If one were to compare all the cons that go on around the world to famous pop stars, San Diego would most definitely be Michael Jackson — The Untouchable Great One. Dragon Con would be David Bowie — an enigma. And LA Comic Con, Prince — a cascade of name changes always encasing the same bursts of creativity along the way.
Being that this is the only convention I’ve been to every year it’s been around, I feel a personal connection to it and an obligation to make my way to Downtown LA year after year to see what’s new with Comikaze/Stan Lee’s Comic Con/LA Comic Con. See, they’ve been a few things. Despite not knowing what it’ll be called when October rolls around each year, it’s always an enjoyable event to get out to if you love cosplay, shopping, information or all three.
Those are the core elements of LA Comic Con. Far from a cosplayer, I for one am a spectator of the craft. Seeing the thousands of people come out in their creative best always makes me smile but I’m a lover of the obscure pop culture references. While the array of superheroes are always top notch, it’s those who take their inspiration from the likes of primetime TV that always get me. Shout out to a couple of Janets from NBC’s The Good Place and that Dwight Schrute (who I just mouthed, “AMAZING!” to and walked by).
While I’ve only ever dressed up once, a couple years ago as Babs Bunny, I do take part in the heavy amount of shopping that is to be had. Artist Alley is like a Geekified flea market. There was one bare wall in our apartment and thanks to LA Comic Con, it’s all dressed up and ready to go. As is our kitchen which is now complete thanks to a lovely Linda Belcher-meets-Cabaret piece done by D Geek Art’s Elizabeth Daugherty. You may recognize one of her Bob’s Burgers pieces from the season eight premiere, “Brunchsquatch” — the episode made entirely of fan art. Other artistic delights were Geoff Pascual’s watercolors, the vinyl art of Brandon Ruiter, and the Ewok masks from Emerald Moon.
The highlight by far, though, was seeing a whole section dedicated to one of the best TV shows of all time, The Office. My fiancé and I watch that on repeat like it’s the only thing keeping us alive, and all we wanted was a piece of Office-inspired art for our living room. Friday, nada. I even noted to one of the vendors who had a Parks and Recreation print that The Office came first so…what’s up with that? Lo and behold though, Saturday was all about answering pop culture prayers.
There was Leslie David Baker in all his Pretzel Day, Stanley Hudson glory taking pictures and signing autographs surrounded by Dunder Mifflin inspired products and prints. While a ream of paper would’ve been awesome, for $30 — not so much. Nevertheless, we shelled out some cash for an autograph. We’d have a picture but his militant crew was not about that. Gotta keep the talent safe though, right?
That’s the thing, there’s an array of famous faces from every realm of pop culture to be seen. A lover of TV, that’s what I’m all about, but walking around you could see Danny Trejo, Tenacious D on the main stage, Robbie Amell, wrestling great RVD, and many more. Whether they were at their booths or in a panel, LA Comic Con gathered a healthy dose of celebrities for fans to enjoy, but it seems like their panels were more on the informational side.
From breaking into the industry to dating while nerdy, the panels based around serving up sound advice were abundant, which is nothing new. Every year you can head out to LA Comic Con get some sweet art, meet a favorite, and get informed about whatever area of geek-expertise you fancy. This year was no different. The name was new, but the experience was more or less the same as years past. Just like Prince, you know you’re going to get something entertaining despite what he was going by.