This October 28th, Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo is opening up shop at the Los Angeles Convention Center in LA. Comikaze is a legendary event as far as cons go, and with the man himself, Stan Lee, getting up there in years and limiting his public appearances, this year’s Comikaze is going to be extra special.
If you’re not familiar with Stan Lee, he’s the guy who created the X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man and Spider-Man. He’s often called the grandfather of modern comics, and he’s the most recognizable name and face in the entire industry.
Stan Lee has been a part of Comikaze since even before he partnered with the creators and added his name to the event – he was one of the special guests in the first Comikaze in 2011, along with people from the cast of Star Trek Voyager, the cast of Police Academy, the stars of Nickelodeon's All That, and Mark Hamill. In 2013, the convention was featured in the SyFy reality show Fangasm, about a group of supreme nerds who interned at the con in the hopes of getting the chance to work with Stan Lee.
The original owner and organizer of the con is Regina Carpinelli, who founded it with her two younger brothers. She’s a brilliant organizer, making Comikaze a smashing success right from year one.
This year’s con is going to be huge. The LA Convention Center has over 700,000 Sq Ft to work with. And it’s a good thing too, because the organizers have a lot planned.
The Guest List
The guest list looks pretty epic. If you attend, you’ll be seeing the King of Comics himself, Stan Lee. Adam West and Burt Ward, the classic iconic 60’s era Batman and Robin duo, will be attending as well. If you’re a fan of movie star and fighting legend Mike Tyson, Comikaze will be your chance to meet him. Other guests include Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Candice Patton, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Denise Crosby, Dita Von Teese, Kel Mitchell, Neal Adams, Nadia G, Marc Silvestri, Lloyd Kaufman, and many others.
If you watched the power rangers as a kid, then you’ll have the opportunity to take a nostalgia trip this year. The original power rangers, Austin St. John, Karan Ashley, Walter Jones and David Yost will be there, interacting with fans. That’s the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers’ Red Ranger, Yellow Ranger, Black Ranger and Blue Ranger.
Comikaze Expo is first and foremost, a comic convention – and no comic con would be complete without some of the coolest artists in the industry, like Deadpool creator and special guest Rob Liefeld. And for Cyanide & Happiness Fans, the one and only Rob Denbleyker, one of the founding members of the long running web comic about stick figures doing stupid and hilarious stuff will be attending. Jimmy Palmiotti, known for working on Jonah Hex, Power Girl, and Random Acts of Violence, will be around, along with other celebrated artists.
The convention has been offering a small number of “free autograph coupons,” enabling attendees to get the chance to get a free autograph from a celebrity of their choosing* (within certain limits, not all celebs are participating, for example), so the people attending should definitely capitalize on that chance.
Cosplay, for many fans, is the heart and soul of any comic book convention. Carpinelli describes her con as a convention “by fans, for fans,” and if there’s any proof to those words, it’s in the cosplay-crazed facet of Comikaze. The con will see famous cosplayers Joanie Brosas, Megan Golden, Brit Bliss, Bee Thorn, Marie Sturges, Chrissy Lynn, D-Slim, Matt Burrows, Rian Synnth, Ardent Forte, Chris Villain and others!
Join the cosplay stars and come to the con decked out in your best costume. Lots of people put all kinds of work into their costumes for Comikaze, meticulously planning out what they’re going as, spending months putting it all together. And it’s all worth it in the end, because as all those special cosplay guests can tell you, nothing beats showing off a masterpiece that could rival the stuff the best costume designers in Hollywood make. Seriously, some of the costumes people show up in look so amazing.
Fandoms bring out the absolute best in creativity – and nothing proves that more vividly than cosplay.
For cosplayers, the con is hosting the second annual Cosplay National Championship, and they are accepting costumes from film, TV, comics, theatre, video games, anime, and even original characters! There is over $10,000 in cash, and other prizes to be won, so why not go all out this year? Who knows, maybe you’ll impress the judges and win a nice sum you can spend on designing your next awesome costume!
It’s not just costumes being judged either – for all you prop-masters out there, the con is also holding the Prop-Making Nation Championship. The participants will have their props put on display for the whole convention weekend, and attendees will be able to vote on which ones they liked the best – and the one with the most votes will win the Fan Favourite award, which comes with a pretty sweet trophy.
The organizers want to stress that these props must be scratch-built, and they want to remind all potential entrants to have proof that you made it yourself ready. You could always film the experience as your proof, then if you win you’ll have an awesome “how to make this” video you can put up on YouTube.
While your home-made sword is up on display, why not do a training session so that you’ll know how to use the thing? This year, Adrian Paul, aka Duncan MacLeod of Highlander: The Series, will be running a training event. The Sword Experience is a 3 hour journey where you’ll learn the basics of sword choreography, stage combat, and how it differs from real fighting. You’ll get to learn all about how the industry makes cool sword fights happen.