Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Long Beach Comic Expo 2015 Review

Long Beach Comic Expo 2015
February 28-March 1, 2015
Long Beach, CA
Long Beach Convention Center

by James Vallesteros

Long Beach Comic Expo is surely becoming the premier convention for the first part of the year. The 2015 edition came early and was held at the Long Beach Convention center on the weekend of February 28-March 1. The move to the rear of the convention provided more room for exhibitors, artists, and vendors. The parking structure is directly in front of the main entrance which was a plus. It made going back and forth an ease especially for attendees buying those delicate prints, they were able to walk back to their vehicle where they are able to keep them safe.

MiniBobaFett guards the main entrance to Long Beach Comic Expo in the new and bigger area.

Although the lobby area of the old location of the convention provided beautiful backdrops when taking pictures of your favorite cosplayers, the new location was just as good. There was an open lobby area complete with a live DJ and plenty of staff to guide you along the way. Getting the badges was a breeze. Staff members were very knowledgeable where to direct attendees as to wherever they need to go.

Conventions are an all-day event and the in-house restaurant gave attendees a place to re-energize with food or a cold soft drink. Several food trucks were parked not too far from the main entrance. Attendees did not have to go far if they needed to get food.

There's lots of fun and entertainment outside and inside the convention.

The showfloor is a gigantic building that is basically rectangular. Booths were clearly marked and it was easy to follow the map that was provided inside the program booklet. It is roughly the same size as the fall show (Long Beach Comic Con). With that being said, attendees should be excited to know that the fall show will now be even bigger. The plan to expand and grow was in the right direction to accommodate the growing number of attendees and the growing number of guests.

MiniBobaFett gets an LBCE Exclusive and limited art print by Tobias Gebhardt in the huge Artist Alley section.

The showfloor was separated in sections so attendees were able to go to a certain section and be able to find what they were looking for. There were a mixture of artists at the artist’s alley. All genres were covered and guaranteed to satisfy everyone’s fandom from original art, funny mash-up, horror, kid-friendly, anime and so on.

Perhaps one of the best part of any convention is seeing the usual faces. Whether it be other con-goers, cosplayers (professional or amateurs), artists, or even celebrities, it is always a great time catching up with familiar faces. Conventions are becoming a place for reunions, a place to see old friends and make new friends. Long Beach Comic Expo/Con is just the perfect event to experience it.

HipHopTrooper and Leeanna Vamp

It is great seeing cosplayers at cons but the one thing that never cease to amaze me are the little ones that come in costumes. How cute is it to see a Little Miss Han Solo right next to a Mini-sized Boba Fett? Or a trio of actual-sized Jawas and the smallest evil Darth Vader force choking random people? We all know Deadpool is a hot commodity in the cosplaying community and it also reaches to the young at heart. And let’s not forget the little Riddler who stayed in character the whole time. Cosplayers are a big part of any convention and it seems that more and more are coming to Long Beach, some local and some as far as coming from Northern California.

All smiles when MiniBobaFett and Chihiro & Chieko are on the showfloor.

The panel rooms were in the lower level of the convention. At first it was a bit confusing but once inside, there were many staff members guiding attendees towards the right direction. The Jean BookNerd team attend the “When I Grow Up, I Want to Be a Cosplayer” panel featuring Trinity-All Stars, Kids can Cosplay, MiniBobaFett, Chihiro and Chieko, and The Boy Blunder. The panel was in a rather spacious room but it quickly filled up to show support for the little ones. The panel provided important tips for parents and kids as to what type of costumes they should wear, keeping the young ones entertained and well-fed and so on. But perhaps the most entertaining part of the panel were the Q&A with the little ones. Serious questions were asked by adults that were answered with the cutest and darndest responses from MiniBobaFett and twins, Chihiro and Chieko.

Hosted by Kids Can Cosplay, the panel talked about kids cosplaying featuring Trinity All-Stars, The Boy Blunder, MiniBobaFett and Chihiro & Chieko

The 2015 Long Beach Comic Expo was an improvement from last year in every way. Ticket prices are reasonable and you are guaranteed to walk away with memories that will last a lifetime. The fall show, Long Beach Comic Con, is set for September 12-13, 2015 and it is gearing up to be bigger.

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