The Halloween weekend is here and Los Angeles sure isn’t complaining as the electrifying multi-genre comic convention, Comikaze sets up the stage at down town LA Convention Center. Expecting a foot-fall of over 75,000 this year, the weekend long convention from 30 October to 1 November promises to be bigger and embrace more diversity from genres of comic, horror, sci-fi , anime ,gaming and pop-culture.
Kicked-off back in November 2011, by Regina Carpinelli and her two younger brothers, Mario and Fabiano who were mesmerised by the geek culture and avid participants of the then only comic convention San Diego Comic Con ideated upon bringing a convention equally in scale to SDCC to the city of Los Angeles. The first year itself attracted over 30,000 fans to the Los Angeles Convention Center and to add on, former Marvel president Stan Lee agreed to pitch in through his POW! Entertainment and this gave birth to the ever-since successful running Stan Lee’s Comikaze. Since then, the multi-diverse convention is growing at a whopping 20 per cent growth and bringing in more and more entertainment zones to itself.
So what was special this year at Stan Lee’s Comikaze?
Stan ‘The Man’ Lee – To begin with, the legendary creator of Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Hulk, X-Men, Iron Man, Thor and many more Marvel comic superheroes, Stan ‘The Man’ Lee made an appearance on the first day checking on the new video game, Stan Lee’s Hero Command, an arcade game that allows you to pick a super-hero character and fight alongside Stan Lee on missions to save the world.
If someone thought that the 92 year-old veteran would now only bask in the glory of his creations, then someone would be wrong for Stan Lee just recently unveiled two new superhero franchises namely, a Chinese Super heroine, Realm starring Li Bingbing in the first-ever Chinese superhero avatar and another action franchise Arch Alien teaming up with Taipei based Hualien Media.
Lighting up the spirit of Halloween – This year making the Halloween occasion more special, the organisers at Comikaze were rooting in over 700 vendors and exhibitors on the floor to treat the kiddos with candies and setting up other Halloween pop-culture setting. “We have ordered so much candy, and I mean the good kind; and will be distributing it to the vendors so kids can go trick-or-treating here,” said Carpinelli excitedly.
Timing it for the Halloween, when families are together playing in to the spirit of feasting and celebration, Carpinelli explains that, “When my brothers and I started this in 2011, we always wanted it to be about families and sharing their love of comics and movies. We’re all about the families and people connecting together.”
Legendary guest list on the floor – Stan Lee’s presence was just the start, this year, Comikaze brought the pop and geek culture fans a real delight. The Rebel leader, Princess Leia Organa from 1977’s Star Wars is back. Yes! Carrie Fisher, the cultural icon who donned the Princess Leia role in the early Star Wars saga had an awesome meet and greet time with her fans on Saturday.
Speaking of comic legends, also to grace the convention with his presence was the Scottish comic-book writer Grant Morrison whose works extend to DC Comics’s Animal Man, Batman, JLA, Action Comics, All-Star Superman, Vertigo’s The Invisibles, Marvel Comics’s New X-Men, Fantastic Four, Marvel UK’s Spider-Man to name a few. The Canadian cartoonist Todd McFarlene known for his illustrations of Marvel Comic’s Spiderman, Venom and even on DC’s side, his notable works can be seen in Batman: Year Twowould also be entertaining the fans with his art. Also the American comic book creator of Deadpool, Cable and X-Force will be present to share his insights with the comic-geeks.
A look at the crazy cosplays – Kicked off by the fans and for the fans, Comikaze has always been the stage for the geeks to showcase their love for their favourite comic or movie characters. Playing upon that, this year Comikaze is proudly hosting the National Cosplay contest wherein the best dressed cosplay artist will grab a winning cash prize amounting to $10,000. Both professional and rookie cosplay artists and fabricators are sure to participate to bag the winnings in any of the three categories: master, journeymen and junior.
A peak by one of the contributors to Forbes has gleefully shared his insights on the first glamorous day at Comikaze where hundreds of fans have dressed in costumes of their favorite characters. With them, the entire convention hall has turned into a live-action comic and movie world.
Surely Stan Lee’s Comikaze was crazy this Halloween and the pop culture fanatics at Los Angeles and around had a ball with their loved characters from a diverse imaginative world of games, movies and comics.