Category Archives: Comics

Zooming Through Long Beach Comic Con 2016

One of the weirdest things about this year’s Long Beach Comic Con is how much moving the entrance to the other side of the convention center changed the flavor of the experience. For the last seven years, they’ve used the western entrance off of Pine Ave. with a big, open, glass lobby and an outside area that stays sunny all afternoon. There’s always a mass of people in costume out in that lobby — I’ve called it “Lobby Con.” That didn’t happen this year.

This year, they used a larger section of the convention center for the main floor, and brought everyone in on the east side between the theaters and the big circular arena with the Wyland mural. The lobby is smaller and feels more closed-in. There’s a lot more open space outside, but it’s divided by stairways and balconies.

Outside LBCC

The result: No Lobby Con. There wasn’t room for people to gather inside the lobby, and outside was so fragmented that it didn’t feel like a gathering. On the plus side, the lines for the food trucks didn’t look too long either, and the varied space made for some interesting photo backdrops: the mural, palm trees, lamp posts, sunny spots, shady spots, etc.

Going Somewhere Solo?

Whitney Frost CosplayI usually do Long Beach Comic Con solo, while we make WonderCon and San Diego (when we get tickets, anyway) family trips. We planned to change that this year. Katie has been putting together a Whitney Frost cosplay outfit (from Agent Carter). J. is in the age range for kids’ programming now. Then things fell through so that Katie couldn’t make it, and then J. got a cold, so I ended up going solo after all. We did do a full makeup/hair test and photoshoot as Whitney Frost first, though!

Anyway, I arrived around lunchtime on Sunday, leaving me with just one afternoon to cram in as much Comic Con as I could. That meant I only attended one of the panels that looked interesting, picked a few artists to seek out, didn’t spend much time browsing for comics (though I did buy a few), and made several cursory circuits of the floor, pausing when someone or their art or merch caught my eye, rather than really exploring.

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Whitney Frost Cosplay

Whitney Frost Cosplay (Madame Masque)

The “big bad” of Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 2: Whitney Frost, a scientist/actress who becomes imbued with what she calls Zero Matter, a destructive energy force (just visible in the form of the jet-black scar). She’s adapted from the comic book villain Madame Masque. Like the Once Upon a Time Alice, she doesn’t seem to be a commonly cosplayed character.

The plan was to debut the costume at Long Beach Comic Con this weekend, but for various reasons, Katie couldn’t make it. We did the full makeup and hair anyway, and found a suitably art deco-looking building nearby to do a quick photoshoot on the public sidewalk.

With any luck, Comikaze will work out.

Update: We all made it to the renamed LA Comic Con!

Long Beach Comic Con Hits its Stride in 2015

Deadpool ReadingDeadpool's Light ReadingI’ve liked Long Beach Comic Con since it started, but this year was something else. They doubled the amount of floor space from previous years…and filled it. I think they doubled the number of programming tracks as well. And the fans came: I’d swear the place was busier on Sunday afternoon than it was last year on Saturday, and I had trouble finding parking for the first time ever.

TL;DR? Skip to the photo gallery if you must!

Last year I went with very specific goals in mind, because I’d been so aimless the year before. This year I wasn’t sure until Friday whether I’d be able to make it or which day, so I held off on planning, but it worked out.

Keeping Artist’s Alley as the centerpiece of the show has broadened it a bit into a show about comics and art. Continue reading

Flash and Les Mis in the Golden Age of Radio and Comics

Two of my fan interests sort of intersected* with a pair of articles I wrote last night, as I found myself looking at the Flash and Les Misérables in the late 1930s/early 1940s.

I review Orson Welles’ Les Mis√©rables radio play over at Re-Reading Les Mis. Last weekend I stumbled on a cassette recording of the 1937 series, but since I don’t have anything portable to play cassettes on anymore, I went looking online, found it at the Internet Archive’s Old Time Radio collection, and listened to it on the way to and from work for several days. (I wish I hadn’t already used the Cassette…now I remember pun.)

A 1943 Flash comic book features Jay Garrick playing every role at once in a stage play, quick-change style, when the entire cast is quarantined for a measles outbreak. I’d recently updated the scans on an old post on the one-man team trope. The Disneyland outbreak made me think of the story, and I’ve posted a few scans at Speed Force.

*They’ve been intersecting all week, actually, since the actor playing Pied Piper on the Flash TV show is playing Marius on Broadway right now, and has been posting Les Mis-related stuff.

Looking Forward to iZombie

iZombieiZombie has a premiere date! The comedy/horror/murder mystery show launches March 17 on the CW.

I’ve been describing iZombie as a mash-up of the Robeson/Allred comic’s premise (woman becomes a zombie, but can keep her mental faculties as long as she eats one brain a month…then starts picking up memories and personality quirks from the brains she eats) with Pushing Daisies (someone able to communicate with the dead in an odd, but limited manner teams up with a detective to solve murders) and Veronica Mars (produced by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero), all of which sounded promising, since I liked the iZombie comic, Pushing Daisies, and Veronica Mars. Based on the previews I’ve seen online and at SDCC last summer, that description is (if you’ll pardon the expression) dead-on.

CW has the first look trailer for the show.

ComicBookMovie has the official synopsis of the show. Rose McIver stars as the main character, Liv, who takes a job in the coroner’s office to satisfy her need for brains, but gets found out by her boss…who is actually quite fascinated. As she picks up memories and skills from murder victims, she helps a detective solve cases while seeking the man responsible for her own zombification.

The Hollywood Reporter has an extensive article talking with the producers and stars about the show’s tone, characterization, how Liv differs from Veronica, the nature of zombies on the show (if they don’t eat brains regularly, they turn into classic Romero-style zombies) and so on.

It looks like it will be a lot of fun, and while it’s got half-season-wonder written all over it, you never know. I mean, the fact that we got a second season of Pushing Daisies qualifies as a television miracle!

iZombie Panel