Monday, February 22, 2010

Long Beach Comic Expo: A Full Day of Comic Book Goodness

So this last weekend, Long Beach Comic Con put on an extra one-day Comic Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center, which I attended as fan, and let me say, it was quite good time!  The overwhelming feeling I had leaving the expo was "why aren't there more of these?"

You see, usually what you'd expect from a one day comic event (at least in my experience) is lots of vendors, almost zero creative talent, and about an hour (at best) of walk around time before the "I've seen it all, and I don't need to see any more" vibe sets in.  ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE here.  This was, for all intents and purposes, a full blown con floor (no programming or "events") at a smaller scale.  They had quality vendors, and LOADS of creative talent on hand, as well as publishers and various other companies showing of their wares.  It was the perfect size for a one day stint, and I managed to do about six hours of floor time, mostly just checking things out, without ever feeling like it was time to go.

I'd say half of the positive vibe was that it was simply just busy and abuzz with lots of excited attendees.  The place was pretty well packed for the duration of my time there, but there was enough to do that if you wanted to, say, get something signed by Mike Mignolia, you only had to stand behind a few people to meet the guy (vs. dedicating a chunk of your day to standing in line).  Everyone was seeming to have a good time because there was really something for everyone there.

The best part of the whole deal, and the reason why I say things like this should happen more often, is that it was high quality, but really felt low on the insanity level.  It was easy (and nice for me, who usually exhibits) to just show up and check it out casually.  It seemed like it was pretty low key for the exhibitors as well (many just kind of showed up as casually as the fans), a few of whom mentioned just finding out about the con the day before and getting on board for some fun.  Pretty cool.  It came together really well for Long Beach Comic Con, and I wish there were more casual attendance expos of this quality.

Highlights for me, mostly, was just hanging around watching artists do their things for other people.  I love to watch people draw/paint/create, so its awesome to go and get to see it happen live.  As much as I was there as a fan, I really mostly found myself doing research.  While I poked around, I listened in on the types of questions attendees asked exhibitors, and what kind of answers they got, and just really soaked a lot of it in.  Usually when I'm going around a con lately, I'm doing a "lap" which is more or less a quick run around the hall (or portion of the hall) to check one or two things out and then get back to my table.   Here I was able to really slow down.  Also, a highlight was that I was able to bring my 16 year old, who hasn't been to a con before, and let him check it out.  I think a ride along as an exhibitor might be tad much for him (early mornings, long hours), so this was the perfect opportunity.  He had a great time. 

So, NOW I'm looking forward to checking out what the full Long Beach Comic Con is all about in October, and also definitely hoping that this Comic Expo turns into a annual event.

1 comment:

  1. I must say, I did dig the one book y'all showed me. Cool stuff, glad you had a good time.