California Festivals

Long Beach Comic Expo

February 18-19, 2018


Long Beach Comic Expo

By C. MacDonald

You never know who you are going to run into at the Long Beach Comic & Horror Con (recently held inside the Convention Center). It could be Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Darth Vadar, Actor Herb Jefferson Jr. (Lt. Boomer on Battlestar Galactica), Kevin Eastman (creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) or Butch Patrick (of Eddie Munster TV fame).

Celebrating its 5th successful year in Long Beach, the amazing show has so much to see and experience. It's a living, creative community of artists, writers, actors, designers, broadcasters, publishers, manufacturers and much more, who feed off (and learn so much from) each other. Not to mention the more than 8,000 passionate fans, who have the time of their lives getting to interact with their heroes. It's an annual "lovefest" you won't want to miss.

Not only are the costumed characters and the creative, insightful classes worth the price of admission, but the exhibitors are phenomenal and often unique, like Jason Rodgers of Fez-O-Rama. He seems right out of Casablanca or at least his heart is. He has personally made by hand more than 10,000 Fine Embroidered Velvet Fezzes since 2005.

The Long Beach resident believes in "Less Brim and More Whim." "Makes things more whimsical," says the friendly guy, whose business is in Fountain Valley. He studied Costume Design in college and has a passion for hats. Boy does it show. His $50-$60 fezzes have a velvet shell with quilted cotton lining and unique symbols.

"They're designed so friends can wear them in comfort and crunch them and everything will be ok. I made the first batch 13 years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer," he said. "I made the fezzes with a €˜Flaming Eyeball' for my friends and we all wore them out to bowl and eat dinner. People would stop and ask us about them."

He makes the hats in 7 different sizes. They have all different designs on them, the most popular being Cthulhu, an alien god. The convention crowd loved them and people could be seen proudly wearing their new fezzes around Long Beach.

"It's such a great convention for the fans and the artists, so creative and fun," said the delightful man who grew up with a carpenter father and an artist mother. "If we wanted something as a kid, we learned to make it ourselves. That's how I started making fezzes." (Learn more at

Also at the con were vendors like Offshoot Comics, which offer very positive messages to readers through their comic books, including the new "Heroes R Us," about a small town turned upside by the transformation of a general store into a toy store that sells superpowers. The children all rush to get the toys so they can have superpower.

These are positive stories illustrated by Joanne Kwan of San Francisco and created and written by David Clarke of Van Nuys. "Our message is that anyone can be a hero," Clarke said. "You don't need to have sex and violence to have a good story."

One of their comics even deals with the subject of bullies.

"We love coming here because it's so family friendly and we can talk to the public and explain what we're about. It's easy to get to know us and we're looking for further projects to help society," Clarke said. One representative from the Los Angeles Unified School District was very much interested in their positive, educational and entertaining comics. (For further info, go to

Another popular vendor was "Cruzin Thru Comics," owned by John Cruz and run by his family and friends. They buy and sell all types of comics from vintage to modern.

"It's a wonderful hobby that you can make money at," said Cruz of Saugus, who also works as a maintenance splicing technician for AT&T. "We all love coming here to this convention because everyone's so happy and we're glad to be part of the happiness. Everyone loves comic books!" (Cruz can be reached at


Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

More Info

Near Long Beach