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Wizard World ~ Los Angeles

10:18 AM PDT on March 25, 2008


Last week Wizard World Los Angeles was in town at the L.A. convention center. Now in its third year at the convention center, two at the Long Beach convention center, WWLA is your basic comic book convention. Comic book writers, artist and companies attend to promote current of future projects like upcoming books, who's writing and drawing what, and new comic or fantasy related movies.

Being the dork that I am, I have attended the show for the last five years in a row. Every year is different because different guest come to meet and greet fans. As the years have gone by and the fans get older, some are taking their love for comics to new and unexpected places. Take for example "Ghetto Vader." I see this guy walking around with a custom Darth Vader mask painted over with graff. It looked bad ass to me mostly because he was taking something well known like Star Wars and putting his own style on it.


I also met people who have had their favorite characters tattooed on shoulders, arms and legs. I have heard stories of people naming their kids after characters, but the biggest change I've noticed is parents sharing their love of comics and everything nerd with their kids. There's a weird feeling that can't be described when you see a father and son walking around buying comics together asking each other if they have this issue or that issue. Then there are those who take their passion up a notch and come to the show dressed as star wars characters and pose with admirers. To me that's what comics are all about ... love.


Comics have come a long way from over the years and the stories being written today reflect that. The best example of where the comic book industries future is headed is in the book "Sentences: the Life of MF Grimm." Grimm is the first hip-hop artist to chronicle his life story as a graphic novel, as far as I know, and it looks fantastic. There are other great stories like Grimm's, but Grimm comes from the hip-hop world which I think makes his book more accessible to a young audience. Grimm is an underground legend from the New York hip-hop world and in his book he chronicles his beginnings growing up and picking up a mic to being paralyzed by gang violence. Grimm doesn't hold anything back in the book and that's what makes it so powerful. Not only is Grimm pushing boundaries in the comic and hip-hop world, but he has created a path that will allow complete newcomers to enjoy this great medium. Of course I got him to sign my book to take a picture with me. Like I was going to let this one chance to meet a hip-hop Grand Master up! WWLA is nothing compared to the mother of all shows the San Diego comic-con, but for locals who can't make it to down there, it hits the spot.

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