Between the Booths: LA Comic Con 2019

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As you can see in the photo above, LA Comic Con was a massive event. Held in the heart of Downtown LA at the Convention Center, it was truly a sight to behold. Long considered to be the discount, little brother, of the titanic San Diego Comic Con, this year felt different. I’ve been to two LA Comic Con events before this one. They were both to play the card game Magic: the Gathering, so I wasn’t exactly focusing on the event surrounding me. It was still called Stan Lee’s Comikaze back then. So those events were a nice novelty to get out for the weekend, but nothing as massive as other cons.

That Hashtag Journey At LA Comic Con

Even after arriving at 8:50am before a 9:30am door opening, there was a mass of people in attendance. Comic book and pop culture fans were lined up outside to go through metal detectors. An equal number was waiting inside. Having been to San Diego Comic Con before it was this massive cultural event in the past, I wasn’t ready for the huge amount of people. Once the doors opened at 9:30, people were, of course, sprinting to get the exclusives from major sponsor, Hot Topic.

Walking into the event was sort of a sonic overload. The picture above is from a conference room above the entrance, so just imagine you’re just below that. The main stage sat in the back of the room. That’s where the major panels happened, including: Jay and Silent Bob, an X-Men Animated Series reunion, and many others. If it wasn’t for That Hashtag Show having panels to distract from the chaos below in the main room, I’m not sure I would have survived. I don’t have an exact number on how many attendees the event had, but I think they were in the mid ten thousands. It was a huge amount of people (I’ll get around to how I would fix this issue later).

ESports At LA Comic Con

The first That Hashtag Show panel on the weekend was our ESports Panel. For those in attendance it was a real treat to see this gathering of professionals in the ESports discipline. We had a complete range of people from team owners, coaches, and players. It was an insightful and highly informative look into what goes into creating a dream to play video games professionally. We had a good amount of questions from the audience. Overall the panel was a success. There’ll be a video of the whole thing going up on the Hashtag Youtube page sometime this week or early next week. So you don’t have to worry about missing the action.

Our second panel was one that I couldn’t make it to, but from all accounts it was a smashing success. Josh Goldman led a panel that went deep into what Sci-Fi shows need reboots or continuations. It was jam-packed up in the third floor of the convention center, so there’s definitely some room for Sci-Fi fans at LA Comic Con.

THS Wrestling Invades The Con

Rounding out the first day, THS Wrestling had a star-studded panel on how Nostalgia drives Professional Wrestling. This one was filled with two Shinsuke Nakamura impersonators, an nWo Randy Savage, and even Kenny Omega made an appearance. This was my favorite panel of the day as it was not only a nice look into the backgrounds of seven different wrestling personalities but it was a look back in wrestling history. You’ll be able to see the video from this one as well. So if you weren’t there, you can see all the action on our That Hashtag Youtube channel.

Overall, That Hashtag Show had a great presence on Saturday at LA Comic Con. Our panels all went better than hoped and I was excited to return Sunday for a more relaxing day. I decided to take my girlfriend on Sunday to the show. It was a little less packed than the day before but still a good amount of people. I was excited to see how she would react to the floor because it was her first time at an event of this size.

Some Improvements To Be Made

LA Comic Con was a successful event overall but it wasn’t without it’s warts. With that many people packed into the smaller hall of the LA Convention Center, it was a wonder why they didn’t have it in the largest hall. The food options at the convention center were limited and with the lines to get in on Day 1 being massive throughout the whole day, people were stuck with the, let’s say, uninspiring, convention center food.

The floor was packed and it seemed like the layout was adding to a majority of the traffic. Having the main stage right at the top of the room was the worst offender in this. It was heightened during the Jay and Silent Bob panel where people wanted to see what was happening and were just standing in place. I don’t blame them for wanting to see, but it’s on the convention planners to have more room for viewing or have the main panels elsewhere.

In addition to the traffic issues of the floor, the signing and meet and greet area was a hellscape. There were tightly packed lines to see the different personalities and celebrities. I didn’t see Ron Perlman once during my time at the convention but his line was always longer than anyone elses without additions to his queue. So adding that to the other people’s lines, it was a mess on that side of the hall. I was glad that I didn’t have to spend much time on that side of the hall.

Closing Up On The Issues

It would make it a lot more enjoyable of an experience for all if they allowed for more space between the booths. Or if they just had a bigger area for the entire event. It would make for less traffic jams and a better time for everyone involved. I didn’t run into any issues with the convention center or LA Comic Con staff but I heard about some issues with communication outside. Overall the event was a success for That Hashtag Show and everyone else. I’m sure people had a great time meeting some of their favorite celebrities and personalities. I would make a return voyage to LA Comic Con when it goes down at the end of September next year. Hopefully they have the issues fixed, but even then, they were minor and didn’t take away from my experience fully.

For those out there who didn’t make the trip to LA Comic Con, I’d recommend it for next year. It’s a fun event that won’t change your life, but will make your weekend in September that much better.

For more on LA Comic Con, Comics, or anything else pop culture related, check back to That Hashtag Show.

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