Posts Tagged ‘All Ages’

Like a flash, the 2018 Long Beach Comic Expo came and went this past weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center. This convention for all things comics moved to the convention center’s Hall A, and visitors had to enter from the west side. The main operations of the expo had not changed – hundreds of local comic book writers and artists exhibited their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more, either for sale or for show. Elsewhere in other rooms around the Exhibit Lobby, a number workshops and seminars occurred, ranging from speaker panels to art workshops to live activities. Cosplay Corner returned to the expo as a part of the show floor as like in previous years. Nothing else drastic changed from the previous years of the Long Beach Comic Expo; however, I experienced lower attendance than usual this past weekend compared to previous years. Last year’s expo faced bad weather, but this past weekend had nice weather, in addition to a holiday weekend.

As a comic expo, we cannot forget about the diehard fans dressing up as their favorite fictional character. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into an art of fans sporting outfits and accessories to appear like another usually recognizable character. Mainstream characters such as Harley Quinn and Deadpool often get selected as the costume of choice due to the fast recognition by many fans, while lesser known characters tend to receive more praise by the fans who recognize the outfit. Check out this collection of the great costumes from the 2017 Long Beach Comic Expo. If you recognize any of these awesome people, please leave a comment with a URL to the person’s website or Facebook page, as well as the reference costume & photo! If the image links go down, click here for the album.

The Fall expo, the Long Beach Comic Con, returns in early September. The Fall event should return to the exact same location as this past weekend’s event, and generally has a greater turnout due to more famous people in attendance. Until then, keep an eye out for other similar expos, such as WonderCon at the end of March, or Anime Expo in early July. You have plenty of time to work up that unique and amazing DIY costume that everyone will want to take a picture of.

For best results, view this video with a mobile device!

The Fall 2017 Santa Ana Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival returns to Downtown Santa Ana this coming Sunday. Now at a new location at East 4th Street and Spurgeon Street, this semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fairs in Long Beach, Oakland, and Santa Ana. To envision Patchwork Fest, imagine an arts & crafts fair, but catered to a modern trendy crowd. As I describe it to others, imagine an art fair full of hipsters, but in a non-offensive way. The many local vendors set up their booths here, selling their wares, merchandise, apparel, accessories, foods, desserts, music, and so on. Patchwork Fest emphasizes supporting the local community, a perfect follow-up to Small Business Saturday that takes place this Saturday, a day prior to Patchwork Fest.

Completely free to attend to the public, Patchwork Fest openly welcomes pets, and boasts a free bike valet for visitors. Each branch of the streets will feature dozens of different local vendors all selling their various goods and/or services. Check out the few music booths around the area, which will host local musicians. Visitors who get hungry can enjoy fresh hot eats from the various food vendors throughout the event area, or can browse through the various food booths in the fest for portable eats. As this event takes place in Downtown Santa Ana, visitors will walk by a handful of great local restaurants as well.

As a FREE event open to all ages and all pets, Patchwork Fest presents a welcome opportunity to support the local community. Commuting visitors should look for parking in the neighborhood to the south. Come experience what makes Patchwork Fest a repeat success, and support local businesses while having fun this Sunday. For more information about this Sunday’s event and future events, make sure you keep up with Patchwork Fest by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The highly anticipated TwitchCon took place at the Long Beach Convention Center this past weekend. This all-ages convention represents one of the biggest annual video gaming events worldwide, attracting tens of thousands of international attendees. As a convention that focuses on Twitch, a livestreaming website, many of the booths, vendors, and programs pertained to video games and streaming. As a major event, the convention contained so many activities, programs, booths, and more that one could not easily access everything in one day. From gaming tournaments to video game demos to streaming services and more, TwitchCon more than earns its place as one of the world’s top video game related events to attend.

TwitchCon took over the entire Long Beach Convention Center, using up every single room and hall. TwitchCon dedicated some of the major rooms to its own programs, such as the Glitch Theater for screenings, or the H1Z1 Arena for H1Z1 tournaments throughout the weekend featuring some of the world’s top players of that game. On the other side of the convention center from the aforementioned rooms, attendees could find all the rooms for the seminars (all of which you can find recorded and uploaded on Twitch), as well as the Twitch Store, where attendees could purchase official Twitch apparel and accessories. Of course, who can forget about the expo hall? Nearly all of the action took place within the expo hall, which contained too many things going on that I could possibly list. A variety of stages, video game demos, exhibits, gaming vendors, and more covered the floor of the expo hall, spread out just enough to give attendees room to walk through. If an attendee wanted to check out every single booth and play every game demo available, that would definitely take more than one day at TwitchCon. But what about for those who did not care to play all the demos?

TwitchCon sold 3-day passes in addition to single-day passes. Does one truly need more than one day at TwitchCon? Once you have seen all the booths, you have seen them – no need to return another day to see them again. Since the booths and stages remain the same, what changes daily? The programs change daily, and the people you may encounter change daily. As mentioned earlier, you can watch all of the programs that you may have missed – all of the seminars got recorded and uploaded to Twitch. As for the people, exactly what I predicted occurred – much like VidCon, the “celebrity” streamers constantly had a swarm of people following them. Nobody ever saw a “celebrity” streamer alone – they always had a posse with them. The majority of attendees only wanted to see these famous gamers and streamers, so the popular got more popular while many attendees did not care much about the lesser streamers. It felt like TwitchCon represented a platform for top streamers to show off their fame, rather than a convention to actually help small streamers grow their audiences. Oh, and the plague that has befallen Twitch known as “IRL”? What happens in IRL happened at TwitchCon too, especially with the female streamers. Put it this way – LOTS of female streamers present at TwitchCon essentially wore clothing that they would never wear to visit their grandparents, and like the famous streamers, one would never see them alone.

Some people have already asked me, “How did you like TwitchCon?” To each person, I always gave a short and concise response: “I thoroughly enjoyed TwitchCon, but I would not go back again.” TwitchCon represents an event that you must attend at least once, but not need to attend multiple times. Any fan of video games and/or streamers ought to attend TwitchCon just to say that they did it and went. I compare TwitchCon to Coachella – I believe everyone should go to Coachella once just to say that they went. I will say the same thing about TwitchCon – I believe everyone should go to TwitchCon once just to say that they went. However, do not just jump the gun and flat out buy tickets to next year’s TwitchCon. If you have some favorite streamers that you follow, ask them if they plan to attend TwitchCon, and if they do intend to go, then by all means purchase a ticket so that you can meet them. If you do not visit Twitch already. I encourage you to create a Twitch account (if you do not already have an account) and start finding streamers to follow. Twitch has evolved beyond video gaming streams – Twitch now contains livestreams for almost any aspect of life, such as art, cooking, music, fitness, activities, events, travel, and more. If you have used Facebook Live, Twitter Live, Instagram Live, or Snapchat, then you already have the knowledge of livestreams.

Check out my photos from TwitchCon 2017 below, and watch my videos from TwitchCon from each day: Day One, Day Two, and Day Three.

Food news & media giant Foodbeast brought back one of their major events this past Saturday, Ooze Fest, for its third year running. Hailed as Southern California’s premier cheese festival, this tasting event brought out dozens of Orange County restaurants to serve up their best cheese-inspired food samples to the hundreds of attendees. In addition, a handful of Southern California’s microbreweries set up to serve some refreshing brews to pair with all the food going around. Ooze Fest took place across two different time slots on Saturday in order to spread out the amount of attendees: an afternoon session and an evening session. Each session allowed all attendees to have unlimited food and drinks while supplies lasted, and as far as the first session went, no booth ran out of food. The first session featured a grilled cheese sandwich eating contest, while the second session featured a pizza eating contest and a hot sauce challenge. Other than that, this event ran exactly how they described it originally – pay to get in, then eat and drink as much as you can until the event ends. Fortunately, spreading this event over two sessions meant that attendees did not have to deal with long lines at the food and drink booths.

In the days leading up to this event, I only worried about excess attendance and having to wait in lines for food. Fortunately this issue never surfaced greatly thanks to having two sessions instead of cramming everyone into one session. At times, a few of the vendors had to catch up on making food, so some people inevitably had to wait in a line. In the end, this event never turned into a wait fest, unlike some other similar events. Stay tuned in the upcoming year as they plan to bring back some of their other events, such as a noodle fest.

The Los Angeles Dragon Boat Races & Festival moved to the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale this past Saturday. For those who may have missed the Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival last month, this iteration will seem familiar, if not in the same format. In addition to the races, various tradition Chinese performers entertained spectators between races, mainly consisting of Lion Dance acts and music. People ask what makes a dragon boat race so spectacular, to which I respond with what makes (fill in the blank) race so spectacular? Much like how many attend NASCAR or horse-racing events, dragon boat racing thrills and shakes the heart. Besides visually watching the race, you have to keep your ears open for the pounding of the drums and the chanting of the paddlers. Combining your senses allows for a full-body experience at a dragon boat race.

The Misfits (FB / TW) performing Where Eagles Dare at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on November 16, 2013.

The Alhambra Moon Festival on Main took place this past weekend. Free to attend for all ages, this mini street fair took place on 2nd Street, closing it to through-traffic during the weekend. This event featured a handful of local vendors along the street selling cultural items.

Which came first: the chicken or the egg? Since the beginning of time, civilization has always asked what came first. While the public can typically attribute tangible items with an origin, everything else requires documentation to pinpoint an origin, unless generally accepted. For example, the gourmet food truck trend started in early 2009 with Kogi BBQ, which everyone will say started it all. When you look at expos for comic books, all fans will tell you that the San Diego one started it all. But with the San Diego Comic Con selling out in seconds every year, what else can fans do? Sure they can shell out the cash for super inflated after-market passes, but why not travel up the coast two hours to Los Angeles County? LA County hosts a handful of comics events and cons, some of which can appear as large as the San Diego one, such as Nerdbot-Con.

Nerdbot-Con 2017 returned to the Pasadena Convention Center this past Saturday to a massive crowd easily in the thousands. For as large a turnout that appeared, this expo consumed the entirety of the conference center, the entire east building, to hold that many fans. Taking place in all rooms of the conference center, dozens of comic book writers and artists traveled here to exhibit their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more. In addition to the expo on the show floor, various workshops and seminars took place in the surrounding meeting rooms for those who registered ahead of time. Throughout the day, various activities took place on the show floor to keep attendees entertained, such as live bands, scene reenactments, karaoke, dancing, and more.

Even to those not interested in comics, everyone should attend a comic expo/con just to see everyone dressing up in costume. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into a staple for any sort of expo in this industry, and the fans proudly donned their best gear for this expo. Watch in amazement the best of the best of this year’s Nerdbot-Con.

Missed out on Nerdbot-Con? Keep an eye out for other similar expos, such as Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con in late October, BlizzCon in early November, and Anime Los Angeles in late January. You have plenty of time to work up that unique and amazing DIY costume that everyone will want to take a picture of.

The annual Orange County International Auto Show returned to the Anaheim Convention Center this past weekend. This all-ages car show basically represented a huge trade fair, with most of the major automobile manufacturers all present to not only showcase all the current and new models, but to garner some sales from the thousands of attendees. Admission only cost $12 and granted attendees full access to the entire floor to scout out all the cars, trucks, exotics, parts, accessories, and more. Besides all the cars on display, attendees could test-drive some of the cars too.

The OC Auto Show returns every year to the Anaheim Convention Center some time in October. Bookmark it for next year, as this event makes for a great way to spend a few hours of your weekend with friends and family. Give them a like on Facebook and a follow on Twitter to show your love of cars.

The Irvine Global Village Festival returned for its 16th year running this past Saturday afternoon. Taking place at Bill Barber Park, this free and all-ages festival contained five distinct areas, each representing the different offerings the fest had to offer: restaurants, entertainment, vendors, cultural area, and kid’s area. Although free to attend, participation favored those who planned to visit for a long time. Guests needed to purchase tickets in order to eat, drink, or participate in rides, games, events, etc. Since guests could not purchase individual tickets, this system catered more towards families spending the day there.