CHAOS COLUMN SPECIAL
The So Cal wrestling scene. How it got me introduced to the local comic con scene.
This weekend has a good number of high-quality wrestling events throughout So Cal, led by the SBWA event at the SBWA Dojo in Bell Gardens, So Cal Pro’s “Super Clash” event, and the UEW event. It is also the weekend that one of my favorite comic conventions take place, and it is the one that has a direct tie-in to my 8 years of following the So Cal Independent Wrestling scene. That event, is the Long Beach Comic Con. You’re probably asking why I would talk about the Long Beach Comic Con here on SCU. The reason I want to talk about this particular connection, is because it was through following wrestling here in So Cal, that got me introduced to comic cons.
It started when Mach-1 Wrestling decided to hold a wrestling show as part of the 2009 Long Beach Comic Con. This was a time when the LBCC was still pretty small compared to how big it has become today, and well before Ring Announcer Angelo Trinidad became a major part of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla today. Named “Wrath of Con I”, the M1W card had James Morgan defending the singles title against Paul London. That card also featured Joey Ryan, then-future “2nd Shift” artist Scott Lost, and WWE alum Scotty 2 Hotty. At that time, I didn’t care much for comic artists, writers, small comic publishers, and the relative handful of cosplayers that were on the exhibit floor. In fact, the first three years of going to the LBCC was primarily due to M1W running shows as part of the program, and it was the only comic convention that I went to in those three calendar years.
Move forward to 2012, where I still found myself going to the LBCC–albeit that Saturday only, even though M1W no longer ran a show as part of the list of programs and panels. It was that year where my comic con experience shifted from killing time before going to a wrestling event, to throwing in my support for the comic artists and writers that were there, as well taking a few more photos of the cosplayers. It also happened to be where I met the first professional cosplayer that I would get to know by a cosplay name, much like pro wrestlers have ring names to go by. It wouldn’t be until the fall of 2013, that my comic con experience would explode, just as the art of cosplay would really take off–at least in my books. In the months that follow, I would see many of the L.A. area comic conventions expand exponentially–not just the LBCC, but also other great events like Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo, WonderCon, and Anime Expo. I find this very interesting because the So Cal wrestling scene appears to be skyrocketing, led by the huge demand for PWG and LU tickets, the expansion and influence of CWFH, and many of the top regional talents getting bookings from promoters in other parts of the country, and the world. It was also in late 2013, that I decided to upgrade my photo shooting experience, by buying my DSLR camera, which I use to this day. I bought it with the hope that I could take better photos of the cosplayers that I meet at the comic conventions. Who would’ve thought that taking it to wrestling events would yield some awesome fan photos? Definitely not until I took it to a SBWA show the night after the 2013 LBCC, and then the AWS show.
These days, it is not unsual for me to take time away from the wrestling scene, when it is the peak season for highly anticipated comic conventions. So far, that would be February–March for the Long Beach Comic Expo and WonderCon, and September–October for the Long Beach Comic Con and Comikaze. Some day, I hope to be able to spend a weekend in July at Anime Expo, if not both there and the elusive San Diego Comic Con (the nerds’ equivalent of WrestleMania). But no matter how much I anticipate going to a comic con, I always remember that if it wasn’t for following the wrestling scene here in So Cal, I probably would not have discovered the comic con scene like I did. So when I go to the LBCC this weekend, as well as the SBWA event this Saturday Night, I’ll always think back on the day I went to my first LBCC, for M1W, and look ahead to what both the So Cal wrestling and comic con scenes may bring.
Hope to see you guys at the SBWA Dojo on Saturday Night. You can even spend the day at the Long Beach Comic Con, right down the 710, at the Long Beach Convention Center, then go to the dojo that night.
Find “The Chaos Column on SCU” at these upcoming wrestling events:
Saturday – SBWA “423-GET-PAIN” Dojo Event
9/24 – AWS “Ladies Night 2”
10/7 – Sabotage Wrestling
10/8 – Quintessential Pro Wrestling
11/26 – AWS Thanksgiving Weekend event
…and at these upcoming comic conventions:
This Weekend – Long Beach Comic Con at the Long Beach Convention Center (Weekend passes still available)
9/24 – Nerd-Bot Con, Pasadena Convention Center ($16 presale at this time. Spend the day there, go to the AWS that night.)
10/28 – 10/30 – Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo at the L.A. Convention Center (Weekend & Saturday passes likely sold out, Friday & Sunday passes may still be available.)
11/12 – Nuke The Fridge Con, free event at the Frank & Sons Collectibles Show