Posts Tagged ‘Manga’

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.

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The 2017 Anime Expo returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center starting this Saturday and running through Tuesday. This annual 4-day expo for all things Anime & Manga attracts exhibitors and fans from across the globe for the largest gathering of its kind in the world. What started as a simple expo for those in the Anime industry has grown to encompass anything remotely related to the art of Japanese art & animation. Today, this large expo now hosts artists, designers, vendors, video game companies, technicians, actors/actresses, voice actors, models, musicians, singers, cosplayers, and much more to spread their work out to the public as well as interact with the fans. With so much to do, so many people to see, and so many people wanting to get in (tens of thousands of visitors on the first day!), naturally the organizers had to make this expo cover a span of four days every year.

As the current world’s largest expo of its kind, one can expect sheer overflow of people in the area for miles. Road traffic does not face as much of a problem, save for the exuberant parking prices that reaches upwards of $40 per vehicle. Pedestrian traffic causes the most headaches, from the uncontrolled crosswalks to the endless line of jaywalkers. If anything definitely terrorizes attendees, the line to enter the expo causes the most grief. From getting in line to getting into the building, the wait in the mornings usually takes hours to enter. Strangely, very few attendees complain about this, as if they accept this year after year. Upon questioning some attendees from previous years, they mention that at least a hundred attendees camp overnight, and that entering the line at 8am when the expo opens still takes over an hour to get in. They also mention that the first day always sees the most amount of attendees, which sounds reasonable. Lesson learned: if attending Anime Expo, either attend extremely early on the first day, or attend on the second and/or third day.

The actual expo covers the entire span on the convention center, both the South Hall and the West Hall. The main expo occurs in the South Hall, while the West Hall houses the miscellaneous activities, such as workshops, video game competitions, cosplay contests, and more. The expo simply has too much going on, so I understand why most attendees purchase either the two or four day pass rather than just a single day. The expo contains different sections based on the content; for example, attendees would find the artist booths at the back, the autographs at the right, the merchandise in the middle, and celebrity/actor appearances at the front.

For any type of expo or convention of this nature, sure we may want to pay attention to the exhibitors, but at the heart of any gathering of this kind, our attention instantly turns to the cosplayers. Attendees love to dress up as their favorite character to show their pride and/or craftsmanship, while some simply slap together a lazy costume just to blend in somehow, such as the hundreds of attendees with a Teemo hat. For Anime Expo, the world’s largest expo of its kind, attendees either go all in or go nothing.

Many fandom events have occurred recently in Southern California. The term “fandom” refers to a broad range of pop culture interests and hobbies, from comics to video games to anime/manga and more. The most popular ones cost the most to get in, but a lot of smaller ones often do not cost much, if not completely free, to attend, and more often than not the smaller ones still attract a huge crowd, such as TitanCon 2017. Hosted at the student union on the Cal State Fullerton campus, TitanCon represents a locally-run community event around all things anime, manga, and video games. Taking place this past Saturday from 11am to 10pm, this free and all-ages event attracted thousands of fans of anime, manga, and video games to this quaint gathering for a fun day of mixing and mingling. Visitors would find artists, vendors, merchandise, mobile food vendors, live entertainment, cosplay contests, video games, a maid café, and more.

While it may not have the abundant amount of content that larger conventions and expos would have, Coast Con still had enough content to keep visitors occupied for hours. The student union primarily contained all the happenings of TitanCon, where attendees would check in, find the artist/vendor hall, check out all the programming, enter the maid café, play games, and more. On the other side of the student union from the check-in table, the majority of cosplayers gathered on all floors. The cosplayers took advantage of the stairs and the large outdoor space to handle all their photos, dancing, and acting.

Since none of the programming took place at the southeast section of the student union, this represented a great place to not only relax, but for attendees to mingle and meet others. I have attended countless fandom events in the past, but always attended as a regular person with a camera. This time, I actually arrived in costume, providing me with an entirely different experience. Many attendees stopped me to take a photo of me, while many others wanted to converse with me. Sure this distracted me from taking hundreds of photos like I usually do, but experiencing the life of a cosplayer more than made up for it, as I now understand how other cosplayers feel. While it may sound like a silly concept to people not into comics, anime, video games, or other forms of media, I highly encourage everyone to try cosplaying at least once, and not just buying a premade costume from a Halloween store.

Expect many more fandom events in Southern California in the near future. SoCal has Comic Con Revolution taking place in less than two weeks from now. The granddaddy of all anime events, the Anime Expo, takes place on the 4th of July weekend as it always does. The major maestro of comic cons, the Comic Con, takes place just three weeks following Anime Expo. Remember that smaller events will always occur between then, so always check with your local community to find more events to visit.

Many fandom events have occurred recently in Southern California. The term “fandom” refers to a broad range of pop culture interests and hobbies, from comics to video games to anime/manga and more. The most popular ones cost the most to get in, but a lot of smaller ones often do not cost much, if not completely free, to attend, and more often than not the smaller ones still attract a huge crowd, such as as Coast Con 2017. Hosted by Anime Academia, an organization of Orange Coast College, Coast Con represents a locally-run community event around all things anime, manga, and video games. Taking place this past Saturday from 12pm to 8pm, this free and all-ages event attracted hundreds of fans of anime, manga, and video games to this quaint gathering for a fun day of mixing and mingling. Visitors would find artists, merchandise, live entertainment, cosplay contests, video game booths, a maid café, and more.

While it may not have the abundant amount of content that larger conventions and expos would have, Coast Con still had enough content to keep visitors occupied for a few hours. The Student Center acted as the hub of the event, containing a check-in table, lots of vendors, and the maid café. Directly outside in the maid quad, more artists and vendors set up along the center aisle. Going past this aisle, we find the classrooms that had the event’s programming, which included the video game stations and anime viewing rooms. Walking down from the main quad to the Moore Theatre brought us to the main stage where they held the cosplay contests. I only stuck around for the main cosplay contest that had everyone strut their stuff for the audience, and boy did a lot of people dress up for such a low-key event. This goes to show the dedication that these cosplayers have towards their interests.

While Anime Academia exists as a college organization, they often put on events open to the public. Check out Anime Academia on Facebook to see what other events they have planned that you can attend.

Like a flash, the 2017 Long Beach Comic Expo came and went this past weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center. This convention for all things comics returned to the convention center’s Hall C just like previous years, and visitors had to enter from the east side instead of the usual west side due to another convention taking place along the western rooms. 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 across from Hall C, 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 in the same side of the room as previous years. Nothing else drastic changed from the previous years of the Long Beach Comic Expo, but due to the weekend’s storms, a few things got moved around – notably, anything vehicular moved to the other side from the entrance, such as themed cars and the mobile food vendors. Many cosplayers often remain out in front for photo shoots; however, due to the weather, most attendees preferred to remain inside the expo halls. Overall, I experienced lower attendance than usual this past weekend, and many attribute that to bad weather.

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.

The 2017 Long Beach Comic Expo returns to the Long Beach Convention Center this weekend, taking place over two days in all its glory. Returning to Hall C and the Pacific Promenade area, hundreds of local comic book writers and artists will travel here to exhibit their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more. Eager fans can gain access to the entire show floor for $30 per person for Saturday, $25 for Sunday, or $50 for both days, with children 10 and under entering free with a paid adult admission. In addition to the expo on the show floor, various workshops and seminars will occur in the surrounding meeting rooms for those who register ahead of time. Diehard fans will recognize the various celebrities sitting in for meet & greet and autograph sessions.

Some general tips to make your visit pleasant:

  • Peak time: 12pm-2pm on Saturday, as you will encounter the most amount of cosplayers at this time
  • Wear comfortable shoes, as you will walk a lot.
  • I advise staying for as long as possible to see more and interact with other attendees. Also have enough energy to last the entire time.
  • While mostly indoors, a lot of the cosplayers like to hang out outside for photo shoots. Regardless, it would behoove you to dress for chilly or possibly rainy weather.
  • Have extra cash available for food as well as merchandise if you think you will buy something inside the expo.
  • Get into character! Even if you cannot dress up, cosplayers love to act their part and interact with others.
  • Expect to take a lot of photos, so bring an extra camera or power bank for smartphones.
  • I know we normally tell our kids to not talk to strangers, but at this event, attendees encourage others to chat with the cosplayers, especially children.

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 don their best gear for this expo.

The turn of a new year indicates that Lunar New Year soon approaches, and with it comes countless fairs, festivals, and events that all celebrate this cultural tradition. However, no other event brings everything all together quite like the Asian American Expo. Now in its 36th year, this event returned to the Fairplex in Pomona this past weekend to deliver the expansive world of Eastern culture. This all-ages expo featured just about everything revolving around Chinese culture and Asian pop culture in general, from the fashion to the fiction to the food to the art to the music and so much more. Attendees would encounter art, music, dance, entertainment, cosplay, fashion, anime, manga, comics, video games, merchandise, accessories, food, drinks, treats, and tons of other things that could keep one occupied for more than just a weekend. Many attendees went all out and dressed for the occasion, while other fans simply attended to check out what this expo has to offer, and believe me you could spend more than a day here.

While the Asian American Expo covered a great portion of the Fairplex, the expo consists of more than just its own vendor expo – the event incorporates Anime Impulse as well as The Silk Show, both of which took place in its own expo hall. The Silk Show took place in one of the expo halls and basically contained vendors for apparel and shoes. For most of the expo’s action, we turn to Anime Impulse. This annual event for all things Anime & Manga attracts exhibitors and fans from across the globe for a huge gathering of like-minded people. Attendees would find artists, designers, vendors, video game developers, technicians, actors/actresses, voice actors, models, musicians, singers, cosplayers, and much more. Within the layout of the Asian American Expo, Anime Impulse took up an expo hall and a half, splitting a second expo hall with part of the overall expo. Anime Impulse also utilizes a lot of the open space as well, as many of the cosplayers and anime fans spread out around the area, most of which looked for a good spot to take photos at. However, most of the action took place inside the main expo hall, filled with all the vendors as well as the indoor stage. A special Maid Café event took place in the back corner; however, this required an additional admission fee to check out, mainly for those who actively participate in those kinds of events.

Even to those not interested in the anime or manga or video games, everyone should attend an anime 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. Observe some of what you may expect to see in cosplay at an anime event:

The Asian American Expo, in conjunction with Anime Impulse and The Silk Show, operates annually right before Lunar New Year. While it will take another year for this particular series of events to return, plenty of Lunar New Year events will take place all the way up to the actual Lunar New Year. Check out my blog every Monday morning for a post about the following week’s events to see if one will come to your area. In the meantime, get social with the Asian American Expo by liking them on Facebook. You can also get social with Anime Impulse by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. The same goes for The Silk Show: check them out on Facebook and Twitter as well. If you missed out on visiting the Fairplex this past weekend, fret not – Anime Los Angeles will take place at the Ontario Convention Center in less than two weeks from now.

The 2017 Anime Impulse returns to the Fairplex in Pomona this Saturday and Sunday. This annual event for all things Anime & Manga attracts exhibitors and fans from across the globe for a huge gathering of like-minded people. What started as a simple expo for those in the Anime industry has grown to encompass anything remotely related to the art of Japanese art & animation, as Anime Impulse takes place concurrently with the annual Asian American Expo and The Silk Show, both also at the Fairplex. Today, this combined event now hosts artists, designers, vendors, video game companies, technicians, actors/actresses, voice actors, models, musicians, singers, cosplayers, and much more to spread their work out to the public as well as interact with the fans. With so much to do, attendees can spend the two full days exploring everything here, and possibly not see everything offered in time.

The actual event covers a huge span of the Fairplex event grounds, occupying multiple buildings and outdoor areas. Admission cost $11 per day, and grants access to all connected events: Anime Impulse, Asian American Expo, and the Silk Show. Parking costing $11 per vehicle per day – attendees commuting there should enter Gate 9 on N White Avenue. The event’s show hours start at 10am and end at 7pm both days. These events will occur rain or shine, so prepare yourself for the weather for this weekend, including those who will dress up. Attendees should plan to bring extra cash to not only pay for parking, but to pay for food, since the event does not allow ins-&-outs. If you feel that you cannot make it to the Fairplex this weekend, fret not – Anime Los Angeles will take place at the Ontario Convention Center two weeks later. In the meantime, check out what you may encounter at Anime Impulse by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. In the meantime, check out photos from last year’s Anime Impulse:

Following photos by Shannon Cottrell:

Following photos by Fil Zafra:

An expo featuring the expansive world of Eastern culture took place this past weekend, as the 2016 Pacific Media Expo returned to the Pasadena Convention Center. As its name suggests, this expo featured just about everything revolving around Asian pop culture, from the fashion to the fiction to the food to the art to the music and so much more. Attendees would encounter art, music, dance, entertainment, cosplay, fashion, anime, manga, comics, video games, merchandise, accessories, food, drinks, treats, and tons of other things that could keep one occupied for more than just a weekend. Many attendees went all out and dressed for the occasion, while other fans simply attended to check out the latest in Asian pop culture.

Due to the excess amount of photos in this blog post, photos will appear in reduced resolution. Please visit the Facebook album to view all of the photos in a larger resolution.

I attended two out of the three days, so I will do my best to chronicle my adventures at the 2016 Pacific Media Expo. With so much to do, I often found myself bouncing back and forth between rooms, programs, and seminars. Upon my arrival on Friday afternoon, I immediately started to scout out the area to get a feel for the layout of this expo. At one point, I did end up in a section of the convention center dedicated to an entirely different event. Roaming around revealed to me that the expo took place on both sides of the convention center: the ballrooms and the conference rooms on the other side of the theater. Starting with the conference rooms, these rooms held mainly the fashion rooms, with markets, shops, and fashion-based programs in the back room. This side also had the gaming room for those attendees wanting to relax a bit between programs.

After checking out the conference rooms, I roamed over to the ballrooms. The front two ballrooms contained a variety of seminars and programs. The next three ballrooms would contain the Artists’ Market (display), the Main Stage (entertainment), and the Exhibit Hall (vendors). As the Exhibit Hall also contained food vendors in an enclosed space, the scent of food wafted all throughout the room plus a small section of the foyer in front of that ballroom.

Now that I had scouted out the entire expo area, I started to explore the rooms individually to discover the programs. One ballroom had a lip-sync dance show, while another had a panel discussing retro video games. Wandering back to the conference rooms, I discovered a fashion panel presented by a butler café.

As the sun set, the expo’s Opening Ceremonies started to take place. This mainly involved the expo’s special guests introducing themselves, talking about their experience traveling here in Southern California, and previewing what they will do that weekend at the expo. Also around this time, the Swap Meet started to set up in the ballroom foyer, which attracted dozens of attendees to come check out the goods. Typically the items found at the Swap Meet cost less than the items in the Exhibit Hall. Attendees would likely find rare goods as well. Following the Opening Ceremonies, a few more programs took place involving cosplay and martial arts.

Capping off the night, a concert took place featuring Hitomi from a maid café in Akihabara, Japan. Essentially a one-woman show, Hitomi danced and sang in her cutesy style. Since she speaks exclusively Japanese, Hitomi had a translator with her between songs when she spoke to the audience. She also got the audience involved in some sort of Rock-Paper-Scissors game that the maids do regularly at their café in Japan. She gave out autographed posters to those who bested her in that game. After this concert, I called it a night so that I could return the next day with energy to make it through the night.

On Saturday, I arrived at the expo at about the same time as I had on Friday, meaning that I arrived in the middle of another concert, this one featuring Stephanie Yanez. Unlike Hitomi, Stephanie can speak English, so she had no issues communicating with the audience.

Following the concert, I got to check out many more programs and activities of the expo. These activities included a business fashion panel, yoga room, DDR-like game, panel discussing idol culture, meet & greet with Hitomi, live art session, and indie fashion panel.

Just like the previous night, the Swap Meet opened after sunset, attracting dozens of people the come check out the goods. Also at this time, the Fashion Swap Meet took place in the conference rooms area, focused more on apparel and accessories rather than fandom goods.

Saturday’s main event involved the Masquerade Cosplay Contest. Over a dozen attendees participated in this contest to exhibit their outfit and character, since the contest required participants to do something to act in character. Some of the participants merely posed, while others performed some dance routine. After the participants strutted their stuff, an intermission show took place that featured a professional group of women performing their act for the audience. Finally, awards of varying categories went out to the participants.

With the main event over, night had fallen, indicating the start of the more mature programs of the expo. A few Truth Or Dare programs took place, both of which got very dirty as time progressed. After that, the ballrooms converted to a dance hall and a singalong room. The final event in the conference rooms involved speed dating. According to some of the returning attendees, last year’s speed dating delivered a lot of success in terms of matching people up. I had never attended Pacific Media Expo before, and this year’s speed dating broke the expectation of how speed dating should look. Basically, only about seven women showed up, some of which did not have any interest in dating or already had a partner – they participated simply to participate, but not to find romance. Compare that with the 20+ guys that showed up, most of which appeared as the stereotypical hikikomori.

Alas, I did not return to the expo on Sunday, as the first two days had greatly drained all of my energy. Fret not, for I still managed to capture many of the cosplays of the 2016 Pacific Media Expo. Even to those not interested in anime or manga, everyone should attend an expo/con of this nature 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 Pacific Media Expo.

With the Pacific Media Expo having drawn to a close, it paves the way for additional similar expos in Southern California, one of the world’s largest communities of Asian pop culture outside of Japan. With connections to Anime Impulse, Anime Los Angeles, and Ninja Con, Southern California’s anime & manga industry coexist in a vast community of connected fans & friends. Stay in touch with the Pacific Media Expo to learn about future events and opportunities by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The 7th Annual Nuke the Fridge Con returns to the Frank & Son Collectible Show in Rowland Heights this Saturday. This FREE and all-ages event showcases countless forms of pop culture, reaching out to fans of nearly anything imaginable. Taking place inside a large warehouse with multiple aisles filled with vendors and booths, the Nuke the Fridge Con has all the memorabilia to satisfy any collector’s dream. From comics to video games to anime to sports, any visitor can easily find something that will interest him/her, or at the very least find the right gift for friends and/or family. In the previous years, this event had lasted two days: Saturday and Sunday. This year, it will only last for one day due to the celebrity appearances, namely those of professional wrestling.

The Nuke the Fridge Con attracts thousands of visitors annually due to its free cost and amount of content. As it takes place in mid-November typically, this event makes a great opportunity to search for holiday gifts for your friends and/or family. With so much to see here, you have little reason to not go to Nuke the Fridge Con. Give them a like on Facebook and a follow on Twitter to see what else they have planned.