Vince Staples’ Limbo Beach Carnival, which was slated for Thursday, May 12 at El Dorado Park West, was canceled Wednesday over capacity concerns, according to event organizers, who say they’re working to reschedule.
The carnival was to celebrate the upcoming release of the Long Beach-raised rapper’s new comic book “Limbo Beach,” about a group of teenagers with superhuman abilities who live on an island with an abandoned amusement park. The event was advertised as free and open to the public and Staples was expected to be at the carnival to sign copies of the new graphic novel.
According to a spokesperson from Z2 Comics, the publishing company for “Limbo Beach,” the event had gained so much interest online that Z2 Comics anticipated thousands might show up, prompting concerns from city officials over “capacity issues” and a request that the event be postponed to another venue.
El Dorado Park’s Willow Grove site, which has a small stage, was the part of the park reserved to host the event. According to the city’s parks department, the Willow Grove site is just under an acre and has a capacity of 300.
“From what we could see the event was going to attract thousands of people which would be over the capacity of the park and could cause safety issues. It’s hard to know the exact amount but the safety and well-being of fans is the most important thing for us,” a spokesperson for Z2 Comics said via email.
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In a press release, Z2 Comics said it is working to find a bigger venue and anticipates the carnival would return in the summer.
Though the event was free to attend, a limited number of tickets were available for patrons to purchase a copy of the comic book to get signed by Staples. Z2 Comics said they are in the process of reimbursing those who purchased a comic book online.
Staples had announced the project for his new graphic novel “Limbo Beach” in June 2021, garnering much cultural attention in both the music and comic book communities. The graphic novel, Staples said, is “the story of lost children fighting to regain their stolen youth,” a theme that echoes in Staples’ music.
His most recent album, “Ramona Park Broke My Heart” released in April, largely reflects on his troubled experiences growing up in the Romona Park Neighborhood of North Long Beach, but tells a story of he and his friends having fun in spite of that.
To bring Staples comic book idea to life, Z2 Comics enlisted prolific comic book writers Bryan Edward Hill who created “Batman & the Outsiders” and “Titans” and Chris Robinson, author of “Children of the Atom.” The novel is illustrated by Buster Moody, who is known for illustrating several off-shoots of the popular “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” comics including “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Bebop & Rocksteady Hit the Road.”
Z2 Comics says the graphic novel should be available for general purchase from retailers on May 31 and pre-orders are available online through the publication.
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