Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo recently celebrated its fourth year with it’s largest event to date. The convention has grown immensely since it began in 2011- but it’s done so smartly; it doesn’t feel too big for its space or time. Over all, it was a fun filled weekend of nerdy adventuring.
I’ve attended Comikaze every year- however, this was the first year I attended all 3 days (though Friday was just a short visit to get a feel for it and pick up our passes). It was also the first year I’d participated in a panel.
But it’s not all about me- let’s talk about the guests.
Besides the appearances of Stan Lee and Elvira, Comikaze hosted numerous guests- including a mini-reunion for Battlestar Gallactica. Of note to myself and NerdLush was our favorite guest- John Barrowman. John’s panels (solo and with his awesome sister, Carole) were the only panels we worked our way into- videos coming soon. Always a fun time because you never know what he is going to say. Julie Newmar’s appearance also caused quite the stir- a good portion of the photos that appeared in my feeds were of her with various people.
One thing Comikaze does very well is bringing together a variety of creative booths. There were the usual or expected comic artists presenting their wares, there were representatives for the sponsor, Hot Topic, presenting convention exclusives, and Loot Crate, working to sign people up for their service. But there were also booths selling taxidermy and gothic toys. One artist booth had a wooden Enterprise on display. There was one booth with leather goods, that also offered guests a chance to learn some leather work. The fun was that not only could you buy the wares of the exhibitors but in several occasions attendees had the opportunities to learn the craft.
Comikaze Expo is also known for its cosplay environment. Posted throughout the site were signs declaring “cosplay is not consent”, creating a safe place. It’s nice to hear about a convention that takes the safety of its attendees into account. And creates a fun place to nerd out. To date, I have not seen or heard of any negative instances. This doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. It does, to me at least, show that Comikaze takes the matter seriously and unlike several other events nothing serious occurred. Again, I want to point out that I have not heard of anything- did anyone hear differently?
As mentioned previously, this was the first year I participated in a panel at Comikaze. Back in the spring, I was a panelist at WonderCon on the “The Psychology of Cult TV” panel. This “The Nerdy Way” panel contained two of those panelists- Drs. Travis Langley and Janina Scarlet- and utilized the talents and knowledge of several others- Abby DarkStar, Keith Zen, Matt Munson, and Victoria Schmidt as moderator. The panel looked at “the positive side of fandom”. NerdLush did not have anyone available to document or write-up the panel, however we did get a video.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhJDpQrU9Hs]
Overally, Comikaze Expo continues to grow and develop into a convention that NerdLush will continue to attend. There is a friendly atmosphere to meet up with friends or meet new people, plenty of guests and panels to attract anyone, and lots of interests things to see. Let alone the costumes! We’d like to see more of a comics presence, some more TV/film stuff (but not so much that it becomes the chaotic mess of SDCC), but we like the convention as a whole and look forward to 2015.
(Check out the rest of the Comikaze Expo 2014 photos in the Facebook Album)
Photos here and in Facebook Album provided by James Kus.