Friday, November 22, 2013

Con Man: Long Beach Comic & Horror Con '09

The Long Beach Comic & Horror Con celebrates it's fifth year this weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center at the Long Beach Pike... in Long Beach.  It's a great show made better by the fact I've attended every year.  I couldn't believe it had been five years until I consulted some photos, not realizing 2009 was their kick off year.  It's not the biggest show in the world and that's part of the charm.  There are plenty of vendors, guests and panels to keep you busy but it's not so packed that you feel like a sardine and get irritated.  LB was the first show I can recall that had replica vehicles on display outside.  The Ninja Turtle van, Knight Industries 2000, the time traveling Delorean from Back to the Future and more are lined up for photo ops and charity drives.

What's even nicer is the surrounding area, you're right next to an outdoor mall complete with movie theater, bars and eateries.  Hopefully the $1 bookstore is still open.  Nearby you can walk to the water for a serene time out where more shops and restaurants await, as does a view of the Queen Mary.

Year One was a lot of fun as Thomas Jane more or less took over, hosting a movie night Friday and Saturday.  His directorial effort, The Dark Country, screened in 3D on night one while a preview of his not yet released flick, Give'em Hell, Malone was supposed to follow on Saturday.  Some legal issues put the kibosh on that so the audience was treated to The Mist in Black and White.  The Jane was cool enough to take a break from setting up to take a photo and chit chat before joining the rest of us in watching the flick.  Mr. Jane and his creative partner, artist Tim Bradstreet, have been at every Long Beach Con since, talking about their latest projects, their careers and basically being the weirdcoolest guys around.  Seriously, half of last year's panel was done in the dark.

For whatever reason, you get some real honesty and heartfelt answers from guests at Long Beach.  In 2011, Shane Black made an appearance as he was prepping to direct Iron Man Three and shared great insights like "Marvel invented copper wire by stretching a penny" and "You know Mel Gibson isn't a bad guy right?  He's just a drunk".  Artist extraordinaire William Stout told some great stories of his time in Antarctica, working on Masters of the Universe, not being credited with designing the Universal Citywalk and what it's like being a portrait artist at Disneyland.  Maybe it's the lack of huge lines and crowds or San Diego Comic Con like hustle and bustle but Long Beach Con is just about the best kind of show you can ask for.  Not too big, not too small.   Not too busy, not too slow.  Parking and food are aplenty and one year they hosted a record breaking zombie parade.

Oh yeah and the Auld Dubliner across the street is one of two bars I've ever been to that has Magner's on tap.  Magner's is cider, like Strongbow but is Irish.  I want to say it was a touch drier than the Bow but it's been a long time, guess I'll have to reacquaint myself tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment