Where Comic Books and Pop Culture Collide
By Michelle Siebert, Editorial Intern
From Sept. 17-18, all of American sci-fi and comic book fandom will have a chance to meet their favorite celebrity, cosplay, writer and artist at this year’s Long Beach Comic Con at the Long Beach Convention Center.
The convention boast 120 guest appearances by actors, writers and producers in the sci-fi film, television and comic book industries and nearly 130 panel discussions through two days of programming. Major comic book publishers such as Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Image Comics will also be there.
The Long Beach Comic Con executive director was excited about this year’s convention.
“What makes our show truly unique however, is that even as [Long Beach Comic Con] grows, we are able to maintain our core mission of promoting comic books and the people behind them,” said Martha Donato, executive director of Long Beach Comic Con. “Fans consistently tell us that our show remains one of their favorites, because even as big as it has gotten, it never feels overwhelming, and they are able to spend time with their favorite writers and artists. We really pride ourselves on that kind of intimacy, even in a large crowd.”
Comic Con will again present Space Expo, which includes realistic robots and science-centric programming. The expo also will allow attendees to learn how to make comics, children’s programming and hands-on educational panels. Fans can meet their heroes, see creative costumes and explore space travel.
The Comic Con this year takes place on Batman Day, which is DC Entertainment’s universal celebration of The Dark Knight. The voices of Batman and Robin will be attending the show. Kevin Conroy voiced the caped crusader more than any other actor in the character’s history and will for the very first time join Loren Lester, a voice actor for Batman: The Animated Series!
Long Beach Comic Con is aiming to draw new fans from diverse backgrounds in this celebration of pop culture.
For the first time, comic convention will also be hosting Captured Aural Phantasy Theater. The Los Angeles theater group showcases pop culture joining drama, art and comedy with live entertainment and portray old comic books in a contemporary way.
Captured Aural Phantasy Theater will host a panel about how to transform comics into a stage play and perform numerous comics, including a sample of a show that combines live radio-show-style performance with sound effects, live music and projected art.
“You can expect fabulousness, awesomeness and unexpectedness,” said Ben Dickow, the director and producer of Captured Aural Phantasy Theater. “We’ll talk a little about how we became the only group in the world authorized to perform the comics by publisher Entertaining Comics and our partnership with Famous Monsters.”
In addition to Space Expo, Batman and theater, there will be people involved with popular films and comics you can see at comic con.
Jimmy Palmiotti, who writes writes, edits and creates works such Harley Quinn, Jonah Hex, Zero Denver, Weapon of God, Forager and Painkiller Jane will also be on hand.
“[Jimmy Palmiotti] truly embodies the spirit of what makes comic books special,” Donato said.
Palmiotti, who will host a tribute with Frank Tieri, is a comic book writer who works with Deadpool, Batman Underground, Iron Man, Weapon X, Wolverine and Grifter.
For the art enthusiasts, there will be artists and books to appreciate, including Joelle Jones. Jones is an artist for Madame Frankenstein, Helheim, Brides of Helheim, and Ladykiller. She drew the covers for Madame Frankenstein and manages Lady Killer’s writing and art. She’ll present a table with books from many projects she’s been working on.
“We put on a show for devoted comic book fans, cosplay enthusiasts, movie fanatics and anyone with even a passing interest in pop culture,” Donato said. “It’s important for me to create an environment that encourages new fans of all ages and backgrounds to join us for a celebration of pop culture.… As the biggest comic con in San Diego becomes increasingly hard for people to attend, many of these same pop culture celebrities appear at another show right here in Long Beach.”
Long Beach Comic Con takes place, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 17 and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 18, at the Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach .
Tickets are available at www.showclix.com/event/long-beach-comic-con.