Long Beach Comic Con 2018 is the tenth consecutive show. Advertisements lauded this milestone. However, the actual 10th anniversary won’t be until 2019. 10 Long Beach Comic Con’s have gone by so fast. When LBCC debuted in October of 2009, it was a small con that was a very back to basics comic con. It wasn’t the giant San Diego Comic Con, but rather, a comic con that emphasized on comics. I bought a few Fables books from the first show. Even when I was living in Boston, if a Long Beach Comic Con landed on a weekend when I was in town, I decided to check it out for a day.
This year’s comic con was a smaller show. The programming was reduced on Sunday. The space had to be shared with two other shows in downtown Long Beach. There wasn’t much in panel programming that appealed to me, save a few NASA panels I was curious about. However, we were on the side of the Long Beach sports arena and terrace theatre where there were more photo shoot sites. I was able to shoot with Himawari Says Cheese, Robert Torres, Chief Geek, JGC Photography, etc. Even the lobby of the panels area was free for photos.
The convention definitely felt smaller than previous years. It felt like convention number three or four than convention number 10. However, we still had some solid dealers and artists in the dealers hall. The wrestling ring came back and it was always a good show seeing wrestlers cosplay as a pop culture characters and actually duke it out in the ring. Artist alley had a lot of industry and independents. Dealers hall seemed to reduce the number of Funko Pop sales people to make way for artists and industry booths. I did like Gear Oils and Duftworks in the dealers hall; they’re usually my to-go’s at comic cons.
The biggest issue I had with Long Beach Comic Con 2018 is the lack of accessibility for attendees with disabilities. Elevators were blocked off. My partner is visually impaired and stairs can be cumbersome. While he can go down the stairs as long as he’s holding onto a handrail, there are overly excited and impatient attendees who try to cut him off or give him a hard time for going slow. A simple solution would be to have security stationed at the elevators to check for badges or have the security perimeter to include the elevators.
Overall, Long Beach Comic Con 2018 was a good event. It’s a nice weekend event for locals who enjoy pop culture and cosplay. Other than the Game of Thrones and Twin Peaks guests, there weren’t many guests that brought in huge draws as previous years. Last year, the dealers hall was so crowded on Saturday because of the guests present. I’m not sure if I like the convention on the arena side utilizing the terrace theater conference rooms, but it it was nice and cool after being in the Southern California sun. I do prefer the main convention center panel rooms over the ones here. Either way, Long Beach Comic Con is a con we proudly support and will not give up on. This is a local con that we believe in and will continue to support.
Until next time, we will see you at Kraken Con and Los Angeles Comic Con! For all of my idol fans, we should be able to swing a day at Chara Expo in Anaheim.