The Long Beach Comic Con did not disappoint on its final day, offering numerous panels that appealed to visitors from all walks of life and beliefs.
Ending on Nov. 4, the first Sunday panel was a first of its kind on the West Coast; a Valiant Comics panel. The panelist included Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani and comic book writer Josua Dysart; both discussed the company’s explosive stories that will cover multiple comic book titles such as “X-O Manowar,” “Harbinger” and “Bloodshot.” “Right now, I’ve dropped all the “Big Two” titles (DC and Marvel comics),” said Marlo Hotch, an LBCC attendant and fan of the growing Valiant comic book line.
The following panel, “Beyond Cliches – Creating Awesome Female Characters,” discussed the growing awareness of sexism in the entertainment industry. Hosted by moderator Brandii Grace, speakers included Steven L. Sears, one of the writers for the 90s show “Xena: Warrior Princess,” editor Barbara Randall Kesel of shows like “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “ Meridian,” and author Neo Edmund of the book “Red Riding.”
The panel covered events like the implied rape of Lara Croft in the latest video game trailer, why Wonder Woman has devolved from empowering heroine to caricature and other critical topics. Drawing on their decades working in the entertainment industry, stories of blatant sexism dominated the discussion. “I remember one late night discussion with a studio executive,” said Sears. “He told me, screaming, how he wanted to get rid of character development for a female character because it got in the way of her breasts.”
Other attractions at the convention included the Los Angeles Renegade Rollergirls demonstrating a classic game of roller derby, minus penalties. An all female group that accepts applicants from various backgrounds, the Renegade played out various matches while audiences watched. The element of surprise made an appearance when the Renegade began to crash into various onlookers. While no one sustained an injury, the yells and cheers attracted even more viewers. “I remember this sport use to be really popular in the 80s,” said Mario L, a Comic Con attendant.
Cosplayers dressed from every comic book genre and style, from Finn of the show “Adventure Time” to Spiderman from Marvel Comics. While the convention is still in its nursing stage, only four years old, the enthusiasm each attendant brought that day makes it easy to say that the LBCC might one day match the San Diego Comic Con in both attractions and participants.