Erica Wong | Copy Editor |
What better way to celebrate Halloween than seeing all the cosplay characters and none other than Stan Lee himself at his Comikaze Comic Expo?
Comic legend Stan Lee and the sultry Elvira, Mistress of the Dark partnered together to create a convention that brings everything new and exciting in comics, sci-fi, fantasy, video games, horror, and all things pop culture.
The expo ran at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles from Friday, Oct 30 to Sunday, Nov 1.
The parking at the convention center as well as personal lots on the blocks around were closed as they had reached capacity early on.
As I drove around and around in the sluggish LA traffic for two whole hours, I saw some lots demanding $45 for parking. Luckily, I found parking about a half a mile away for only $5.50.
Despite the rough start, once we got inside, the place was packed and buzzing with excitement.
When we redeemed our ticket badges, they gave us free Gudetama lanyards – a cute little lazy egg character who is the newest edition to Sanrio.
There were vendor booths, shops, and panels as well as food and plenty of opportunities to complement your next Instagram post.
In a sea full of decked out nerds, I was slightly overwhelmed, but quickly realized how to navigate the organized mess.
I saw a Harley Quinn, Spiderman, and Lana from the show “Archer” all taking a selfie together.
I brushed shoulders with endless anime and video game characters and even saw a dinosaur in line to get a smoothie.
Guests of Comikaze had endless meet and greets with celebrities like Dita Von Teese, Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia in “Star Wars”), and the “All That” cast.
Grumpy Cat (her real name is Tardar Sauce) even made an appearance, although she spent the whole time looking sleepy and of course, grumpy.
Additionally, there were endless panels scheduled throughout the whole weekend. The panels covered a wide variety of fascinating topics, from “Legend of Leia: Feminism: The New F-Word in Geek Culture” to “The Writer’s Journey: Breaking Into Comics and Hollywood Scriptwriting” to “Your Opinion Sucks!: Rotten Tomatoes Critics vs. Fans.”
I attended the panel “Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind,” with the authors of the book and moderated by Audrey Kearns, founder and editor-in-chief of Geek Girl Authority, an online news site concerning all things geek and pop culture.
The panel members talked about everything from Luke Skywalker’s daddy issues and if he could have possibly crossed to the Dark Side in the new film, to whether or not droids are sentient.
They even addressed the hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII due to the new multicultural cast of the upcoming “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.”
This year was also Comikaze’s first year hosting their first ever Cosplay National Championship.
There were an abundance of terrifically realistic costumes. My personal favorites were the various characters from Mad Max, especially the Doof Warrior, the crazy red onesie-clad flame-throwing guitarist.
Comikaze had signs posted around the venue saying, “Cosplay is not consent. Keep your tentacles to yourself,” as a friendly reminder that just because others are costume-clad doesn’t mean you can snap pictures of them without their permission.
I attended the expo dressed as a pizza and was stopped a couple times by other guests or photographers, asking nicely to have my picture taken.
The best moment though was my opportunity to pose in all my cheesy, pepperoni glory with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle squad.
All in all, Comikaze was my ultimate geeky fantasy come true or in the words of Rafael, it was “totally tubular, dude.”
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