This past Saturday and Sunday the Long Beach Convention Center hosted the 4th annual Long Beach Comic Convention. The one room show was filled to the brim on Saturday with a wide variety of both attendees and dealers. The main attraction was the diehard fans of anything and everything geek who take their nerd love to the next level by dressing up as all sorts of characters.
The convention was opened with a cadre of costumed Star Wars fans known as the 501st Legion: Vader’s Fist. They are an all volunteer group that attends conventions and promotes charity work through their combined love of the Star Wars universe.
“We typically go ahead and do charity events because everybody is a Star Wars fan and loves to see Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers and heroes and Jedi come in,” said Laurence Green, who was dressed as Jedi knight, Luke Skywalker. “Basically, everybody (the 501st) just volunteers their time to bring Star Wars to life for the fans.”
Gabriel Flores, dressed as a snowtrooper from the Hoth scenes in “The Empire Strikes Back,” talked about the process of making costumes for the members of the 501st.
“It cost close to a $1000 to make the snowtrooper costume,” said Flores. “Within the group (the 501st) everyone’s helpful. We’ll have armor parties where people get together and someone who doesn’t know how to do anything, we’ll find someone who can help them out. We also have a lot of professional propmasters.”
Also on the scene was the Lego User Group of Los Angeles. Known as Adult Fans of Lego, AFOL for short, they bring their own creations to various conventions and display them for attendees. They also have a table with piles of Lego bricks for kids to play with and build.
Daniel Jassim, a member of the group, brought a four foot long spaceship he custom built. It was composed of approximately 10,000 pieces.
“I sketch things out and then I build things modular and construct it in a certain way. The large ship is built out in pieces and then put together.” said Jassim.
Justin Galluccil, from Corona, was outside at the entrance to the convention center dressed up as Pee Wee Herman and displaying a custom bike from the movie “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” that he and his father made.
“It’s a father-son project that me and my dad decided to do. Something fun and interesting. The main goal is to make all the fans happy when they see the bike.” said Galluccil.