Long Beach Comic Expo took place at the Long Beach Convention Center from January 11th and 12th 2020. This year we were only able to attend on Sunday the 12th, but even if Sunday is considered the light day there was plenty for the team to experience. From the GeekFest film festival to a large dealer hall there was quite a bit to do, but it was also obvious that this convention is starting to hit a major slump. Despite some flaws there is plenty of potential for fun at LBCE and the team tried to experience as much as we could on the second day of the event.
This time parking was very easy, but it tends to be a little less crazy on Sunday. The convention was held at the front side of the convention center, which had more than enough room for the attendees and content. The outside area had the Star Cars like usual, but once again (like last year’s Long Beach Comic Con) there were few cars and they were cramped together. Like most years, the dealer hall was in the lower level. There was plenty of room for all booths, but it wasn’t nearly as well organized as it has been in previous years. The guest booths and artist alley were blended together, some of the company booths were shoved in the back, and most of the booths were not set in a grid format. It wasn’t hard to find what you were looking for, but it was frustrating.
The meat of this convention comes in the form of the panels. There were two main panel rooms with a third room for the film festival and associated panels. The big standout is the GeekFrest Film festival. This features short films categorized into different sets like Superhero, Horror, Sci-Fi, and Comedy. The sets they offered on Sunday were Horror, Superhero, and Fan Film. I attended Horror and Fan Film both of which were fun experiences. The horror shorts were mixed, with two being banal and two being good thrillers. The fan film category was a bit odd as it contained Superhero themed shorts, which made me wonder how it differs from the Superhero category. Despite that, most of the fan films were enjoyable and it is my recommendation to watch that segment of any Geekfest screening as there are some creative ideas and exciting action to be found in that section.
As for panels, Sunday doesn’t have a great line up. In fact, there wre two cosplay panels that felt insulting. One on “can you cosplay” (the answer is yes) and the second looked to be an ego stroke fest. However, there were some panels featuring comics professionals and podcasters. Some of our staff had the chance to attend art panels and they found them informative. I was able to attend Superheroes and Killing, a panel featuring staff from Punisher and Deadpool. It was a fun panel, but it got far off topic due to all the panelists ribbing on each other and having a fun time. Panels at Long Beach Comic Expo are a very mixed bag and it pays to look at the schedule ahead of time before attending.
The vibe at the convention still remains great. There are many families at this convention, which is mostly a good thing. However, there are the occasional strollers being used as battering rams. Despite the occasional problem the vibe remained good with no photographers getting in the way and a limited amount of cosplayers blocking walkways. It must be noted that even with a good vibe, make sure there is something you want to check out before selecting your day because no matter how nice a good vibe convention is if there is nothing for you to do beyond shopping you can have the same experience on Amazon at home.
Overall, Long Beach Comic Expo is not as great as it once was. That being said, there is fun to be had at the convention, but it really pays to look at the schedule ahead of time to make sure there is something you want to do at the event. Shopping is nice, but when the dealer hall is disorganized it makes it a chore to find what you are looking for. The convention isn’t dying, but it is still in decline. It would be nice to see this convention turn things around, but just be aware that this won’t be the same experience as previous years. I still enjoyed myself as Long Beach Comic Expo, but I’m not sure if the convention will appeal to everyone. We will see what happens at Long Beach Comic Con later this year, but the way things are going I get the feeling things won’t improve any time soon.
- Still hanging in there
- Laundry Day
- Horror could have been better
- Fan films were fun
- No shopping for me
- Did learn quite a bit
- Sometimes you just need to listen
- No cosplay
- Forgot my lanyard
- Next Cosplay: Seabook Arno
- RE: 11- You don’t even know who that is
- Death too soon?
- Small set of Star Cars
- I’m not lost…
- …I just have an odd way of traveling
- Thus ends our first major event of the year