Comic-Con / Cosplay / Events / Sci-Fi / TV

EVENT: 2015 Long Beach Comic-Con Magically Grows to Largest Showing Yet

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“Conventionus Exhaustarino!” Fellow Outlaw Anthony Serena (Hagrid) brings the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Long Beach Comic-Con. (This was taken at the end of a long day of posing for pretty much everyone in LA County.)

Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Cosplay
Facebook.com/harrypotterhogwartscosplay

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The debates about which Star Trek captain had the best hair style – including lack thereof – and how gruesome a fate Jar Jar Binks should suffer, will go on indefinitely until humanity has morphed back into a single cell organism (which doesn’t seem to far off at this point.) There is something all geeks can agree upon though, and it’s the fact comic conventions are not only multiplying in quantity, but increasing in sheer size on an annual basis as well.

Long Beach Comic-Con is a prime example of said phenomenon. My first visit to the west coast convention located south of Los Angeles and north of Orange County, was way back during the ancient era of 2012. With my very first San Diego Comic-Con under my belt, I had the con-bug and I had it big. I was also mentally and physically drained. As excited as I was to throw back on my jersey and Outlaw trinkets, my body – specifically my feet – had no interest in strapping on boots and spurs for back-to-back 15-hour marathons.

 

2012 LBCC

The Outlaw in his first year when he had no clue what he was doing. (NOTE: Not much has changed.)

 

To my elation, Geek Outlaw’s introduction to the 2012 Long Beach Comic-Con happened to be at the infancy of the event.  The size of the main floor wasn’t overly daunting, the crowds were steady but not overbearing, and the only BO I smelt was undoubtedly my own.  I wasn’t the only one that enjoyed the size manageability of the con however, and with each passing year, the floor and offerings expanded in magnitude to match the healthy yet still manageable attendance numbers.

Then 2015 happened. In what seemed like a night and day difference from even last year’s humble offerings, it felt like Long Beach burst out of its proverbial britches for the first time since 2012. I don’t have any official numbers to quote (since that would require research I’m too lazy to do), but an eyeball’s view of attendance on the first day of the event was enough to convince me LBCC may have officially hit the big time.

 

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In space, no one can hear me host ‘The Wild Wild Podcast”. (Which is pretty much the same here on earth too.)

 

 

Aisles were jam packed with people, sometimes even bringing on flashbacks of Comic-Cons and WonderCons of years past. It was a shocking and impressive feat considering the organizers expanded the venue to the very outer limits of the entire floor with very little space to grow further. All the while, a line three geeks wide was wrapped around the building just to get into the convention center hours AFTER the doors opened on the first day.

 

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Smaller sign, bigger crowd.

 

 

As big as it was, I wouldn’t go as far as saying this year’s LBCC rivaled anything Comic-Con International’s slate of conventions brings to table, yet, but I was indeed a bit taken back by how much growth “the little con that could” experienced from one year to the next. Unquestionably, part of spike in attendance can be attributed to the ever-growing popularity of the superhero and sci-fi genres, along with the overall comfortability of geeks everywhere to express their pop-culture passions in a public venue while dressed up in as their favorite characters on days that don’t have the date October 31st.

 

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Even cybernetic police officers had to wait in line for elevators this year.

 

It would seem that the ever-increasing prices and overcapacity non-deodorant wearing crowds of the big-boy pop culture conventions have created a natural overflow into smaller conventions that allow for a more convenient, relaxed and a more fiscally friendly experience.

Whatever the case maybe, most geeks would agree comic conventions continue to multiply at an exponential rate in all facets. Can this rapid growth go on indefinitely, or are we on a bubble that could pop at any moment. Nobody knows for sure, but until then at least we can still argue about what kind of official send-off Mr. Binks should be given.

(But enough with the words already and onto the photos!)

 

THE COSPLAYERS

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“Stop, or my half-robot half-man cosplayer will shoot.”

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I wonder how you say Mini-Me in robot?

For those curious, the man behind the metal is Jerry, aka “The Armour Warrior”. His impressive costume isn’t limited to just Robocop either. He is also responsible for one of the best Iron Man costumes I’ve ever seen as well. (I can provide his email address upon request.)

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What I wouldn’t give to be an inanimate cardboard stand-up right at that moment.

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Either this is the best Mask costume I’ve ever seen, or he had the 5-day old sushi for lunch.

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This Mr. Burn’s cosplayer was… wait for it… Eeeexcelent.

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I swear Mr. Vader, I was not staring at your daughter in that skimpy two piece copper number that left nothing to the imagination.

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Spidey’s arch-nemesis Carnage, now in to-go size.

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Hey, my eyes are up here buddy!

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Well look what the Magneto dragged back in…

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Smile-X Co’s Riddler wisely choosing a more summer and Disney friendly outfit.

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If there is one guarantee in life, it’s that The Southland Ghostbusters will find the Outlaw at a California comic convention.

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Harry and Hagrid giving the papparazzi what they want.

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Dumbledore showing that being vogue isn’t just for muggles.

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The series may have been cancelled, but my affinity for women in Captain Mal outfits still lives on.

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Hey “man”, why so blue?

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Beer before the con… “Oh yeah!”

 

THE STEAMPUNK AWAKENS

Friend, fellow Outlaw, and steampunk extraordinaire Nathan “Captain Solo” Seekerman (2nd from left in top row below), invited me to cover a new charity cosplay group he is a part of which combines the exploding universe of steampunk with the massive and ever-growing universe of Star Wars. As an added bonus, Tracy “Hot Nerd Girl” (2nd from left in bottom row below) is also a member of the clan, going by the alter-ego Sabe Sprocket. The panel discussed how to create costumes from everyday household items and all of the charity endeavors they have participated in thus far.  Also part of the well dressed members of a galaxy not so far far away is Christopher “Dude Vader”. Chris might have one of the most unique and detailed Darth Vader costumes anyone has ever made (see 2nd photo below), and with his handiwork, would have no issues fashioning a new hand for himself from spare parts in a neighbors’ garage… should he ever lose a hand for some odd reason.

 

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The steamy team doesn’t require The Force to have a good laugh.

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“Luke, I am your blacksmith.”

 

THE ARTISTS

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A crossover more-years-than-I-can-count in the making.

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Ghostbusters, the ray-gun edition.

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Rory Christian is a fan of Ghostbusters and creating custom ray guns in the theme of almost anything pop culture. (He had me at Ghostbusters.)

Rory Christiansen Illustrations
www.UnreelMoviePosters.etsy.com
www.stores.ebay.com/UnreelMoviePosters
info@UnreelMoviePosters.com

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X-Files Season 11

Don’t call it a comeback, they were always in comic book form.

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IDW artistic alum Joe Harris signing the premiere issue of The X-Files Season 11.

Joe Harris
JoeHarris.net
@JoeHarris – Twitter
Facebook.com/JoeHarris

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Bananas aren’t just for people anymore.

Minions Artist

Akaine and hubby showing off more of their art from LBCC 2014.

Akane’s Chibi Art
Facebook.com/AkanesChibiArt
akaneschibiart@gmail.com

 

THE CARS

Herbie Collage

The Outlaw loves him some Herbie (with a side of Jurassic Park.)

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Heaven is standing between my two favorite movie cars of all-time. (I wonder if they have freeways up there.)

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Like being one the set of a Michael Bay movie (minus the explosions and Megan Fox.)

 

IN MEMORIAM

Unfortunately, a few days after the convention ended, I learned friend, Batman cosplayer, and overall great human being, Jesse Cushman, died after being involved in an unfortunate motor vehicle accident on the day I attended the convention.

I met Jesse and his wife Julia via the comic convention circuit through the Smile-X Villain Co. Cosplay group. The couple is known for their spot-on cosplay portrayals of the Tim Burton incarnations of Batman and Catwoman.

Outside of being an exact ringer for Keaton’s Dark Knight, Jesse was an amazing person and soul. I consider myself fortunate for getting the opportunity to spend time with him at countless conventions over the years. Seeing as how I met Jesse and Julia at the Long Beach Comic-Con, I felt it only fitting that I honor the man with this post of my Long Beach Comic-Con 2015 coverage. He will be truly missed and remembered always.

My condolences go out to Julia, his family and friends.

 

Bat Cat and Outlaw

R.I.P. Dark Knight. You will be remembered always.

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