Comikaze was a triumph! It’s hard to overstate our satisfaction with Comikaze Expo. We were amazed by the dedication of the volunteers and the very huge turnout of fans.
There were so many things and people to see and here are some of the highlights (listed in no particular order):
- Smaller venue – This one is a bit misleading, because the venue was just right for the occasion. It wasn’t as massive of a scale as San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) but as a smaller venue it still maintains its fun. There weren’t too many people to dodge (sort of) when walking around. We watched 2 guys in full body suits go into an impromptu dance off and everybody was cheering at the end of it. At the end of the convention, we saw a Jurassic Park hunter and raptor chasing each other on a Power Wheel Jeep throughout the floors of the convention.
- Low cost – We believe this was the leading reason why the turnout was so great. For $20, you get to go for both days. At such a low cost, it doesn’t bleed out your wallet. Now you have money to buy any item at the convention like comic books, artwork, plushies, swords and so on. Other low price promos, such as Groupon and Goldstar, helped in creating a good crowd as well.
- Diversity of the booths – There was a lot of options available of varying interest, from a steampunk outfitter to your regular toy/plushie/comic book vendors. They even had a tattoo artist booth, that were available to give you a tattoo on the spot!
- Celebrities – There was an incredible number of fans that came for headliners Stan Lee and Elvira! Fans lined up and stretched for quite a while. Even when the locations would change a bit, the fans just shifted over and continued to wait in the long line just to meet their favorite celebrity. The venue was intimate enough to meet and converse with other celebrities like Ernest Borgnine, Miracle Laurie and/or Garrett Wang (Ensign Harry Kim of Star Trek Voyager). In fact, we learned that Sean Kanan, who was the villian in Karate Kid Part III, has a cookbook!
- Artist signing/drawings – Being able to get custom art or purchasing some of the art (whether it was a poster or a shirt) from your favorite artist is always great. Sure you may see their work in comics and web sites, but being able to talk to them in person is always a nice bonus on top of supporting them. There was even an artist who was willing to draw you in zombie form.
- Informative panels that was both funny and engaging – Morgan Fairchild knows a great deal of paleontology. Garrett Wang watched the 2009 Star Trek Movie nine times. Being able to debate who would in a fight is always fun, well besides facing Batman (he has an answer for everybody).
- Costume Masquerade – A bit unorganized at first, and it was standing room area, but it was nice to see the turnout of cosplayers in quality and quantity. Costumes were fantastic! We saw so many well done costumes, there’s too many to list (thankfully we have photos below). The three hosts (Dante, Chun Li and Jake from Blues Brothers) did an excellent job of maintaining order and keeping it fun.
Here are things we thought that could’ve been better (listed in no particular order):
- No time schedule/program readily available – Though there was a schedule posted at each booths and makeshift rooms (more on that later), there was a sense of confusion when you didn’t quite know when some panels were going on. This was slightly addressed on Sunday when there was a time schedule printed on a poster board near the front, but there were many that weren’t aware of where Room 306 AB was or that a panel even existed up there.
- Makeshift rooms – There is an understanding this is the first convention so we’re hoping this one will get addressed. The sound was atrocious as the people within the panels would become hard to listen, mostly because of the ambient noises from the convention itself. Some people could break through the curtained off areas to sneak into the panel from the side (good or bad thing).
Despite the minor complaints, it was a great outing and we look forward to seeing this event next year! Likewise Mark has been posting quite a few videos we took as well. Enjoy the crazy amount of photos we took that weekend! Photos were courtesy of Danny and myself and have been combined for your entertainment.
Comikaze Expo is the largest multimedia pop culture convention in Los Angeles. This unique event brings together the best in comics, gaming, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, anime and all other cult programming. Comikaze took place November 5-6, 2011 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and offers a slate of innovative programming, panels, contests and other activities that provide fans access to their favorite artists and creators in this adventure-packed weekend.
Please go to the official Comikaze Expo page for additional information.