This past weekend, Jeff and I had a chance to visit the 1st Annual Long Beach Comic Con. Considering it was the first year, I thought it was great. It was a much simpler version of its big brother the San Diego Comic Con- and as much as we tried, it’s hard not to compare. There were plenty of ‘cons’ but I had a lot of grace considering it was their first outing. Some of the pros and cons to consider when deciding your con schedule for next year:
- To say it was less crowded would be the understatement of the century. Very little lines, wide open aisles, and easy parking.
- The focus was actually on comic books! Most of the panels centered around the craft of writing, marketing, illustration, and character developement of comics. I went to a comics writing panel that I would have never have gone to at the SDCC and loved it.
- The Artist Alley (emerging artist display their works) was the center piece of the showroom floor. At SDCC the Artist Alley is off to the side where there is less traffic and less value.
- Although there were less ‘stars’, they were more accessible. If you wanted to, you could approach and have conversations with the industry professionals.
- Prices for merchandise seemed a little more reasonable.
- Glad to see costumes were out. It wasn’t as much but I’m sure it will come stronger next year.
- The convention center is right across the street from all kinds of restaurants. We weren’t forced to eat con food!
- There was more space and time to sit down and meet some people.
- I valet parked across the street for $10 bucks! Unlike self parking for $20 across town at SDCC.
- You could definitely tell there was less money to go around. The floor was not very inspirational and displays were pretty ordinary. There was really nothing of interest on the floor to take pictures of. I want to be able to brag to my friends about what I saw- which was almost nothing.
- Only three rooms were in circulation for panels so the options were very limited. Next year, they need two or three times more options in order to handle the expected crowds.
- The ‘star’ power was pretty weak. With the exception of Stan Lee, Seth Green, and Jim Lee, there was really no one else of notoriety.
- Not sure this is a con, but there was very little swag given out. I usually don’t care about that stuff but some do.
To see some pics from the day, check them out here. Overall, we had a great time and will plan on returning next year. It’s actually a good experience for a ‘con virgin’ since it’s much less overwhelming and stressful then SDCC. My prediction is that it will take the route of SDCC with all of the pop culture influences. I would rather it emerge as its own personality and with a unique flavor but I’m sure where the money is, the con will follow. It might blow up to be the next SDCC. If so, BabbleOn can say were were there!
I give it 3 Babbles out of 5.