Stop moaning that comic book conventions are about everything but the books. At Long Beach Comic Expo, it's those time-honored stories with pictures that take center stage. Once a small, one-day offshoot of the annual fall Long Beach Comic-Con, this springtime fest has blossomed into a larger, weekendlong gathering of creators and fans. This year's guests range from Wolverine creator Len Wein and The Punisher co-creator Gerry Conway to web-comic sensation Paige “Rampaige” Halsey Warren (Busty Girl Comics). Graphic designer and illustrator Pierre Bernard Jr., best known for his work on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, will be making art live on Saturday evening. Prepare to spend time, and cash, in the artist alley, where you can pick up enough reading material to last for months. Long Beach Comic Expo is a great place to discover up-and-coming, local talent. You'll find plenty of titles here that won't turn up on store shelves, from punk-looking zines to slick hardcovers. Aspiring comics creators, take note: Writer and editor Barbara Randall Kesel, who has worked with renowned publishers including DC, Marvel, Image and Dark Horse, will be on hand for portfolio reviews. Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; Sat., May 31, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., June 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; $20 weekend pass, $15 Saturday only, $10 Sunday only, children under 10 free. longbeachcomicexpo.com.
Sat., May 31, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., June 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 2014
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