What to See and Do at L.A. Comic Con: A Guide to the Film Events, Cosplay and Panels

It’s convention season in the geek and entertainment world. Comic-Con International rocked San Diego in July and New York just wrapped up its convention this past weekend. Although not quite on that scale, Downtown’s L.A. Comic Con continues to grow and draw in more talent and fans.

The convention returns this Friday-Sunday, Oct. 11-13, for three days of panels, exhibitions and interactions with fans and creators. Previously known as Comikaze, the event is expected to draw more than 90,000 people to the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center, plenty in eye-catching costumes from some of your favorite nerd media. Alongside booths from comic book publishers and other creative companies, there is the large and diverse Artists’ Alley and plenty of merchandising tables as well, for fans of comics, video games and other genre-related media. Tickets start at $30 for single-day passes.

Even with three days, the convention can seem overwhelming. Los Angeles Downtown News listed 10 events to check out during the convention.

Women in Entertainment: Breaking the Wheel in Genre Film/TV

Saturday, 1:30 p.m. in Room 409AB

Women are getting more representation behind the camera, but gender equality still has a long way to go in Hollywood. Directors, creators, writers, actresses and producers from works including “Narcos,” Godzilla and Get Out talk about the fight for equality and industry trends, as well as offer advice for women trying to make it in genre works.

Your Hero’s Journey: Storytelling for Mental and Physical Health

Saturday, 2 p.m. in Room 405

Walking around the convention is a great workout in and of itself, but check this panel out for more information on fitness. The coaches of the Burbank gym Hero’s Journey Fitness, along with mental health professionals, talk about improving well being and self-care through the use of storytelling. Find out how you can use comics and movies as guides to building a better you.

Play More Games: A Tabletop Discussion

Saturday, 2 p.m. in Room 301A

Video games are big business, but board games have made a major comeback in recent years, with popular podcasts and shows dedicated to people busting out boards and rolling some die. A panel of enthusiasts, developers and game storeowners will discuss the resurgence of tabletop games and offer tips on how to get into the hobby, with recommendations on what to try out.

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot

Saturday, 2:30 p.m. on the Main Stage

Nerd royalty is on route to the Los Angeles Convention Center to discuss a film nearly two decades in the making. Filmmaker, podcaster and nerd kingpin Kevin Smith takes the main stage alongside his longtime collaborator Jason Mewes to discuss Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, releasing in theaters on Oct. 15. Smith (Silent Bob) and Mewes (Jay) will chat about the ins and outs of the upcoming film as well as the goings on of the nerd world.

Fictional Roast of Thanos

Saturday, 3:30 p.m. in Room 403B

Now that the whole erasing half of the universe thing is behind them, the Avengers are getting together to poke a little fun at the Mad Titan. Actors portraying the cast of the Avengers will take Thanos down a peg in hilarious and biting fashion. Expect someone to make reference to a certain fan theory featuring Ant-Man.

The Art of Garbage: Writing Your First Draft

Saturday, 4 p.m. in Room 301A

Ever wrapped up that first draft of a closely guarded piece only to think to yourself: “Oh no, this is actually garbage.” Fret not; you’re not alone. Listen to a panel of award winning authors as they chat with moderator Dr. Billy San Juan about how to get over the anxiety of your first draft. The panel will include author Jonathan Maberry, editor Danielle Kaheaku, novelist Tori Eldridge and television screenwriter Jonathan Butler.

Zombieland: Double Tap

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. on the Main Stage

Not to be outdone, the team behind the hotly anticipated sequel to 2009’s Zombieland is also heading to the main stage. Director Ruben Fleischer, alongside “a very special Zombieland: Double Tap surprise” will discuss what Tallahassee, Columbus and the rest of the Zombieland crew has been up to since the previous film. Our fingers are crossed that the surprise is actually Bill Murray.

Cosplay National Championship

Saturday, 5:30 p.m. on Main Stage

Plenty of eye-catching costumes from some of the best cosplayers in the world will be on display in the fifth annual Cosplay National Championship. Presented by Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (in theaters Oct. 18), participants will battle it out across four categories with the winners earning a share of up to $21,000 in cash and other prizes.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Jonah Ray and Felicia Day

Sunday, 11:30 a.m. on the main stage

After more than 30 years, “Mystery Science Theater 3000” is still going strong, subjecting its hosts to some of the worst genre films in history for our entertainment. Jonah Ray and Felicia Day, the respective hero and villain of the recent Netflix revival, take the stage to talk about working on the beloved series, what it takes to riff on truly awful films and the show’s future.

Indoor Trick or Treat

Sunday, 12 p.m. in the South Hall

The convention is open to all ages with kids 12 and under getting in free with adults. Kids can also get a head start on Halloween with this two-hour trick or treat experience. All of the booths and tables at the con (not counting Artists’ Alley) will have free candy for kids to pick up; kids just have to go up and ask. Costumes are not required, but it is a comic book convention, and it is trick or treating, so they’re not discouraged.

L.A. Comic Con runs Oct. 11-13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St.. comicconla.com.

sthomas@timespublications.com and nslayton@timespublications.com.