A larger Long Beach Comic Con arrived this past weekend.

This past weekend on September 17th and 18th a larger Long Beach Comic Con arrived at The Convention Center. Located on the other side of the convention center than Long Beach Comic Con has in the past since it first started 8 years ago. I arrived surprised to see very long lines of attendees in Cosplay comparable to that you see at much larger conventions like Wonder Con, Comic Con and Stan Lee’s Comicazee Expo. Figuring out where to go to pick up my press badge was not very difficult to do. With multiple panels I wanted to see on Saturday I only briefly was able to walk through the convention hall. I heard a few people complaining about the crowds. I am used to many kinds of events like conventions, concerts and festivals so I found the crowds no big deal to navigate. On Saturday I did find an issue with lack of signage, or signs being placed to low to be seen through all the hoards of people and not encountering event staff until they were yelling at people they were going the wrong way in and around the exhibit hall. A few even demanded a wrist band from me when I had press credentials. This is actually to be expected at events. Not every one is cut out to do the job and many do not pay full attention during the briefing period before they began their shifts to work the event. The panels were located downstairs and they were marked very well with nice large electronic signs that displayed all of the days panels for that room and the panel times. The amount and quality of panels since they convention had moved to a larger space inside the convention was very impressive. I am a huge fan of the entire D.C Comics universe and found multiple D.C panels the first day to feed my appetite. Panels I attended on Saturday September 17th were History Of Teen Titans. John Marv Wolfman who has worked on New Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go has to be one of the most interesting people to see at a panel. Other History of Teen Titans Panel members were Brett Booth, an artist for Teen Titans, and part of D.C’s New 52. Also a part of The History of Teen Titans Panel was Jonboy Mayers, the artist all discussed what their interest were, their relationships to the Teen Titian characters, experiences and influences when working on The Teen Titans. Next up for Saturday’s panels for me was Batman The Animated Series. This panel was to celebrate D.C’s new announcement that September 17th was Batman Day. Also the panel was a celebration of 25 years of Batman The Animated Series. As young pre teen I was fascinated with this cartoon and it is where my love affair with The Joker began. Kevin Conroy the voice of Batman himself and Loren Lester the Boy Wonder sat and spoke about their memories of working on this beloved series. The panel was hosted by Gary Miereanu. things I found most interesting during The Batman The Animated series panel was to hear stories of them working with Mark Hamill, who according to Lester never sat down when doing a reading or recording his lines so that is how the voice actors would find out Hamill was in the scenes. another thing I learned from the panel that during those times cartoons were only picked up for 85 episodes no matter how popular the show became because of syndication. My final panel of the day on Saturday was The Arkham Sessions Presents: A Spotlight on Jimmy Palmiotti Featuring The Psychology of Harley Quinn. The psychology of panels have to be the most interesting and fascinating ones that you can attend. Moderated by Bill Ward with Dr. Andrea Letamendi, who holds a P.H.D in Clinical Psychology and The Arkham Sessions host Jimmy Palmiotti. During the panel they mainly discussed the psychology of Harley Quinn, more specifically the way she is a kind and caring person, yet can snap and kill at the drop of the hat tp protect someone that she loves and feels is in danger. A decent amount of time was spent discussing how in the latest books Harley Quinn, as a character, has been maturing and evolving, learning during the process to be less violent. Saturday I attended one panel missing the Wonder Woman 75th because I slept in to late. I caught The Artist Of D.C Panel Brett Booth who drew The Flash and also has worked on Teen Titans, and Colleen Doran knows for her 32 year old career as a comic book illustrator and her work on Justice League 3001 and Wonder Woman 75. Doran was late for the panel a trait she says is from working the many lonesome hours all these years as a comic book illustrator, so it was started with Booth answering questions from the moderator.Booth discussed being discovered because he answered an ad looking for talent to submit. When presented with the question of what advice he would give to an artist looking to break into the comic book business Booth answered that because of the unconventional way he broke in and the changing technology and world today he had no idea. Doran said she got her start from making her own fanzine based on characters in the D.C universe and first was approached about working in comics at the tender age of 17. Like Booth, Doran said because of changing technology she had no idea how one would get into the comic booth industry. Doran said to the audience present in the panel that getting into illustration was a job for people who are not lazy, who are self motivated and have a good work ethic. Doran stressed how watching what you say on social media was very important and the need to know how to censor one self could make or break your career because memory’s are long and ego’s are easily hurt. After attempting to ask a question in each of the panels I attended I was called upon. I asked Doran what she thought of fans reactions to the new look of Wonder Woman for The Movie and if she felt evolving the characters looks was necessary. Doran responded with saying how she did not own the characters, and felt evolving their style and look’s as pop culture and society changed was necessary to keep the public interested and to bring in new fans. Booth also spoke about how he thought it was necessary to change a characters costume over time, and how all that you really needed to keep the character still relatable to the public was one thing that the fans most identified with that specific character. Both Booth and Doran spoke of frequent migraines form the long hours spent illustrating. After the panel I went and spoke to them briefly about how I suffered major migraines during my time as an extra working long 12-14 hour days, too much caffeine and to little sleep. I had room to pass through the exhibit hall at ease today and found the lay out was excellent. The locations of the publishers, vendors, artist alley, autograph signings all seemed to be carefully landed instead of a pay to play organization so many industries are known for. For a Sunday, which is slow for any convention the cosplay was still very good and abundant in the crowd. I see Long Beach Comic Con to continue gaining in popularity and eventually having to use the entire Long Beach Convention Center.
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