Con Life

Comics, Cosplay and Community at Long Beach Comic Expo 2016

Long Beach Comic Con 2016 had panels galore, accessible celebrities, countless cosplayers, and celebrity cosplayers too! There was a kick-ass science exhibit where people were so into the presentation they probably had no idea they were learning something. HA! Also, LBCC and LBCE have been really pushing the Space Center exhibit. Who doesn’t want to know more about outer space?

What I loved about this year’s LBCE were the growing amount cosplayers both young and old and also enthusiastic fans in line to meet the authors of these comics that inspire us. Yes, it’s the comics that inspired us to be here. 

 Personally, time wasn’t on my side for LBCE, but I still accomplished the big ticket items on my nerd to-do list. Here are my favorite moments of Long Beach Comic Con 2016:

  • Chris Claremont – Chatting with one of the most prolific comic book writers of our time was definitely a highlight for me this year. Chris Claremont is the hand behind X-Men Days of Future Past, Wolverine, and is also the creator of the X-Men character Jubiliee whom I jus so happened to be cosplaying that day. When he saw me, he did a double take and said “Wait a minute…” He’s probably not used to the genderbend yet. While he signed my X-Men issue of Jubilee’s first appearance, we chatted about how Jubilee gets no love during the X-Men movies.  
  • Hyoung Taek NamNaughty Dog has made some of the most popular video games in history like Crash Bandicoot, Uncharted and The Last of Us (TLOU). Hyoung Taek Nam is one of their conceptual artists and designers. He pretty much designed “the clicker” in TLOU, which I base my clicker cosplay off of. I showed him my cosplay, and he was so nice say how detailed and accurate it was. Score. If you Google “The Last of Us Clicker” any official images that pop up will be Hyoung’s art, and they are glorious.  
  • Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti – I got to LBCE late on Sunday, so there was a long line to meet Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, authors and inkers of the current HARLEY QUINN comic book. Their work and writing are fun and so are their personalities. I was able to interview them here for a totally separate blog post regarding their writing for Harley and how cool it is to be a nerd. I’m glad I got to shake hands with these two friendlies.  
  • Fellow Cosplayers – LBCE fosters a healthy cosplay environment especially with their frequent posts about “Cosplay Is Not Consent.” People outside had small photo nooks set up for mini shoots, and cosplayers of different worlds were freely reenacting scenes. I love for LBCE for this. This was the first time I took my Jubilee genderbend cosplay out for a spin at a con. I didn’t expect it to get the reception that it did. People at LBCE were showing mad love with fist bumps, props, and taking pics.  
  • Random Nerd Moment – I was walking through the con and heard someone ask “Are you Nerd Coolture?” I’m like “Heh?” It ended up being a super cool Instagram follower and now nerd friend who’s been following @nerdcoolture since almost the beginning. It was just cool to connect with social media friends in person, and I’m glad it was at a con like LBCE.  

One thing that I love about cons is going to the panels and learning something new or meeting the panelists themselves. Panels and timing just didn’t line for me this year. I also had to remind myself that LBCE and LBCC are pretty much the Wonder Twins of cons for the year. Whatever I missed here, I’m sure LBCC will come back with something just as good if not better. 

 But the consistency between the two is great as far as always emphasizing comics, cosplay and community, which a lot of cons overlook, especially the comics. Again, comics are originally what bring us together, everything else we do is a bi-product or reaction of them. Thank you, LBCE for not letting that go.

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