2016 Long Beach Comic Con: a Look Inside the Current Comic Book Fan Base

Comic.

It’s probably the most important word in Long Beach Comic Con. The word that epitomizes the annual congregation of hardcore or casual fans—but it’s become so much more than that over the years.

If you’re privy to the world of comic cons then you know one of the most visually appealing parts of the annual events are the cosplayers. For some, it’s a way of identifying and bonding with fellow diehard comrades or showing the level of commitment you have to a character, or game, or show, or film.

“It’s been pretty fun actually,” said Neospidey, a Spider-man cosplayer at this weekend’s LBCC. “I started out pretty small, [was] super shy about it, super self-conscious and paranoid the second I came to my first con, but absolutely loved it. It became a second home to me and everyone was so awesome. This is my first time being at a Long Beach convention that is actually this big and I’m excited for what this con has to offer.”

Others can be so good at it they get their own panel, just like Loki Hates You, who had his very own panel on Sunday titled, “Life Advice With Loki Hates You.”

“This is my fourth Long Beach Comic Con and at Long Beach Comic Con, it was the first time I wore a Loki [cosplay],” said Loki Hates You, possibly the only Loki cosplayer to resemble actor Tom Hiddleston. “I’m constantly being told I look like Tom Hiddleston. I always aimed to be a cartoony person. I always wanted to be funny. It’s what the public wants to see.”

This weekend, however, and on Batman Day no less, thoughts about comics and their fan base and how they can remain relevant, were shared.

At the Batman: The Animated Series panel, Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester—who provided the voices for Bruce Wayne/Batman and Robin, respectively during the 90s animated series—was an amazing treat to behold as dozens of fans asked question after question about their life’s work in voice acting.

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The “A Marve-lous Universe!” panel was no slouch either. While it was not as big as the Batman panel, it offered an insight into the Marvel Comics industry and what certain decisions shaped what the comic line is today at Marvel. During the Q&A, one fan asked about how the comics influenced, or rather kept up with the continuity of the Marvel Studios television shows and cinematic films.

“The Disney purchase changed our [Marvel] fate in great ways,” said co-producer Thor, Thor: Dark World and X-23 creator Craig Kyle at the panel. “[Disney] was a great machine that got us out there to do more with our properties. That led to the television universe. Fans love so much of what is brought forward, so let’s put some [movies] into the television experience. Netflix and ABC offered a lot of great worlds. We have two experts in whatever world we’re in charge of, but I think you’ll see more of those standing more alone than together to make sure the quality stays where it needs to depending where you are during Marvel and how you bring your experiences.”


 

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of that panel was the discussion of the current comic book reader fan base, and how TV shows themselves are inspiring comics, in order to attract a new generation of comic book readers. 

“Decisions in comic books are made at least 10 to 24 months in advance,” said Agent Carter and Civil War II: Choosing Sides writer Brandon Easton. “With TV, it might be less of a time for decision making but there’s so much money involved that you have producers, studios and networks all involved. The average fan doesn’t seem to understand, so they get upset and frustrated. You can’t expect Marvel and DC to tell every story you want told. It’s for a mass audience and they’re also trying to get younger kids because once this generation of comic readers dies out, who’s going to replace them?”

Photos by Soren Sum. 

 



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