On its fifth anniversary, the Long Beach Comic and Horror Con continues to grow. Phil Lawrence, LBCC founder and Sales Director, is emphatic, “We beat last year’s attendance by a lot!”
With an Artist Alley boasting between 250 – 300 Artists, Lawrence estimates attendance of some 25,000-30,000 fans for the pre-Thanksgiving weekend.
Centering around the people who do the art and write the books for the comics industry, its proximity to the Los Angeles talent pool is why so many in the Industry attend LBCC. “We’ve always tried to focus on the comic book artist, the comic book writer and the comics themselves,” Mr. Lawrence asserts. It also helps that the main con hotel, the Hyatt, is right next to the Convention Center.
Advanced Ticket holders were allowed early access Artist Alley in the Dealer’s Room at 9:30 where they could buy art from such DC and Marvel stalwarts as Whilce Portacio and PeterNguyen.
Taking a tour of Artist Alley you find styles as varying as Buffy: The Vampire Slayer artist Georges Jeanty.
and Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Ten Grand, Squidder)
Also, a panoply of other artists known and not yet known, showing their wares.
At their table, newlyweds, artist Amanda Connor and writer, Jimmy Palmiotti were so busy they barely had time for photo requests…yet they did.
There were also stars such as Mark Waid (Daredevil, Hawkeye, Irredeemable)
and Len Wein (Justice League, Ben 10, Before Watchmen: Ozymandias) could be found in their unnatural habitat of panels and signing tables.
Actor Lance Henricksen “Aliens” “The Right Stuff”, NBC’s “Hannibal,” was there with his autobiography Not Bad for a Human along with artist Tim Bradstreet manning the RAW booth, on hand to sign autographs, sell books and make themselves available for picts.
LBCC is also a convention for horror fiction, and many graphic novels overlap with that genre. However, for people who prefer their own imaginations to an artists’s, they could sate their craving for horror with authors such as David Forsyth, Sovovereign Spirit Saga, Christopher RiceThe Heavens Rise, Nancy HolderTeen Wolf: On Fire, Thamara ThorneThe Sorority at “The Location, Location, Location in Horror Panel.” That is despite the odd bangs, noise and rumbles coming from…????…(well actually, whatever was playing in the next room and added on to what sounded like a Street Sweeper outside.)
Publishers Archaia, BOOM!, Top Cow. Aspen was also on hand with Journey writer J.T. Krul. Aspen announcing plans to increase their number of trade paperbacks for next year.
There were several panels on how to make comics, including authors Tom Pinchuk (Hybrid Bastards, Moonlake), Chris Northrop (The Reason for Dragons ) and artist/writer Yehudi Marcardo (Pantalones), who took attendees through the Step-by-Step of comic creation.
There was also a Special Screening of the BBC’s Dr.Who 50th Anniversary The Day of the Doctor episode starring John Hurt—the screening was packed was packed. “I don’t want to spoil it, but there were a lot of things I didn’t see coming,” according to the fan pictured here.
There were movie prop, wardrobe and art auctions each day and some interesting Exhibitions in the Dealer’s Room
There were plenty of kid activities
There were a fair number of Cosplayers with some real stand outs who participated in Saturday Night’s Masquerade
From 7 to 10 pm in Room 104B Pierre Bernard Graphic Artist on Conan (O’Brien) , hosted a Cosplay Drawing Session with model Jennifer Fabos of “Gallery Girls” with one male and one other female clothed models acting out some Dr. Who-ish scenes for artists who didn’t have carpal tunnel from earlier in the day.
On my way out on Sunday I stopped to ask various artists if it had been a pleasant and profitable convention for them. Most seemed pleased. Artist William O’Neill who wrote and drew the Snake Plissken Comics (Kurt Russell’s character from John Carpenter’s “Escape From New York” ) and Star Wars Artist, says it was particularly so for him.
All in all it was a busy and satisfying weekend for all involved.