This past weekend Nov 1-3 I had the extreme privilege of attending Stan Lees Comikaze. This con is only in its third year but is already almost half the attendance numbers of this past years San Diego Comic Con! I really enjoyed this convention for a good number of reasons. First off the cost is fairly low, $25 will get you a one day pass and $65 gets you a ‘Multi-Pass’ good for all 3 days of fangasmic fun! The LA Convention Center is a stunning facility with plenty of room, even lots of room for growth as this convention expands over the coming years. It has a lot of awesome little locations for photoshoots and a very large open natural lit lobby that was packed with photographers snagging shoots with cosplayers all weekend.
The convention floor was well organized with easy to see isle numbers and isle ways large enough in most areas to not cause road blocks. Other then a couple of risqué cosplays I spotted (a body painted Wonder Woman??) the convention was very family friendly with good family hours with the longest day being 10am-8pm, but because it’s set in downtown LA those that want to party through the night have plenty of options to do so with a very short walk.
There was a Plethora of amazing guests and celebrities present, that not only did panels and paid photo ops and autographs but mingled with the crowd and shopped the show floor themselves, supporting he artists, writers and vendors! A few you may recognize are Michael Rooker (the walking dead), Tara Strong (voice actor for MANY iconic characters ), Levar Burton (Star Trek), Weird Al, and of course Elvira and Stan Lee himself!
The main stage, sponsored by HotTopic, held some amazing events and panels such as a Geek Girl Fashion show featuring such designs as Castle Cortestry and Espionage Cosmetics, a PowerPuff Girls reunion panel, a Fangasm reunion panel and of course the ever anticipated Cosplay Contest which gave out over $5,000 in prizes this year! There were also some great panels in the side panel rooms to include ‘Superheroines in pop culture’ and ‘Zombies: Everything you ever wanted to know but were too alive to ask’
Overall it was one of the best convention experiences I’ve ever had. It was busy enough to be exciting and to draw bigger stars, but still small enough to feel friendly and fairly safe.
My tips for those thinking of attending comikaze 2014: 1) if you do not have a car or want to pay for parking each day, stay downtown. Marriott and Figueroa are both only a couple blocks away. (I got lost in La public transit Friday because I stayed in Huntington Park) 2) bring a water bottle to refill at the fountain and snacks for the day, food at the center is pricy and the surrounding restaurants are really busy. Powerbars and fruit are good to munch on while waiting for panels. 3) save up for spending money because I guarantee that you will want to ‘buy all the things’ once you hit the vendor floor and stroll through the epicness that is the vendor booths and artist ally!