Get ready LA; there's a new convention in town.
This July 6-8, PopConLA is coming to the Los Angeles Convention center, bringing with it guest celebrities, comic book legends, and a host of industry leaders ready to leak those juicy, juicy secrets we love so much. Though somewhat under the radar, PopConLA is beginning to look like it will be the next must-go-to media convention. But, will it really be worth it to drop your hard earned cash on some tickets?
I talked to Frank Zanza, the owner of PopConLA to get my answer, and to find out more about this intriguing convention.
What Is It?
PopConLA, or Pop Culture Con, is the first annual multimedia, pop culture convention brought to you by the folks who run the Annual International Television Festival. With many of the industry's heavy hitters having booths, the comic book world will be a major contributor to this convention; but, with several book authors, and representatives from multiple other medias, so will the film, music, and fashion industries. In fact, one of the biggest draws to this convention, Zanza says, will be the "independent movie screenings will be running throughout the day. We'll have a runway, a stage, and two different award shows hosted by Cory Feldman."
However, even with all this, one of the major questions I had when I first heard about this convention was how would it match up with ComicCon. At a glance, PopCon, like ComicCon, seemed based around the comic book world, with exhibits from Marvel, DC Comics, Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment and even a cosplay fashion show on Saturday thrown in for good measure. So would this be different? Or was this simply an attempt to be a better version of the same thing? I asked Mr. Zanza this question and he had this to say: "I don't think it's a question of [PopCon] being better [than ComicCon]. They're different. Comics are really only a small part of what PopCon's going to be."
He continued, stating that "PopCon will be a mix-up of medias" and that it will "include a variety of different arts, including industry panels, pop art, comic books, novels, celebrity signings from a variety of films, film screenings comedians, magic shows, bands, fashion shows," the last of which will be put on by Parris Harris with designs by BritBoy Fashions, Noah G Pop and Portia Star. Add in some live music -- courtesy of Bai Ling, the Tim Russ Band (yes, Tim Russ of Star Trek fame), and Christina LaRocca and it's obvious that the atmosphere at this convention, as Zanza says, should be much different than what you might find at ComicCon.
Why Should You Care?
When it comes to evaluating conventions like this, it really comes down to star power and strength of content; and, if the press releases are to be believed, then both should be quite strong at this fledgling convention. A whole bunch of industry leaders will have displays there, and the celebrity and industry panels, along with the intriguing fashion shows and independent film screenings, ensure that there is always going to be something to do. Even better, appearances by Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back), James Hong (Kung Fu Panda, Blade Runner) and other great celebrities should give you a chance to get some face time with some of your favorite TV, SciFi and Comic Book icons. Plus, on top of all this, there will be an opening party at Icon, directly across the street, as well as a masquerade ball being held at the Artisan on Saturday night, both celebrating the inaugural year of this fantastic sounding convention.
Though PopConLA is by far the youngest media convention out there right now, it's definitely shaping up to be something that will be around for quite a long time. We'll be out there seeing the sights, so come on out and visit us! Tickets are only $20, so what do you have to lose? If nothing else, this should be a fun, cheap way to spend the weekend at the LA convention center. We hope to see you out there!
For more information, visit http://www.popconla.com .
By Clarissa Burt with Tyler Fleck