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It’s been a pretty long time. I finally returned to Comikaze to talk with cosplay fans at the 2014 Comikaze Expo. If I had to sum up trending costumes, I’d say Marvel has really figured out how put obscure characters in the spotlight. I saw MANY people dressed up as characters from Guardians of the Galaxy. I probably should have talked with some…
Comikaze Expo Video Timeline Breakdown
00:00 A basketball showcase
01:44 Wall-E and Eve wander the halls gather attention from many. It’s very impressive how Eve floats right next to him.
02:08 A fan favorite, R2D2 shows it’s inner child, literally
02:22 Aang is really a Jimmy John’s delivery guy from Wyoming. Who would have guessed?
03:37 El Chapulín Colorado is not very well known. That’s because he’s from Mexico. He’s a clumsy hero with a hammer
04:14 Uncle Fester is a regular at the conventions and I finally spoke to him about how he transformed into the lovable oddity. He assured me that he’s carrying real fat and actually more scary without the makeup.
06:03 Radioactive man is an original creation that shines bright. He works with electronics so the costume probably was a cinch to make.
09:00 Zapp Brannigan and Leela tell us about their love for Futurama and energy efficiency.
11:17 fans try to break a world record of connected Tetris pieces.
11:44 a very impressive Slender Man cosplayer strides across the halls on tall stilts
11:52 Smoke (Mortal Kombat) loves every single Mortal Kombat and plays Diablo and hopes to get Dragon Age Inquisition. She shares her thoughts on gamergate. Oh yeah. She’s also vegan. Check her out on Facebook
14:05 Raiden was probably one of my favorite cosplay fans. It’s probably because I just like led lights. His hard work of constructing the outfit for 3 months definitely paid off. We get his thoughts on the future of Mortal Kombat on the big screen. When he’s not Raiden, he’s a longshoreman.
16:03 I’ve always heard how crazy Game of Thrones. I’ve only watched the first episode and was pretty shocked at not just the nudity but very carnal nature of the show. It seemed that I would find very young fans getting into the spirit of some characters from one of TV’s grittiest shows. I asked about the dragon and it turns out to be a creation of one’s mother who’s a big fan of the show.
18:38 Harley Quinn loves being fun and awesome while carrying a bat around. If there was another Batman movie with Harley Quinn, she’d want Sarah Michelle Gellar to play her because she loves Buffy. She’s a musical theater dancer that dreams of being on Broadway.
21:07 These two girls do Anna and Elsa from Frozen so naturally because they’re sisters! One is in marketing and one is a scientist.
22:52 I bumped into the Chicano Joker/Harley Quinn represent the Mexicans of Southern California.
24:14 I probably sound like the biggest ignoramus when it comes to Lord of the Rings. How crazy is the facial hair on Fili and Kili. They agree with me on the franchise being stretched out a bit thin. They’re no stranger to the cosplay scene.
28:00 Hellboy loves men with giant fists and wants to be a game artist.
30:26 Mystique is a model that’s been in makeup since 9am. This is her first Comikaze and she’s very impressed with the large robotic cosplayers. Check out EI School of Professional Makeup if you’re seriously into makeup.
32:28 The Pikmin do it all for the ladies.
33:40 A weeping angel from Dr. Who can send you back in time and tells us who her favorite Dr. Who is. She took a month and a half to make her costume. She wants to be a homicide detective.
Better late than never!
00:00 – The ultimate mashup of Dr. Who, Rainbow Dash, Team Fortress explains why My Little Pony is such a hit. He says it’s a slice of life but can’t seem to describe it.
02:01 – Sonic the Hedgehog loves how much fun and active he is. He’s a gamer and also a grad student. He tells us why he felt a connection with the X-Men
03:52 – two friends cosplay characters from Dynasty Warriors. One’s known for being intelligent and the other is known for being quiet
06:39 – Lucca (Chrono Trigger) doesn’t like making eye contact. She’s behind on comics because her computer is dead. She confesses she got tackled a few times.
08:22 – Catwoman discusses her thoughts on Anne Hatheway portraying her in the latest Batman movie. Harley Quinn is very passionate about her version even though there are many other ones out there.
11:51 – I get severely tongue tied while talking to this Poison Ivy. Try not to laugh
13:39 – Kitty Pryde (X-Men) tells us how she got into comic books because of her dad and talks about being next to Stan Lee
15:41 – Super hero Ariel and Aurora are both big gamers and showing us an interesting take on Disney characters
17:58 – Flame Princess (Adventure Time) is known for her hot temper and shares her secret for a rigid hair look
20:16 – Leonardo (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) picked this one of the four because he’s smart. Temari (Naruto) is from a sand village and is bad ass. She explains how her fan works and at what point you should be worried for your life. Leonardo is working on some other costumes
23:41 – Stan Lee talks about his latest projects and does some Q&A with the true believers
One of the biggest attractions at the 2012 Comikaze was the Zombie Apocalypse Escape inside the South Hall K. Fans of zombie survival were treated with a large course to test their ability to escape the deadly clutch of zombies.
I met up with one of the course survivors to get his reaction and feelings about the course. We also spoke with Justin McNeal about the Zombie Apocalypse Escape’s learned more about the course, challenges of logistics, the talents behind the scene, who escaped the course with the fastest time, and where the company is headed next.
We didn’t capture as much footage of last weekend as we had hoped. Sorry guys. There’s no costume contest video 🙁
Check out some interviews with cosplay fans below.
00:00 – Steampunk fans tell us why they love the culture. It’s very accepting but remember to bring some katanas for self-defense
02:03 – Marvel Girl and a gender bender Catwoman. He loves her because she has good taste. Marvel Girl wanted to take a picture with Stan Lee. She wants another X-Men movie done right and Catwoman agrees. Her favorite moment is watching other fans loose their cool while meeting Stan Lee
04:20 – Henchman of the Mighty Monarch (Venture Brothers) are a little older than most of the kids out at Comikaze but they just as much spirit and enthusiasm. They would love to see a movie made or a Dr. Strange.
07:10 – Tifa Lockheart is a standard cosplay character at conventions and this one picked Tifa Lockheart because of peer pressure. She games a lot and hopes to one day work for Disney.
10:02 – This New California Republic Soldier (Fallout) is somewhat obscure but still gets recognized by gamers. He wanted to cosplay a character that was less known and he really pulled it off. He’s studying history but doesn’t know what he’ll do with the degree. His flag doubles up as a signature canvas.
13:10 – The R2D2 couple caught the attention of many people and cameras. All you could hear is “Awwwww”
14:28 – Walter White (Breaking Bad) is a fan of the show and shares with us the secrets to making the meth used in the show (raspberry rock candy)
16:09 – I ran into a lot of memory card issues while recording this interview. What a shame. Suki (Avatar: The Last Airbender) wanted to show her face entirely. She made the costume herself and worked on her costume for months. She liked the costumes of the movie but doesn’t offer any praise for the movie.
18:25 – Steampunk Storm (X-Men) is part of a group of cosplay friends who really turned heads with their rendition of a steampunk X-Men. It’s hard to tell, but she’s a bit older than she looks (came to this country in the 60’s).
While walking through the halls of the 2012 Comikaze, I noticed a booth that looked very patriotic. The booth was sprawled with red, white, and blue. On closer inspection, I discovered what appeared to be a campaign booth. Suddenly it hit me. 30 Rock’s Dot Com was here at Comikaze and running for president. Oddly, he seemed to go unnoticed among all the fantastical booths but it looked like he had an important mission to share with the folks. He was at Comikaze for something bigger than comics.
Dot Com was nice enough to tell me about his campaign and didn’t dodge the hard ball questions I threw at him. Is America ready for Dot Com?
Be sure to follow Kevin Brown on Twitter for all the latest campaign news : @dotcom30rock
This sure is taking a long time to get posted!
00:00 – SF-A2 Miki (Vocaloid) is known for having a voice similar to Miku.
01:34 – Kaito (Vocaloid) is known for singing and being a computer person tells us how her aunt played a big role in her cosplay efforts
03:13 – Derpy Hooves (My Little Pony) is known for derping and works for a moving company
05:32 – Sister Tender Shall is nice and white but a very evil person. She also cosplays Zombie Miku
08:10 – James (Team Rocket) is missing a wig. He chose this character because it’s fun playing a bad guy. He’s seen many boobs over the weekend and even had some hands-on time. He server for the marines and now works for the cable company
10:04 – Frank West from Dead Rising has a great vented mask. His costume is very impressive for a first time and it’s good to know he’s a caregiver
12:38 – At first, I thought I was dealing with a girl… because of the outfit… then I realized this fellow had just put in lots of time to perfect this look of a death knight night elf from World of Warcraft. He shares the agony of focusing on building his costume
16:27 – Battle Bunny Riven (League of Legends) likes cosplaying different video game characters and beating a game a week
18:59 – John Egbert (Homestuck) is known for being silly and aloof and talks about his first experience with anime
21:25 – Fans of the japanese harajuku talk about crazy fans asking for too many pictures and wanting to be a sex slave
23:36 – Sheryl Nome (Macross Frontier) has been working on her outfit for a year and it really shows. She gets energy from anime and explains she can learn so much from anime. She even did her thesis on cosplay
28:03 – Censorship is a group of guys capitalizing on fans trying to see some skin
30:20 – Some Avatar cosplay fans discuss his method to maintaining his fit body
31:58 – Once again, the Pokemen put on a show
33:34 – Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin (Ouran High School Host Club) are known for the twincest. They talk about the anime scene in Chicago being much smaller. They mention running into some wild fans with interesting requests
37:08 – Gingerbread man doesn’t want anyone seeing his face38:50 – Some swimmer guy is known for swimming and catches me off guard with questions of his own. We discuss Ninja Scroll
00:00 – Pinkie Pie (My Little Pony) is known for parties and ball-breaking and discusses the challenges of standing out as in the overly saturated vlog world. Check out his youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/RandomEncountersEnt
03:34 – Moka Akashiya (Rosario + Vampire) is sweet and has a split personality and is slightly crazy like most women. She’s going to school to become a veterinarian and is big fan of venomous reptiles. She traveled all the way from Utah to be at the convention and is also going to the San Diego Comic Convention. Stick around and watch her get proposed to by a horse head fan
08:06 – A group of cosplayers show off their very well crafted Alice in Wonderland costumes and talk about their first experience with anime. Their name is The Antics, but I can’t seem to find them on Facebook
10:28 – Seong Mi-na (Soul Calibur) shares a great story about how she got into playing the game (hint: it all started at a laundromat). She’s a Japanese tutor and shares her experience of being around during the earthquake. She also talks about a hidden ninja village
14:47 Harley Quinn (Batman) gives an intimate explanation of why she likes her character and why she chose her major in college
17:25 – Panty (Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt) is known for being an angel that uses her panties to fend off bad guys. She loves cosplaying and hopes to travel around the globe
19:37 – Sally (Nightmare Before Christmas) isn’t much of a chatter but I definitely recognize the group from other conventions
20:57 – Harle (Chrono Cross) is one of the bad characters of the game. Her costume is amazing and she traveled all the way from Quebec and decided to pack costume for her vacation. Her red eyes scare me.
23:12 – Samus (Metroid) loves the complexity of her costume. I don’t remember the character having a Monroe piercing though. She’s a big fan of the red power ranger because he embodies the spirit of the conventions
25:29 – The anime expo dancer shares some time telling us how she got into anime.
26:54 – the infamous red ranger tangos with another cosplayer. Watch out for the bulge
28:38 – Hurcule (Dragon Ball) embraces his character. Once I find out he’s a chef, we talk about his experience with strange orders and the beauty of food trucks
31:15 – Frederic Chopin (Eternal Sonata) loves cosplaying Mega Man and plans to watch a soccer match for the 4th. He really wants to cosplay Voldo from Soul Calibur
34:09 – Katrina (League of Legends) plays a lot and discusses her gaming tactics. She dualed with the Fiddlesticks. She is studying pharmacy because she loves health care but hates dealing with blood
38:15 – Asagi (D) finds the vocalist to be creative. She is studying costume design and wants to create her own fashion brand
39:47 – Facebook profile is funny and getting lots of laughs. You can even place your face in his window and be his friend. I ask him about his history with anime and he discusses the joys of fansubbing. He prefers old anime.
Did you like what we did last year? Here we go again! Check out what this years anime fans.
00:00 – Pink castle crasher is known for throwing rainbows everywhere.
00:53 – this guy is a nameless character from the Monster Hunter series gets his armor from a slain Congalala. He took 3 months making his costume and hasn’t slept in 2 days.
03:18 – LeBlanc from League of Legends has definitely put some time into her costume and has plans to design them for a living.
04:40 – Porco Rosso was a flying ace but avoids planes himself. He’s a video editor that shares his thoughts on 3D.
05:49 – An announcer from an upcoming steampunk webseries, Tinker, is out trying to promote their work. Check them out at on facebook. Their gear was provided by Wonderland Studios (Anaheim)
07:12 – I catch a special rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody performed by some guys and Master Chief.
08:19 – Static Shock is known for putting a shock to your system and shares his suggestion to story tellers of ending things on a high note rather than dragging them out.
10:20 – Gender bender Ran Yakumo from Touhou has a very complicated background as being a boss. She’s a middle child of the Yakumo family. His outfit has amazing stitchwork. You definitely want to go full screen HD for this guy. He also talks about the difference between the Los Angeles convention versus Sakuracon.
13:24 – My Neighbor Totoro is one of Miyazuki’s most noteable works. Her mom helped her with this costume and also helps a lot for Halloween. I express some concern and she tells me she feels like she’s in a sauna but about to take a break. She mentions getting very excited over seeing some no-faces.
15:37 – Madame Red from Kuroshitsuji is known for killing whores and loves her character’s depth and awesomeness.
17:13 – Lulu from Final Fantasy X loves her character’s costume and is seriously warm in her costume.
19:17 – Rikku from Final Fantasy X has taken years to create her outfit.
20:55 – One of the most talked about costumes, Fiddlesticks from League of Legends, bouts with another champion.
21:29 – Morgana from League of Legends isn’t a big gamer because she’s busy studying nutrition. She hasn’t heard about the proposed big soda ban in New York but thinks it’s a good idea. Check her out on facebook
22:54 – Rinoa Heartilly from Final Fantasy VIII is known for looking cute and being the main character’s lover. She talks about the logistic challenges of living far away from a convention.
25:01 – Mumbo Jumbo from Banjo-Kazooie is a magical character.
26:26 – The Green Ranger from the Power Rangers loves that his character took on all of the rangers and the ability to summon his monster on his own. He shares his thoughts on rebooting the series and the joy he had living in Japan.
28:40 – I can’t make out who this character is. She’s known for being pretty and also cosplays Black Rock Shooter. She loves anime because it’s fun to watch.
00:00 – Jinbei (One Piece) spent 3 months working on his outfit because he has no sewing skills.
01:08 – Genderbender Marissa (Tohou) is a jerk and has me looking at myself through his glasses. He notes the weekend is super packed since the X Games were going on at the same time. I ask him how he’s celebrating the 4th of July and without missing a beat he shows me his patriotic undergarments. He’s a civil servant.
02:14 – Dr. Kawashima from Brain Age has plenty to say and is very passionate about the game.
04:14 – Hetalia: Axis Powers represented by Italy, Prussia, Germany, America, England, and Hungary. They say the worst thing they’ve seen is ugly naked people.
09:29 – Majora’s Mask (Legend of Zelda) is Japanese and feels a strong connection with Anime. I ask her where the best place to get ramen and she says there’s a great place in Fullerton
12:29 – Axe Cop is a web comic that Fox recently picked up and talks about a few people mixing him up with real security. He’s an actor that’s done some commercials in Miami
14:19 – Who says Twilight Sparkle My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic can’t have a goatee? He loves seeking out knowledge.
16:47 – A steampunk couple explain why they love the genre.
18:32 – Rick Grimes loves killing zombies and cosplaying other zombie killers like Chris Redfield
20:02 – Tony Tony Chopper (One Piece) and Splicer (Bioshock). Tony Tony Chopper is holding cotton that she wishes was cotton candy
22:00 – Batman (cubecrafting edition) is a bit of a mashup and likes everything about anime and is studying criminal justice
23:20 – Reggie “My body is ready” Fils-Aime is a meme that has trouble seeing
24:54 – Thor finished her costume in 3 months because she got lazy. She explains that she likes gender bending because she’s not a big giant strong man but still loves the characters
26:36 – Pico (Boku no Pico) / Yuki (Tsuritama) are having a dangerous amount of fun and probably scaring children away. His water gun is definitely rated mature
28:20 – Jenova (Final Fantasy 7) definitely recognizes me. She talks about the challenges of making a costume being in your head and where she buys her materials. Check her group, SAUCEtown Cosplay. They are one of the best cosplayers out there drawing cameras towards them constantly at conventions. And how does one from SAUCEtown cosplay celebrate the 4th? Eating a trifle, of course!
So this post should have been up much sooner but I was busy doing other things.
00:00 – Joker and Harlequin loves that his character is so sporadic
01:27 – Captain America loves his character’s love for America
03:18 – A Underworld death dealer has very convincing fangs talks about a gender bender cosplayer that will scar her for life
05:55 – Peter Pan loves never growing up and cosplaying other Disney characters
07:10 – Ariel (Little Mermaid) claims she is not a hoarder but wants you to visit her under the sea
08:50 – Skull kid (Zelda) is a mini-boss is older than he sounds and supports PETA
10:35 – Kato (Green Hornet) thought Jay Chow did a great job as Kato even though he didn’t like the movie much.
12:13 – Talon is way into his character says the craziest thing he’s seen is his creator nerdgasming over him
14:07 – this original character is a steampunk/rogue warrior is very impressive looking. Check out her cosplay page on Facebook
15:47 – Kromp is known for stealing, drug deals, putting children on sex trade, and thinks elmo is a unic. He gives indispensable advice for surviving the ghetto. Check out more kromp at puppetmayhem.com
18:30 – The pedo bear thinks we’ll believe he is a pokemon player. He’s studying child development and knows kids love candy
19:59 – storm trooper escorts Chewbacca
20:18 – Scarecrow’s outfit has gone through several redesigns
22:05 – Red Robin doesn’t care for the new Batman movie. He doesn’t like the look of Nolan’s versions of the Batman
23:18 – Star Wars cosplayers gives a special message to George Lucas
24:33 – The Ice King loves his character’s swag
25:25 – Yuna (Final Fantasy) loves her kickass character
One of the busiest booths at WonderCon was run by Ultra Sabers. Workers were constantly moving, showing off, and assembling light sabers. A convention with avid fans was definitely the right place to sell a lot of sabers.
I talked with Alex Buckner about how the company started and was rooted in building his kids light sabers that were more durable than the retail ones that were expensive and often broke so easily. Through growing requests from friends, Alex recognized his talent of making light sabers could be turned into a business. One of the main selling points of Ultra Sabers is the fact they are produced with cosplay choreography specifically in mind. Unlike other sabers in the market, you can strike Ultra Sabers together and not worry about lights going out.
As far as unconventional light saber blades goes, Alex noted some common requests include trident blades, curved blades, and very long blades.
If you thought they looked busy at the convention, Ultra Sabers knows how to crank out light sabers. Alex noted that a comic book store once ordered 500 blades.
Although these blades won’t actually disembowel your foes, I was curious about the steps necessary to fly with a light saber. Alex noted after proper disassembly, they can be transported and recognized as a flash light by the TSA.
The journey to a perfect light saber is never ending. When I poked Alex for what the future holds for saber wielding fans, he was tight lipped about details but hinted at advanced components for the next generation of sabers.
Voice actors are an interesting bunch of people. Take the Simpsons. They’ve been on the air for years now. Would you recognize the voice actors if you saw them while shopping at your local supermarket? We know the voices but often overlook the faces behind them.
Katie Leigh spoke with us and gave us the low down on her accomplishments as a voice-over actor. One of her biggest achievements is being on the longest running radio show, Adventures in Odyssey as Connie Kendall. Katie also talked about the challenges of auditioning and keeping her voice in shape. She also offers advice for aspiring voice-over actors but says she doesn’t have plans to give up voice acting because she enjoys working with great people.
Check her out online at katieleigh.com
At first I thought I saw David Cross venturing into a new endeavor of comic books. I stepped closer and met the man behind Wuvable Oaf.
Like many great artists, Ed Luce prefers letting people experience and interpret his characters on their own. He describes Wuvable Oaf as a “queer Scott Pilgrim” and a melting pot of his interests. Growing up, Ed read Marvel and DC comics, and eventually grew into illustrating. He confesses he didn’t feel his style had the necessary polish for super heroes. He later dove into the world of independent comics such as Eightball and the Hernandez brothers. His fine art background further shaped his style of using detail and big shapes.
I asked about crowd reaction to his work and Ed mentioned a few security guards finding connection with the oaf. Ed commented that everybody knows a wuvable oaf (it’s true!) and that the figure even transcends sex.