November 8, 2010

Long Beach Comic Con 2010 Recap

Exactly one week ago yesterday, staff journalist, Arnab Pradhan and I attended Long Beach Comic Con 2010 in Long Beach, California! This was my first visit to the Con, and was only its second show since kicking off last year. It was Halloween Day, so I expected the crowds to be out in full force, with cosplayers galore showing off their specially tailored costumes!

However, that was anything but what the Con was like. When we got there around 30 minutes before the doors opened, it was just us and another fan waiting to be let onto the showroom floor. That was it. No long lines. No costumed fanboys and girls. No sweaty bodies. Just Arnab and I sipping our morning beverages, patiently waiting to geek out in Long Beach. There was a small table at the top of the stairs with free comics on it. We were handed a preview issue of The Action Bible, which became the first comic we obtained at the Con. Oh yeah, The Action Bible! What’s funny is that later in the day we walked by their booth and entered our names in a raffle to win a free copy of the book. Arnab won!

I was surprised at how many Silver Age and original art retailers were present, and how nobody was paying them any attention. They had some pretty great stuff on sale for cheap! I was on the hunt for Marvel Masterworks hardcovers though, and I definitely found my fair share. There were many that I wanted, but I could only budget for these two at $20 each:

Oh yeah! I also picked up these books to fill in my Ultimate library for a grand total of $5:

After spending some money supporting the retailers, we made our way to the artist section. Again, I was surprised at how empty it was. Many of the artists weren’t even there from 10am-2pm (I missed Amanda Conner- damn!), but the people we did stop and talk with were way cool. That’s one positive element about there not being crowds at a Comic Con: fans can talk to the artists and writers on a more personal level than in the rushed, busy feel of a larger convention.

The first artist I spoke with was Tony Fleecs. Honestly, I wasn’t even familiar with his work, I just loved one of the prints he had displayed of Emma Frost. I had to pick it up for only $10!

Stay tuned to for more on Tony. Next we spoke with Stuart Sayger whose prints on display I immediately recognized from IDW’s Death Ship. I think his art is amazing and picked up these two prints from him for just $7.50 each!

Believe me when I say my photos don’t do them justice. Not even close. Sayger’s story behind the Cyclops piece is pretty cool: he was talking with an artist friend about how non-major character prints never sell. So he decided to do a badass Cyclops piece and see how it sold, and apparently, this one has done quite well. Arnab bought one too! Be sure to visit Sayger’s webpage and stay tuned to for more on him!

After making these purchases Arnab and I kept taking in all the artists that were there, and eventually ran into some old friends. Frank Forte of Asylum Press was representing his company. I picked up this one-shot from him featuring art by the very awesome, Steve Mannion:

Next we ran into David McAdoo, writer/artist of Red Moon, and Steve Kozak the book’s producer. Red Moon is a great graphic novel, one that I’d highly recommend to both fans of supernatural themes and talking animals. Read our review of it here! Jessica of Studio 407 was there, selling copies of their books, including issue #1 of Night & Fog, which should be read by any horror fan. We even ran into Zenescope colorer and sometimes journalist, Jeff Balke! Head over here to listen to Decapitated Dan’s live interview with Jeff at the Con. Richard Starkings was there too, excitedly showing off his super rad sci-fi series with Image, Elephantment! If you were one of the lucky ones, Rich would have given you a free issue!

It was around this time when I realized how much ground we had covered, and how many booths we had stopped at within 2 hours’ time. In those 120 minutes we had nearly walked the entire Con floor! Like I said, the Con was moderately sized and not many people were in attendance in terms of both fans and exhibitionists, so it wasn’t difficult to navigate the show floor. So we decided to pay closer attention to the good indie folk!

I received a free Triceratops sketch from this really cool guy, but unfortunately set it down somewhere while talking to people and forgot to pick it back up. So I can’t tell you who he was nor show you what the sketch looked like… Nathaniel Osollo’s comic caught my eye based on the concept: he turned tweets he had seen into one page comic strips! The rogue talent was plentiful at this Con, and since it was a smaller show, they had the advantage of not being overshadowed by larger publishers. As a result, they tried to sell their stuff harder at this Con, since we were more isolated and easier to single out while walking by. I liked this because it grabbed my attention and I stopped to see some books I probably wouldn’t have otherwise; but at the same time I didn’t like the disappointed faces when I didn’t buy the work. Sorry, I can’t purchase everything!

At this point Arnab and I felt we had two more stops to make, the first of which was to say hello to the good people of Top Cow! Happily, Christine Dinh, Elena Salcedo, and Atom! Freeman were all in attendance. I picked up the Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer HC and the Rest HC for some future reading. We talked Artifacts, shook hands and shared some hugs, then went on our way to the BOOM! Studios booth. We made good time too because Mark Waid was signing, so Arnab and I each brought up our copies of CF/HK to get signed!

I was disappointed I couldn’t find Arcana nor Com.X, even though they were listed as having booths. I was also very surprised at the lack of cosplayers in attendance. I mean, it was Halloween Day, yet I saw practically nobody in costume except for a few booth babes. guest journalist, Pam Auditore, ran into some cosplayers when she was there earlier during the weekend, but I had no such luck on Sunday.

Which leads me to what most of the exhibitionists were saying about the Con: that nobody was there. While it’s cool for the patron when crowds are smaller, allowing for a more chill, mellow atmosphere, it’s ultimately bad because there are less people spending money on comics. It costs plenty of coin to set up a booth at any Con, and if the people who have them aren’t making money, it doesn’t make much business sense to rent a booth out again the following year. Which sucks because the Long Beach Con was very successful last year when it first went live, and I had a great time attending last weekend. I want to chalk the poor attendance up to the event taking place over Halloween weekend since people generally have pre-made plans, and don’t want to travel or spend money on a Comic Con. Who knows? But whatever the reason, I hope the attendance turns around next year and the floors are jam packed; Los Angeles should have its own Con, and there’s no reason why it can’t stay in Long Beach.

For more Comic Con experiences, click here!

Andy Liegl



  1. I wish I knew Waid was there man I would have sent you my issue of CF/HK #5 with our pull quote on the cover to get signed! ugh!

    I actually prefer the smaller cons just for the mere fact that you actually get to talk to some of the creators. I know at the Albany Con guys like Matthew Dow Smith, Joe Sinnott, and others are more than happy to take a few minutes to just chill with the fans.

  2. Decapitated Dan

    How funny is that! That exact same weekend I bought the Steve Mannion 3 Pack of Strange Tales, when I found it hidden in a corner at this little comic shop I found thanks to the Comic Shop Locator. LOL

    Awesome stuff, but boo on your for not doing your podcast 😛

  3. […] Continue reading here: Long Beach Comic Con 2010 Recap […]

  4. That Cyclops print is so awesome!! Also Rest is a really cool book for anyone who hasn’t read it yet and it’s going to be made into a TV show for NBC.

  5. Billy

    Sounds like you guys had a great time. Too bad the cosplayers didn’t come out in force. 🙁

  6. It was a great time, even without the cosplayers. It was so chill that you could just walk right up to anyone there and strike up a conversation. (Except for Stan Lee, you had to pay to see that guy.)
    As Andy mentioned I also got the Cyclops print, and it’s flippin’ amazing.

    Didn’t know that that picture would end up here though…haha. 🙂

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Girls Reading Comics, Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: Check out our coverage of Long Beach Comic Con in #California! #comics #LBCC […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Website Protected by Spam Master