My 1st Comic Con: Long Beach CC 2014

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Today, I visited the Long Beach Comic Con in Long Beach, California, USA. It's my first comic book convention which will promote the Comic Book Club and the Convention forum in Anime Vice and Comic Vine. I'm relatively new comic book fan who hasn't read much comic books. I got into the world of comics through the animated series of Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between comics and anime/manga media. I have attended Anime Expo back in 2013 which was my first time.

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I got the convention a bit late due to missing the metro and getting lost in this city. I finally found it. Thanks to folks at the supreme court building (the image on the far right). The convention was located around Pine Ave and East Ocean BLVD. I was at Magnolia Ave. Somehow I walked pass it. I'm like Zoro of One Piece who has no sense of direction.

The Long Beach Convention is much different from Los Angeles Convention center. LB was near the ocean. It was a windy day. You can smell the sea. I walk on the bridge that connected the beach to the convention when I was exploring the area. I never been to the beach for a long time. It was sight to see.

After sightseeing, I went inside the convention and see the wonders of Long Beach Comic Con. It was not very crowded compare to Anime Expo. Plus, this comic con was more family friendly. I see more children and parents at this convention at Anime Expo. Forgive for comparing the conventions. AX was my first anime convention while this one was my first comic one. This would be the last comparison. I do like both conventions. They are both different.

I somehow walk past the artist alley or exhibit hall as I was lost a bit. I forgot to to take their programming booklet when I went to pick up my badge. The panels were located past the artist alley. Later on, I found out the artist alley and exhibit hall was located underground. I line up for a random panel. It turns out it was for the Batman 75/Tales of the Dark Knight. Speakers were Marc Andreyko, Brian Buccellato, Chris Burnham, Kyle Higgins, Babs Tarr, Marv Wolfman, and Ralph Garman. I was lucky the subject of the panel was very familiar to me. I haven't read Batman comics, but I'm familiar with the animated series. It was a fun panel.

Things I Learn from Batman 75 Panel

  • I learned Marv Wolfman (if I remember correctly) was the creator of Tim Drake. He said he created the character to be the opposite of Dick Grayson. He wanted the character to have no trauma, living family members, and be intelligent.
  • Babs Tarr - She is the writer of Batgirl. She has only been to 2 comic cons and only seen 5 Batgirls and a crossplayer. A crossplayer is a new term I picked up. It's like cross-dressing (I hope I described it politely). We had a guy dress up as Batgirl. He was proud of it.
  • Ralph Garman's favorite Catwoman is the lady portrayed by Julie Newmar.

That's all I can remember. I didn't take notes or had my tape recorder. This was my first time meeting these talented comic book artists and writers who contributed a ton to the Batman mythos.

Artist Alley

I saw comics were packaged differently than manga. Some booths have them on display or in boxes

I had a list of comic book recommendations from Marshal Victory, Taichokage, GokaiRed, and Supreme Marvel. I was a bit too shy. I just browse around and look at the comic books and artists' work. I didn't find those particular recommendations. I did notice Silver Age and Bronze Age comics were a lot of cheaper. I assume because they were older issues, way older than me. As an anime fan who hasn't read comic books, these are a lot thinner than tankobon. I recall comic books were shorter than manga chapters. A manga chapter is about 20 (weekly) and up to 40 pages (monthly types). I never opened up a hard copy comic book. I read a few on Comixology.

At the end of the day, I only bought two items. In the I'm going to Long Beach Comic Con 2014! blog, Marshal recommended me writers and artists to visit and to see their works. I'm fortunate to meet one of the folks he recommended: James O' Barr.

As a shy person who never read comic books, I didn't want to tell the artist that I haven't read his works yet. I felt that was disrespectful. I stood around the corner, observing his fans interact with him for 30 minutes or so. I wanted to observe how folks talk to their beloved artists. It was the same interaction I saw how anime fans spoke with their beloved voice actors and actresses. I learned one etiquette from one observation. A camera guy was taking pictures of O' Barr's works. The lady who was assisting O' Barr asks him to not photograph the works unless you purchases them. I eventually muster up courage. I didn't get a chance to speak with O' Barr. He was busy sketching for a fan. I just quietly bought one of his works for 20 dollars which had cars on it. I'm a grease monkey (see Recommend some Awesome Car Wallpapers). I love how he drew the cars.

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The Despicable Me/Sora of Kingdom Hearts tiny portrait was a gift for my little sister who couldn't attend this convention with me. She loved Despicable Me and Kingdom Hearts. It was a double win. It was made by talented artists. I donated 15 dollars to them.

I forgot to bring my poster tube. I had to hold the poster in my hand without damaging the work.

Cosplay

Last but not least. I will share some photos!

Some of you may know, I'm a different person on the web and in real life. I have a hard time asking folks to take pictures of their beautiful cosplay. I stick around, wandering the area where the panels are located. If there is a large group taking pictures, I would join them. In the Anime Convention Survival Guide! that BigHeart711, myself, and sickVisionz wrote, we emphasize respectfulness. When you take pictures, you always ask first. If it's a group shot, they already consented to. Go ahead and join in. I followed what we wrote in the guide.

Thank you for reading this blog! I hope to see more folks sharing their experiences in any conventions for this community. I fully support anyone who goes to a convention. It's worth your time. Go out and meet these folks who share your passion.

2nd Day

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Bet Acura Max would love this cosplay shot. It was the only cosplay photo I took on my day. If you remember, I'm not good with people in real life. I was waiting, and I saw this opportunity with a bunch of other folks swarming the Walking Dead cosplayers. I took the chance and was fortunate of it. For Walking Dead fans, please check out the The Walking Dead Discussion thread!

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Today was pretty short. I attended one panel, Psychology of Harley Quinn, that was moderated by Tony Guerrero (G-Man - staff writer of Comic Vine). The speakers were Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner (the creators of the new Harley Quinn series). We had Andrea Letamendi who is a real psychologist giving her medical expertise into the panel.

Memorable Moments in the Harley Quinn Panel

  • I loved how the couple, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, engaged the panel with their marriage and linking it to Harley Quinn. It was very amusing. When Amanda admits that mental illness runs in the family, Jimmy jokingly makes fun of his wife. He also mentions his wife still talks to her 1st husband and he knows it. These two writers have made me fall in love with them, figuratively. I wanted to read their works especially on Harley Quinn.
  • What Scares New Comic Readers? - As you know, I'm a new comic book fan who is overwhelmed and doesn't know where to start. When Jimmy Palmiotti mentions this, he connected to me on a level. He said it's the continuity. Comic Books have so many writers, different interpretations, reboots, and canon vs non canon. If you are a new fan, you ask the salesman if it's all right to read the latest issue, let's say #135. You have to read the other 134 issues. Luckily, Jimmy and Amanda's Harley Quinn series is good for beginners. I heard him say if you pick up a random issue, you won't be lost.
  • Amanda's favorites (one of the faves) is the scatapult, a catapult for throwing animal feces. I wished I tape recorded or had a camcorder. I remembered but not clearly. She was inspired by the annoying garbage truck in Florida or New York that comes up every 6 AM or early mornings.
  • Learned a new term, Anti-Villain. I'm a nerd, but we all learn new things every day. I didn't think there was an opposite to Anti-Hero. It makes a good wiki page for Anime Vice. Harley is indeed the anti-villain because she feels she is the heroine in her eyes despite her brutal violence. Amanda described her as the most compassionate and loyal character in the Batman Mythos.

I wished I took pictures of the panel including G-Man. I was too far from the panel to make a good shot. My camera is blurry if flash setting is off. I don't like using flash during a panel. I felt it was rude. I didn't muster the courage to ask the panel since they were so busy.

Goodies

I set up a budget for myself, 60 dollars. I spent 56 dollars in total. I wanted to buy the Harley Quinn comic book series because of the panel. I had reached my budge. The Killing Joke was 11 dollars while Spider-Man was 10 dollars. I chose the Killing Joke because folks recommended the series in the Comic Book club. It was the only thing I can find out of the recommendations I had received from my friends in Anime Vice. The Spider-Man was an impulse buy. On the back cover, I saw Shadow Cat (Kitty), one of favorite X-Men gals, was hooked up with Spider-Man.

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In my mind, I was "no!" I was curious to see how the relationship work. Spider-Man is a whore to me. He got Black Cat, Gwen, and Mary Jane. He has more, I know. I haven't read enough comics on Spider-Man. I only know his 1994, Spectacular Spider-Man and Ultimate Spider-Man animated series.

Thank you for reading this blog. I hope it promotes conventions in this site. I do encourage folks to visit conventions because it's worth the adventure.

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