on the Black Panther movie and his return to comics. The panel concluded with questions for the audience and Priest’s thoughts on the current state of comics and how they can improve. This was a great spotlight panel and it was a good way to have a more open discussion panel with a writer.
New (and Newest) Teen Titans by Jared the Greek
This panel brought in three Teen Titans writers from very different eras. However, the whole panel transformed into everyone wants to praise Marv Wolfman. However, they began by talking about the trouble caused by the trailer for live action series caused as well as how most of the current generation of fans came in via the animated series. It was an interesting discussion that seemed to move around to different topics, but for the most part kept coming back to Mr. Wolfman and his influence on the series. The panel didn’t feel like a celebration or an in depth discussion, but instead stories from creators who are just as big of fans of Teen Titans as the audience.
Star Cars by Eri Kagami
The star cars were in a new, downgraded location this year. They were on the street level where the food trucks were held. This felt like a downgrade from previous years where the cars were outside by the seaside. This year, the cars brought in were from Batman, Rad, Back to the Future, True Romance, Fast and the Furious, among others. Cosplayers found matching cars to take photos with. While it’s always a treat seeing the star cars at Long Beach Comic Con, it felt like a disservice to have the cars not at their usual spot.
Steve Ditko: A Tribute by Jared the Greek
This was one of the unique panels that makes panel hopping worth the effort. The panel featured various comic writers and artists, as well as Steve Ditko’s nephew and they discussed his influence on the industry and their relationship with the famed comic creator. They briefly discussed his career and how after getting frustrated with the bigger comic companies he went off to do his own independent work. They discussed how setting the tone for Spider-Man and Doctor Strange set those characters apart as they did not match the usual comic hero mold. While he was a bit of a loner and an intellectual he did have friends and was involved with his family. However, he was also the type of person who did not like talking about his time at Marvel and had strained relationships with other people in the industry. While he doesn’t seem to get his due, he also seemed like the kind of person who wouldn’t care about fame. He was the kind of person who wanted to tell his stories and learn as much as he could about the world. Perhaps that is what helped make him the legend that he has bcome.
Fanbase Press Presents: Space Horror in Pop Culture by Jared the Greek
This was a discussion panel featuring filmmakers, authors, and comic creators that looked at the genre of space horror. They discussed their entry points in the genre like Alien, The Forbidden Planet, and Lovecraft. The discussion then moved into defining space horror by bringing up movies like Event Horizon, Fire in the Sky, and The Blob as very different examples of the same genre. Concepts like the fear of being alone, fear of the dark, and fear of the unknown all tied into their answers and why there can be a universal understanding of space horror. Each person on the panel came from their own perspective on the subject and it was fascinating diving into the concepts behind the genre.