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September 17th & 18th, 2016
Long Beach Convention Center

The 2016 Long Beach Comic Con was out of this world – literally!

It was all about Cosplay, sensational fan costumes, superheroes, Star Wars, Power Rangers and some of the most talented writers, artists, and creators in the Cosmos.

The LBCC, held September 17-18 at the Long Beach Convention Center, for the first time, added a Space Expo theme through a partnership with the prestigious Columbia Memorial Space Center. This one-of-a-kind event featured interactive exhibits and special guests all involved with the wonderful world of space.

But the biggest part of LBCC was, and still is, related to comics, Sci-Fi, fantasy, and horror. An impressive guest list of 175 writers, artists, and creators highlighted the event, with about 100 amazing panels throughout the weekend.

“The increase in 2016 Long Beach Comic Con attendance has exponentially exceeded our expectations,” said Martha Donato, the Executive Director and Co-founder of the Long Beach Comic Con. “The feedback from fans has been great.”

Some of the top scheduled guests included legendary comic book editor Bob Schreck, popular artists Art Adams, Adam Kubert, talented illustrator J.K. Woodward, as well as longtime fan favorite writers Marv Wolfman and Len Wein.

The Man of Action creative team of Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau, and Steven T. Seagle was featured in a panel on Saturday afternoon and talked to fans about Ben 10 and other upcoming projects.

Other interesting panels included The Psychology of Daredevil featuring writers and actors from the Netflix original series, and Breaking into Hollywood featuring Arrow co-creator and writer Marc Guggenheim.

While panels were going on all weekend in various rooms, there was plenty of action going on the showroom floor. Over 475 exhibitors were at the event selling Golden and Silver Age comics, posters, superhero action figures, and other collectibles.

Scheduled media guests included Chloe Bennett (Marvel’s Agents of Shield) and John Barrowman (Arrow, Doctor Who). Samantha Newark, the voice of Jem on Jem and the Holograms, looked happy to chat with fans on Saturday.

A large group of cosplayers took the Long Beach Comic Con by storm this year with appearances in Cosplay Corner, drawing plenty of attention from fans.

- Mike

 

WONDERCON 2016

Wondercon was pretty much two weeks ago, and every time I scroll through my phone pictures, I can’t help but think about how dope it was. At the end of one long, just one exhausting yet exhilarating day, I really just felt good about it. Sometimes I feel really great about it. Maybe it was the connections with people in our conversation. Maybe it was just being in a large crowd of people sharing their uniqueness, or maybe it was just me “wondering” what was going to unfold that day. I don’t know. I was just ready to roll with it.

WC is usually during Easter weekend, which gives me (and many others) “Just Saturday” to consume three days worth of con life. Easter is still a revered holiday, man. But that’s OK because this year I was efficient as heck from cosplaying, to talking geek fashion with people, to hanging with con family, and even participating on a panel. What a day!

I guess the Los Angeles Convention Center will always be my home when it comes to cons since this where they always host Stan Lee’s Comikaze. This year, WC was held here as opposed to Anaheim, and it totally used the space wisely. It was also interesting to see how everyone had to scan badges entering and exiting the showroom floor. I wonder what they’ll be doing with that in the future. The flow of a con, the way it operates can give good vibes or weird vibes. WC definitely had everyone feeling good vibes.

The Highlight of WC was being able to attend panels with my peers, sharing ideas and thoughts about the comic book industry.

I honestly feel like attending panels almost epitomize why I attend cons. To me, it’s the ultimate way of sharing what I love and why I love doing it. It’s more like “I’ve been there, but you don’t have to stay there. I just know that if someone’s there at a convention, they want to feel like they’re a part of something. They want to feel empowered. They want to come out better than they were before.

That’s what I saw. That’s what I felt. That’s still how I feel.

-Mike

 
About Michael Essington
Michael Essington is an American author and poet, most famous for his Mike Check column. Over the years Essington has done dozens of celebrity interviews, as well as hundreds of music reviews. The weekly Mike Check column, which appears on Strange Reaction, has also been printed in The Los Angeles Beat and the very popular Deep Red Magazine. Essington's column is read weekly by thousands of fans from Los Angeles to Denmark. Essington has been writing since his high school days. He is married to wife, Elizabeth, and has two children, daughter, Breana & son Lucas. And has a dog, Max, that Essington suspects may have a learning disability or a general lack of life goals.
 
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