Sora News

Sora is a anime/manga character in the Kingdom Hearts franchise
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Long Beach, CA
Long Beach, CA

Today, I visited the Long Beach Comic Con in Long Beach, California, USA. It's my first comic book convention which will promote the Comic Book Club and the Convention forum we have in Anime Vice. I'm relatively new comic book fan who hasn't read much comic books. I got into the world of comics through the animated series of Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between comics and anime/manga media. I have attended Anime Expo back in 2013 which was my first time.

I got the convention a bit late due to missing the metro and getting lost in this city. I finally found it. Thanks to folks at the supreme court building (the image on the far right). The convention was located around Pine Ave and East Ocean BLVD. I was at Magnolia Ave. Somehow I walked pass it. I'm like Zoro of One Piece who has no sense of direction.

Layout of the Convention
Layout of the Convention

The Long Beach Convention is much different from Los Angeles Convention center. LB was near the ocean. It was a windy day. You can smell the sea. I walk on the bridge that connected the beach to the convention when I was exploring the area. I never been to the beach for a long time. It was sight to see.

After sightseeing, I went inside the convention and see the wonders of Long Beach Comic Con. It was not very crowded compare to Anime Expo. Plus, this comic con was more family friendly. I see more children and parents at this convention at Anime Expo. Forgive for comparing the conventions. AX was my first anime convention while this one was my first comic one. This would be the last comparison. I do like both conventions. They are both different.

I somehow walk past the artist alley or exhibit hall as I was lost a bit. I forgot to to take their programming booklet when I went to pick up my badge. The panels were located past the artist alley. Later on, I found out the artist alley and exhibit hall was located underground. I line up for a random panel. It turns out it was for the Batman 75/Tales of the Dark Knight. Speakers were Marc Andreyko, Brian Buccellato, Chris Burnham, Kyle Higgins, Babs Tarr, Marv Wolfman, and Ralph Garman. I was lucky the subject of the panel was very familiar to me. I haven't read Batman comics, but I'm familiar with the animated series. It was a fun panel.

Things I Learn from Batman 75 Panel

  • I learned Marv Wolfman (if I remember correctly) was the creator of Tim Drake. He said he created the character to be the opposite of Dick Grayson. He wanted the character to have no trauma, living family members, and be intelligent.
  • Babs Tarr - She is the writer of Batgirl. She has only been to 2 comic cons and only seen 5 Batgirls and a crossplayer. A crossplayer is a new term I picked up. It's like cross-dressing (I hope I described it politely). We had a guy dress up as Batgirl. He was proud of it.
  • Ralph Garman's favorite Catwoman is the lady portrayed by Julie Newmar.

That's all I can remember. I didn't take notes or had my tape recorder. This was my first time meeting these talented comic book artists and writers who contributed a ton to the Batman mythos.

Artist Alley

I saw comics were packaged differently than manga. Some booths have them on display or in boxes
I saw comics were packaged differently than manga. Some booths have them on display or in boxes

I had a list of comic book recommendations from Marshal Victory, Taichokage, GokaiRed, and Supreme Marvel. I was a bit too shy. I just browse around and look at the comic books and artists' work. I didn't find those particular recommendations. I did notice Silver Age and Bronze Age comics were a lot of cheaper. I assume because they were older issues, way older than me. As an anime fan who hasn't read comic books, these are a lot thinner than tankobon. I recall comic books were shorter than manga chapters. A manga chapter is about 20 (weekly) and up to 40 pages (monthly types). I never opened up a hard copy comic book. I read a few on Comixology.

At the end of the day, I only bought two items. In the I'm going to Long Beach Comic Con 2014! blog, Marshal recommended me writers and artists to visit and to see their works. I'm fortunate to meet one of the folks he recommended: James O' Barr.

As a shy person who never read comic books, I didn't want to tell the artist that I haven't read his works yet. I felt that was disrespectful. I stood around the corner, observing his fans interact with him for 30 minutes or so. I wanted to observe how folks talk to their beloved artists. It was the same interaction I saw how anime fans spoke with their beloved voice actors and actresses. I learned one etiquette from one observation. A camera guy was taking pictures of O' Barr's works. The lady who was assisting O' Barr asks him to not photograph the works unless you purchases them. I eventually muster up courage. I didn't get a chance to speak with O' Barr. He was busy sketching for a fan. I just quietly bought one of his works for 20 dollars which had cars on it. I'm a grease monkey (see Recommend some Awesome Car Wallpapers). I love how he drew the cars.

The Despicable Me/Sora of Kingdom Hearts tiny portrait was a gift for my little sister who couldn't attend this convention with me. She loved Despicable Me and Kingdom Hearts. It was a double win. It was made by talented artists. I donated 15 dollars to them.

I forgot to bring my poster tube. I had to hold the poster in my hand without damaging the work.

Cosplay

Last but not least. I will share some photos!

Some of you may know, I'm a different person on the web and in real life. I have a hard time asking folks to take pictures of their beautiful cosplay. I stick around, wandering the area where the panels are located. If there is a large group taking pictures, I would join them. In the Anime Convention Survival Guide! that BigHeart711, myself, and sickVisionz wrote, we emphasize respectfulness. When you take pictures, you always ask first. If it's a group shot, they already consented to. Go ahead and join in. I followed what we wrote in the guide.

Thank you for reading this blog! I hope to see more folks sharing their experiences in any conventions for this community. I fully support anyone who goes to a convention. It's worth your time. Go out and meet these folks who share your passion.

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 I was simply just surfing the web one day and I found rumors that there might be a "Kingdom Hearts" anime. Can anyone verify this?
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