If Los Angeles seems a little quieter this weekend, that’s because it is. Some of Los Angeles’ best geek-culture focused institutions have headed down to sunny San Diego for this year’s Comic-Con. LA’s original comic book scene – one that brims with passion and excitement – will have a presence at the Con, even while many say it’s ballooned into an overblown pop culture media phenomenon.
Here’s some highlights of LA’s trip to SD this weekend.
Nerdist’s Course of the Force
A long car ride with friends? A relaxing coastal train ride? An Olympic torch style relay race using light sabers? Those are your options when headed to SDCC from Los Angeles. Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist Network partnered with LucasFilm and the Make-A-Wish foundation to put on an Olympic torch style relay race with light sabers in place of torches. Course of the Force started at the Santa Monica pier last Saturday and they had Star Wars themed stops all the way down the coast.
The Meltdown Show
Meltdown isn’t just one of Los Angeles’ favorite places to buy comics, but also a great place to see a live show. The shop is located in Hollywood and has a small theater in the back. Their flagship show is a standup comedy showcase every Wednesday night. The show, hosted by comedians Kumail Nanjiani and Jonah Ray is known to be one of the best standup shows you can catch in Los Angeles. In the past, Meltdown has had appearances by comedians like Louis CK, Aziz Ansari, and Robin Williams. Not so bad for the back room of a comic book store!
This year they brought their show on the road, doing their trademark showcase at SDCC. More information on the Extra! stage here.
Tournament of Nerds
Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater in Los Angeles also took one of their shows on the road. Tournament of Nerds has been a staple of the UCB Theater’s lineup for years. Created by Justin Donaldson and Hal Rudnick, Tournament of Nerds is a pop culture debate show. Nerds are typically very passionate people who put a lot of thought into things, so the show poses “who would win” type questions and has them debate the answer. Then a panel of judges decides who won the debate.
More about the Tournament of Nerds!
Gallery 1988 is a set of pop culture art galleries scattered around Los Angeles. They’ve done themed shows about video games, comic books, TVshows, and even Alfred Hitchcock. This year, at SDCC, they have partnered with Golden Apple Comics in their booth to release several very limited edition prints by emerging artists. Jensen Karp, owner of Gallery 1988, is still slowly revealing the limited releases at Comic Con. So far they’ve released prints for “Breaking Bad,” “The Last Starfighter,” and The Bourne Legacy.
If you didn’t put on your Captain America costume and skip town, then there are plenty of comic shops for you to visit here. Los Angeles has a bright and lively comic community. We mapped some of them for you so you can start your own comic-crawl across LA. Costumes always welcome!
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