From the ConNewRecaps, Reports & Reviews

Con Recap: LA Comic Con 2023

By Jason Delgado

On December 1st – 3rd, 2022, LA Comic Con (LACC) was back and bigger than Godzilla. It was a  pop-culture Con that had something for everybody. There were video games, anime, panels, celebrities, photo-ops, autographs, music, cosplay, comedy, comic books, toys, apparel, and more; LACC was the place to be. 

Friday night is a traditionally easier day to attend LACC when it comes to parking and space to roam around in the convention exhibit hall. This year was no different in that regard. I brought my family on this day, and they had a lot of fun checking out the elaborate cosplay and robots, like R2-D2, moving around. The gigantic Millennium Falcon bouncer was a huge hit with kids, and even tempted some adults to jump around inside the awesome Star Wars ship.  

Saturday brought panels and droves of people, many of whom were doing cosplay due to the National Championship contest that night, but the downside was that it was quite difficult to find parking (the Clippers also had a game versus the Warriors going on at the same time, next door at Crypto Arena). 

I went to the Film Threat panels titled: The Death of the Modern Franchise, and the Indie Filmmaker’s Survival Guide. Both were enlightening and fun with the first group of panelists: Chris Gore, Alan Ng, Anna aka “That Star Wars Girl,” Dante James aka “Verbal Riot,” Gary from Nerdrotic, and Paulie from Latino Slant talking about the ways that Hollywood has failed us with their franchises in modern times. 

The Indie Filmmaker’s Survival Guide panel featured a special surprise guest when co-writer/director Danny Philippou of the indie horror smash hit Talk to Me got up to ask the panel a question. Chris Gore gave out some helpful information to aspiring filmmakers such as when he mentioned a site called as a good place for screenwriters and filmmakers to link up. You can watch the entirety of all three entertaining Film Threat panels (including Why 99% of Movies Today are Garbage from Sunday) on Film Threat’s YouTube.

I then checked out a highly anticipated panel on the Main Stage, which featured the four original hobbits from the Lord of the Rings trilogy: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, and Billy Boyd. They were funny and engaging while talking about video games and getting the crowd to chant “Rudy!” in reference to Astin’s iconic film role. When asked about the possibility of them doing a Golden Girls-like show reunion when they reach old age, Astin quipped that they’re already at that stage in life. This is the first time that LA area fans have really seen a big Hollywood panel on stage since the strikes, and it was good to see old familiar faces who had something amusing to say.

The next panel on the Main Stage was for the Star Wars show Ahsoka, and featured Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Sabine Ren), Ivanna Sakhno (Shin Hati), Eman Esfandi (Ezra Bridger) and Diana Lee Inosanto (Morgan Elsbeth). Eman Esfandi talked about how he did not watch his Ezra character in the Star Wars Rebels cartoon until after he filmed the show because he did not want it to affect his performance. They were all asked if they made the famous lightsaber sounds when wielding them for scenes, and they did not. Eman, however, mistakenly made the blaster noises, ruining a perfectly good first take. Liu Bordizzo and Esfandi were asked how they played their reunion meeting in the show, and they said it was just as if they were old friends seeing each other again, even though Sabine (light spoiler warning) gave up the galaxy for him. 

I spent my Sunday exploring the West Hall with my two brothers, which featured anime and video games. This hall also had classic film and television vehicles on display, such as the Delorean, Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1, and the Mystery Machine Van, among others. 

Overall, it was yet another fantastic weekend at LA Comic Con. It’s truly the fans and world-class cosplay that make this event a must for pop-culture fanatics, although all of the other artists, celebrities and collectibles also make it such a blast. See you next year on October 4-6, 2024!

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Jason Delgado

Jason is a CSULB film school alum and movie guy for Friends of Comic Con. He loves movies, TV, writing, comics, going to Cons, basketball (Lakers), music (all forms of rock + 90's hip hop), football (Chargers), his dog, and most importantly wife and newborn son. He's written a comedy/sci-fi script, and wants to write more in between raising a son. He doesn't often cosplay, but when he does, it's as Iron Fist. Follow him on Twitter @JasonDelgado78