Long Beach Comic Con of 2015 was a mix bag of reaction but it did establish one general theme that has been constant since the beginning: Long Beach Comic Con will always feature something different and independent.
This year, LBCC exploded with the addition of celebrity guests, food trucks, a science corner, and long lines for registration. Interestingly enough, there was a mini-con going on in the exhibit hall hosted by Devastator Press. Devastator Press is a comedy print company publishing zines and graphic novels centered around a certain theme. Many of the contributors to Devastator Press are also writers of animation and television shows. Many of the novels are complete nostalgic comic fodder. My personal favorite was the crossover edition that featured a much more twisted and satanic perspective on Babysitter’s Club, Boxcar Children, and Sweet Valley High.
I have been very happy to be a supporter of Devastator Press since it’s beginning about six years ago. The novels and comics have definitely filled a gap that was created from the end of MAD television show. If you are fan of the humor that MAD magazine and television show put out, then these published works are definitely recommended to be checked out. Devastator Press booth are usually at almost every convention with print copies available. Or you can nab digital copies on their website.
In addition to a series of comedy panels on the Saturday of the con, Devastator Press took up a good corner of the convention surrounded by artists and writers that they support. Dressed to the nines in my Ursula suit up cosplay, I was able to chat with several of the creators.A summary of those I did and did not speak to can be seen below. As always, I encourage everyone to check out all of these creators. You may find your next inspiration or just a great laugh.
- Zoe Moss and Jacob Strick- Pizza Day Comics (http://www.pizzadaycomics.com/)
This comedy couple were one of the first ones up for chatting. Both collaborate on Pizza Day comics. Pizza Day Comics caters to the random humor that I sometimes utter out and confuse people with. The strips are pretty cute and fun. Enough for me to waste some time clicking through them. They each also have their own websites. Jacob Strick has www.internetwhiteknight.com/ featuring some of his video projects. Zoe Moss takes care of http://brainfarto.com/ which was an absolute personal joy for me. Zoe Moss has artwork of almost every one of my favorite cartoons: Ahhh! Real Monsters!, Over the Garden Wall, even some Doctor Who fun.
- Sam Spina-Spinadoodles (http://spinadoodles.tumblr.com/)
Of all the people I interviewed, I was surprised by Spina. Spina struck me as a quiet and shy creator but as usual, first impressions are deceiving. Spina’s calm demeanor is an iron-clad facade. His art and humor is pretty energetic and so relatable. I was also pleased as punch to see another creator depicting the weirdness of cats. For cats are weird. I love them but they’re weird.
After the interview, I also watched the short that he created for Nick Shorts titled “Holes”. I really, really enjoyed it! So cute!!! Especially the gopher. The short has three great friends who have finished digging out their hangout place underground. The complications of which is soon made apparent as they lie right below their ornery neighbor. Click HERE for the the video. Enjoy!
- Erwin Ledford- Li’l Erwin (http://plainestplane.tumblr.com/)
Ledford is an autobiographical comedy artist. He features his childhood traumatic events and other stuff in his graphic novel, Li’l Erwin. I didn’t get a chance to purchase one so I don’t have much to comment on that. Judging by the interview, I can guess at the sarcastic humor contained within the pages. Possibly some wrestling action. He also some great artwork that really reminds me of King of the Hill. Such as this one:
- Yehudi Mercado– Buffalo Speedway, Rocket Savage, PTX (http://www.supermercadoent.com/)
This year has been a great year for getting into comics. So many great stories and new voices. There has also been alot of comics that kind of caught my attention but fell through the cracks. Rocket Savage was one of those comics that caught my attention. The bright colors and cartoon style were enough to check it out. I reviewed the first issue and did remember enjoying it. Unfortunately, it did fall off my radar. Realizing that I had missed a chance to chat and compliment the creator (thank you time constraints and draining camera battery), just bums me out over all. Well, here’s to 2016 and hoping to get a chance to meet with Mercado!
Mercado’s work should be checked out. Especially if you are fan of Speed Racer, Star Wars, action movies, and other fun stuff. From the brief exposure I had with Rocket Savage (which will be amended soon), the art is a mixture of 90’s cartoon, humor, splices of social commentary, and some ridiculous stuff. Mercado also features some great trailers for his comics, such as the one for Buffalo Speedway below. Buffalo Speedyway is an epic day in 1994 when epic cultural events spawned the greatest need of all: pizzas!
Other than the comics, the coolest part in digging around the website was discovering the T-shirts bearing Mercado’s artwork. My favorite is the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt one and Rey running. A few more things to add to my ever growing want list!
- Rachel Dukes– Mixtape Comics (http://www.mixtapecomics.com/)
Rachel’s table at Long Beach Comic Con immediately made me squeal and do many gibberish sounds. Her table was covered with the cutest little cat plushie dolls! I mean…LOOK AT THIS!!! ::gibberish squeals::
Since I had sufficiently embarrassed myself from squealing, I peeked around her website and was thrilled to find her Frankie Comics. Frankie is the name of the Siamese cat character and the comics chronicles the antics of said cat. Seeing how many of the adventures mirror so closely to my own cat encounters, I’m pretty sure Frankie is based off a real cat. Rachel has also done some creative work for Boom! comic studios including a cute variant cover for Over the Garden Wall (an animated series that I completely fell in love with this year and everyone should fall in love with too!).
She has a wide range of styles in terms of comics but I am unabashedly biased towards cats. I’m a cat lady. Completely not sorry.
Oh goodness, she also has T-shirts featuring her artwork. Now I’m eyeing a great gym tank top…..
- Megan Nicole Dong– Sketch Shark (http://sketchshark.tumblr.com/)
One of the strangest and off humor artists at Devastator. I give the artist mad props for being a marine biologist and an artist. There is plenty of weird stuff out there in the ocean, so no shortage of that. The humor is very,very silly and weird. The kind of weird that makes me giggle and giggle and giggle. Especially when I stumble upon a doodle like the one below:
- James Hicks– Little Vampires (http://little-vampires.com/)
Combine classic horror movie monsters, a bit of chibi cuteness, and humor to get, ta-dah!, Little Vampires. The site features panels of cutness and silliness. Like the one below. Although this just stroke me as adorable. The creator is currently transitioning to a move to a different state so new comics will be featuring on January 4th,2016. Until then, take a glance through the archives and enjoy the doses of cute.
- Michael Aushenker– Cartoon Flophouse ( http://www.cartoonflophousecomics.com/)
Then we begin to delve into the gritty, kind of underground type of comic. This is not my style and not something my eyes would drawn to automatically. One of the comics is Those Unstoppable Rogues featuring a talking duck and tortoise. The duck really reminds me of Duckman from the nineties. As for the overall gist of the comic, I’m getting a sarcastic and hectic vibe. Every space in the panel was taken by art or word bubbles and was just too much for me to get into. It might be your thing, so feel free to check it out.