One of the great things about attending all 5 years of Stan Lee’s Comikaze is that we’ve been able to observe the convention grow and change every year. This year the event grew to having two halls of LA’s Convention Center. We noted last year that it wasn’t quite big enough for us to travel for the event to attend for multiple days- we discussed on our travels home that this year, we felt it was almost a requirement ro come multiple days.
It’s still not a perfect convention, but it is a good time.
First, let’s talk about the two halls. The South Hall housed the special autographing guests and the photo op area. As well as the Hot Topic sponsored main stage. The problem with this was that it was so far from the West Hall (or dealer room) that we didn’t venture over more than once a day. And while we would’ve liked to see msome of the panels on that stage, standing in a crowd to listen to anyone is not our cup of tea. Last year we attended the panels with John Barrowman because they were in room and it wouldn’t feel like a cluster fuck. The crowd set up is very unappealing. Especially after a couple of days of conning.
There were several awesome guests however. Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Danielle Panabaker, and Summer Glau were all out in the open. With Stan Lee and Carrie Fisher in the VIP area, I assume (we never saw them).
And if you like Power Rangers- there were several available to chat with.
We only stopped to chat with Tara Platt and Yuri Lowenthal, but we’re a little boased around here.
The room also housed the traditional cars one sees at a convention.
As mentioned earlier, the West Hall was the main dealer room. This room was dramatically larger from last year. We tend to time our first walk-thru- it took between 2.5-3 hours to walk from one end to the other. And that’s without stopping to shop- strictly glancing over the booths, maybe saying hello, and continuing our journey. Traditionally, SDCC takes somewhere between 3-3.5 hours to walk the dealer room. One thing we miss at Comikaze in the major booths. DC just moved headquarters to LA- they should have a presence at every decently sized con on the west coast, for instance. And we’d really like more TV/movie booths/panels/guests. But for collectors… there were plenty of opportunities to find your goodies. Personally, I scored several Funko Pops for my collection and the John Diggle action figure for my Arrow collection. The rest of the NerdLush crew added missing comics to their collection.
Comikaze is also a great convention for Cosplay. NerdLush crew member Emily was in attendance as “Old Gregg” from The Mighty Boosh. Fans attended showing off their creative costumes and props from superheroes to anime to TV/movies, and including interpretations unique to the fan. It was quite fun to hang out above the entry way (on the panel level) to watch the cosplayer below, trying to name everyone.
Additionally, Comikaze offers multiple panels. Not just Q&A’s with actors and creators but also discussions regarding a variety of topics. I was part the of the “Star Wars Psychology” panel with talked about the recently released book, all things Star Wars, and interestingly whether we believed the traumas Luke Skywalker experienced could turn him to the dark side. Bonus- being on a panel with Janina Scarlet, Alan Kistler, Billy San Juan, and Jenna Busch representing the PsychGeeks is always awesome (even when I am trying to avoid spoilers for the new film).
One thing we’d really like to see at Comikaze is a robotics competition. NerdLush has recently had the opportunity to attend a high school competition and it inspired the idea that this convention would be a great opportunity to host a friendly tournament. There was a booth for a local team in the South Hall… Personally, I would’ve loved having the chance to see teams compete. And, it would be another chance for those kids to be in an area where they can feel comfortable and supported. A few years ago, the convention hosted a zombie obstacle course- this would also be welcomed.
We did like the number of taco/food trucks available, however the lines were crazy. We practiced our SDCC food plan and had a collection of power snacks- jerky, fruit cups, red vines, and granola- with us. Led to not needing to fight through the lines.
The bottom line is this- is it time for Comikaze 2016, yet?
The pictures are located in our Facebook album here. Enjoy.