Everyone has heard about the San Diego Comic Con or the New York Comic Con, because they’re huge pop culture conventions with celebrities, and sneak peaks, and everything a geek/nerd/regular person could ask for. Those are amazing and worth going to, but sometimes you can’t beat the “intimacy” of the small convention. In Downtown Los Angeles, at a location called “The Reef”, a giant wooden chair greets you for a one day, seven hour event, called the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention.
For a mere $12, or $14 if you want to go in before the general public, you are treated to a large room full of vendors and celebrities. That’s what makes these small conventions special. You are given the opportunity to not only avoid the huge crowds of larger affairs, but to actually meet and greet with your favorite comic book and sci-fi TV actors in a more casual setting.
This year, the guests were on point with Ming-Na Wen from Agents of SHIELD, Katrina Law from Arrow, and Helen Slater from the 1984 film, Supergirl. Now, you may be wondering, “Where are yer pictures, mate? Why don’tcha have any photos?” Well, it is because this writer is poor, and I didn’t feel quite right, sneaking pictures in a small venue, where people are in line, judging me for my poor life choices. So let me just say, that these women were having fun. There were conversations and hugs and pictures where these ladies had genuine smiles on their faces. They were happy to meet the fans! The last time I was at this convention, 8 months ago, there was only one celebrity, Hayley Atwell, and I think she got overwhelmed by the fan response. There were lines for miles, and you could not get a picture with her. So, it was very cool to see these actresses just enjoying themselves amongst their fans.
Other big names at this show were Marvel and DC artists Chuck Patton and Jim Starlin, voice actress Veronica Taylor, Star Trek Voyager’s Ensign Kim, Garrett Wang, and convention mainstay, Herbert Jefferson Jr, from the original Battlestar Galactica.
Aside from the celebrity aspect, there were rows of vendors selling wares you were probably not a”ware” of. Heh. And that’s why, I feel, you would want to go to a convention of this size. You go for the chance to actually meet an actor from one of your favorite shows or movies, and you get to find a hidden gem amongst the rows of pop culture, vintage, and nostalgic goodies. They had action figures, comic books, pop vinyls to the ceiling, hard to find toys and collectibles, books, and random objects like an old, plastic, Batman ruler. I was particularly drawn to the old, 80’s Transformer toys, a Megaman plush, and a BB-8 Matchbox car. If you’re looking for something in the more audio/visual realm, there were also old soundtracks, older films, and some “specially” obtained DVDs and Blu-rays.
At the LACBSFC (that’s a mouthful) you can peruse to your hearts content, the myriad of old and new comic books in it’s pantheon of long boxes. This is where the real comic book deals are, and you can find yourself going home with a long box or two of some Golden Age Superman, or some Silver Age Fantastic Four. Last year I came home with at least two dozen older comics.
I always have a good time at this convention (two for two so far), because I usually find at least one thing I want to get, or one celebrity I want to meet or see. But if you’re not actually looking to buy something or meet a celebrity, it’s hard to recommend an event like this. There’s not much for a person to do outside of buying things, picture taking, and autograph getting. And if none of these things catch your fancy, you might want to wait for Wondercon.