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The Long Beach Comic Con will be holding their 10th Anniversary show this September 8-9 and they’re letting out all the stops. Run by MAD Event Management, LBCC is the kind of relaxed, comics-focused events that keeps comic cons fun. I’ve been attending the February show for a few years, and it’s the perfect setting for a fun weekend.

It’s a testament to founder and MAD president Martha Donato that she saw Long Beach’s potential for events. “When I launched Long Beach Comic Con back in 2009, my hope was simply to create a meaningful and enjoyable event for fans of all ages and give something back to the comic community that supported me for many years,” she says. “To be sitting here today, planning for our 10th edition and reflecting on all we’ve accomplished in those years is both humbling and energizing.”

There are several pieces of significant news about the show. First, the Guest of Honor will be Christopher Priest, the Eisner Award-nominated comic book writer and novelist. His work not only has a loyal comics following but its influence can be seen in the MCU films  BLACK PANTHER, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, and BATMAN BEGINS, as pointed out by Ivan Cohen, LBCC Director of Programming.

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Also, I’m told the show will have increased participation from publishers, with long time exhibitors Aspen Comics, Top Cow and Prism Comics joined by Valiant Comics (in partnership with Los Angeles-area retailer The Comic Bug), AfterShock and Charon Comics.

“We are enthusiastically recommitting our focus to comic storytelling and the creative arts, first and foremost,” says Kris Longo Managing Director of Long Beach Comic Con. “Our goal is to create an event that empowers the casual fan to explore comics in a deeper way, and to satisfy the fans who rightfully feel that many cons – including our own – have shifted focus away from comic programming.”

Other guests include Marv Wolfman, Dean Haspiel and Jonathan Ames, and illustrators Jim Calafiore and JK Woodward.

AND FINALLY, a very important announcement for The Beat! In partnership with Lion Forge (which owns this site through their sister company Syndicated Comics) The Beat will have a table at LBCC which will be available for any creators who need a place to sign but don’t want to work a table all weekend long. We already have signings by Ames and Haspiel scheduled, and I’m taking names now. If you’re interested in signing at the show at the Beat booth, contact me at comicsbeat at gmail.com.

In addition to the comic programming, this year’s event will include:

– Space Expo will have a con-within-a-con show floor experience and dedicated panel track with experts in their respective scientific fields talking about our biggest and most current findings alongside displays from actual space exploration and interactive experiments your kids (or big kids) will be talking about for weeks!

– GeekFest Film Festival will provide two solid days of indie movie bliss, often with the film makers themselves on hand to discuss the ins and outs of their creations. Hosted by Gigi Edgley, the GeekFest Best of Screening and Awards will hand out awards to the best films as voted on by the viewers.

– KnokX PRO Wrestling Ring featuring RIKISHI is where comics and pro wrestling collide. Featuring two days of programming, matches in an official wrestling ring, and opportunities to meet wrestling superstars, including Rikishi himself, KnokX PRO Wrestling will be a fun addition to the show.

–– LBCC’s Cosplay Contest will give the West Coast’s most inventive and artistic costuming wizards the chance to show off their fantastic talents and compete for prizes in categories including Best in Show, Best Fabrication, Best Construction, Best Couple/Group, Best SciFi, Best Anime, Best Villain, Best Hero and Best Kid.

– Comic Creator Conference on September 7th is an event designed to connect professional comic creatives with other high-level industry professionals to empower them with exclusive and personal insight, as well as provide access to decision makers, peers, publishers, and other leaders within the industry. Learn how to make smart business decisions on the path to taking creations into film, television, and interactive entertainment. Note that this event has a nominal, separate fee for entry and is open to industry professionals ONLY.

Long Beach Comic Con tickets are on sale now at  LongBeachComicCon.com.