Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Cosplay
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.)
THE STEAMPUNK AWAKENS
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.