Comic book artists, writers and famous cosplayers will be heading to Long Beach Labor Day weekend for the return of the Long Beach Comic Con.
Sidelined for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two-day event is set to take over the Long Beach Convention Center Sept. 3-4. Hundreds of vendors will be on site selling and displaying all kinds of comic-related items, while artists, writers and even actors host fan meet-and-greets and sign memorabilia.
“I feel like there’s going to be a lot of happy people, happy to be back with their people,” said Martha Donato, executive director and co-founder of the event. “It’s been a rough road and we all need to celebrate.”
Donato said about 10,000 people are expected to attend the Long Beach Comic Con throughout the weekend. Here are some of the highlights of the event.
All about cosplay
One of the most popular aspects of any comic con-style event are the cosplayers. These dedicated fans attend the conventions dressed as superheroes, villains and everything in between. While some dress up for fun, others are out to claim top prizes in the annual cosplay contests and are often donning elaborate homemade attire. Guests can win accolades in categories like best villain, best hero, best sci-fi, best group or couple cosplay and the coveted best in show award. The cosplay contest will be held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 3 with pre-judging and registration open at the Nerd Mafia booth until 3 p.m.
Artist, writers and the Hulk
This event sets itself apart from other comic cons by honing in on the writers and artists rather than the general pop culture. This year’s lineup of talent includes industry stars like comic and animation creator and illustrator Denys Cowman, a co-founder of Milestone Media, who is responsible for “Batman” and “Black Panther” comics, and writer Ron Marz, who worked on titles like “Green Lantern,” “Silver Surfer” and “Witchblade.”
There is, however, one monster of a special guest coming to Long Beach: The Hulk. Actor and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno, who starred in the TV series “The Incredible Hulk,” will also be in attendance to hang out with fans.
Unique shopping and souvenirs
If you’re looking for unique items or something special to commemorate your time at the Long Beach Comic Con, make sure to bring your wallets and prepare to add to your collection of comic-related goods. There will be dozens of vendors set up on the convention floor selling all kinds of items. There will be rare comic books and toy dealers, lots of games, costumes, action figures and tons of graphic novels available for purchase.
If you go
The event takes place from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3 and 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4 at the Long Beach Convention Center, located at 300 E. Ocean Blvd. Tickets are $45 for Saturday; $25 for Sunday; and weekend passes are $65. Children under the age of 10 are admitted free. For tickets and other information, go to longbeachcomiccon.com.