Star Wars at 2014 Long Beach Comic Expo (Sunday)

Mandalorian Mercs were definitely representing at Long Beach Comic Expo yesterday
Mandalorian Mercs were definitely representing at Long Beach Comic Expo yesterday

Yesterday, I attended the fifth annual Long Beach Comic Expo and, of course, was curious about which Star Wars stuff there was.  While there were no panels, there was certainly cosplay (see end of post) as well as some interesting art.

The R2 unit was the highlight of the 501st Legion at Long Beach Comic Expo yesterday
This R2 unit was the highlight of the 501st Legion at Long Beach Comic Expo yesterday

Additionally, there were two fan groups there: the 501st Legion and Mandalorian Mercs.  However, despite the massive table space that the 501st Legion had, they really were not representing.  On the other hand, the Mandalorian Mercs definitely had a more significant and spirited presence.

Patty McPancakes Star Wars work at Long Beach Comic Expo 2014
Patty McPancakes Star Wars work at Long Beach Comic Expo 2014

For the art, here is some interesting Star Wars art from five artists there:

Patty McPancakes had some interesting pieces, especially Boba Fett, as well as some interesting propagandistic pieces (see right).

Amusing propaganda
Amusing propaganda

Although she also had an amusing sign about remaining in one’s damaged vehicle (see left).

Jerry Pesce's "The Fett"
Jerry Pesce’s “The Fett”

Jerry Pesce had numerous pieces, mostly individual portraits, which were good. The one that caught my eye immediately was his “The Fett”, which is a close-up of Boba Fett immediately after having firing his gun, with the smoke still emerging from the barrel – it’s great.

Jerry Pesce's "Storm Wookiee"
Jerry Pesce’s “Storm Wookiee”

He also had a good “Storm Wookie” piece with a wookiee (probably Chewbacca) aiming his crossbow right at the viewer. In addition to his portraits, he also had one with Princess Leia choking Jabba the Hutt; in speaking with him about it, he told me that it’s actually quite difficult to draw her face. He pointed across the aisle at another artist who pictured the same scene, except replacing Leia with an altogether different-looking, sort of cartoonish character. He said many artists just don’t even try. For instance, another image (see the bottom of my WonderCon post) just simply uses a different model and does not even try to replicate Carrie Fisher.

Livio Ramondelli's rendering of Darth Vader leading invasion on Hoth
Livio Ramondelli’s rendering of Darth Vader leading invasion on Hoth

Livio Ramondelli had some interesting pieces showing not scenes that actually occurred, but scenes that could have been. My two favorite pieces also happened to be on sale on metal (so they sort of looked like they were moving): a rendering of Darth Vader on Hoth (on right) and one of Boba Fett having emerged from the Sarlacc Pit (viewable here). These images gave off an iconic sense and were certainly enjoyable!

Tom Hodges hard at work drawing at Long Beach Comic Expo 2014
Tom Hodges hard at work drawing yesterday

Tom Hodges had a great amount of artwork and really fantastic stuff. While he did not permit me to take any pictures of his fantastic Star Wars art, I did learn that he had been the lead artist on Star Wars web comics!  That was quite a very happy surprise 🙂  Hopefully, I will be able to ask him for further information about his work on official Star Wars material in the future (stay posted).

Iwo Jima-ish Storm Troopers
Iwo Jima-ish Storm Troopers

– Lastly, I greatly appreciated the work of Albert Nguyen, who created Star Wars mash-ups with military photographs.  His two primary pieces were of stormtroopers raising the flag at Iwo Jima and Darth Vader crossing “the Delaware” (on Tattooine).

Nguyen “started with the stormtroopers raising the flag at Iwo Jima because it’s so iconic and I’m sure everybody’s seen it.  I’m sure I must have seen someone else try to do it, but I felt I could do it better, so I did that and it has been very popular.”

Vader Crossing not the Delaware by Albert Nguyen
Vader Crossing not the Delaware by Albert Nguyen

From there, he “started on Vader crossing the Delaware, because I thought it would be really funny and, once I started it, I had Vader and the stormtroopers with the flag and that turned out pretty well.”  To put it together, he “tried to figure out what kind of boat they would have, where they would be and how would you replace all of the oars that they’re supposed to be carrying with other material.”

Civil War portraits of Admiral Akbar and Grand Moff Tarkin by Albert Nguyen
Civil War portraits of Admiral Akbar and Grand Moff Tarkin by Albert Nguyen

Due to how long it was taking and how much effort he was putting into it, he “wanted to take a break and do some shorter works,” so he then “thought it would be really funny to do Tarkin and Akbar as Civil War portraits, as very refined and laid back; almost not Star Wars, because everyone is always in action in Star Wars – people aren’t usually in repose, looking refined.”

Civil War portraits of old Anakin Skywalker and Han Solo by Albert Nguyen
Civil War portraits of old Anakin Skywalker and Han Solo by Albert Nguyen

As to all of his Star Wars art, he has found it to be “super fun” and that “the more I do it, the more ideas I’ve had of famous paintings. Like I want to do Luke on a tauntaun, like Napoleon on his horse.”

Nguyen said he chose to opt for these mash-ups, “because I love military history and I love Star Wars, so I stick them together.”  It’s some great stuff!

For the cosplay, here are five Star Wars costumes I saw, including the coolest one, Adidas stormtrooper:

The coolest Star Wars cosplay at yesterday's Long Beach Comic Expo, an Adidas stormtrooper
The coolest Star Wars cosplay at yesterday’s Long Beach Comic Expo, an Adidas stormtrooper
very cool Mandalorian [cosplay]
very cool Mandalorian [cosplay]
Mandalorian costume with horns
Mandalorian costume with horns
a Mandalorian
a Mandalorian
Clone trooper
Clone trooper