Stan Lee’s Comikaze, a cornucopia of Geekdom!

You may have heard of San Diego Comic Con, Dragon-con, or even Star Wars Celebration. GIant Comic Book conventions offering a plethora of art, collectibles, and merchandise for the popular culture fan, better know as Geeks. There seemed to be a “Mega” Coomic Book convention in every major city except, oddly enough, the great city of Los Angeles… that was until this pat weekend (Sept. 15-16) .

Stan Lee‘s Comikaze has broken ground in Los Angeles as the first “Mega” Comic Convention in Los Angeles with a thunderous KA-POW! at the LA Convention Center. Thousands of geek fans fans flocked to downtown Los Angeles to partake in this celebration of Geekdom!
Denise Vasquez and I had the good fortune of attending this show and I’m here to report we had a wonderful time. While Comikaze is still in it’s infancy, it has the foundation of being a new force in the comic convention season, and Los Angeles has needed something like this for years. Not knowing what to expect I was impressed with the amount of things there were for fans to do. They had the usual comic convention exhibit hall where you can find collectibles, comic books, costumes, and an artists alley. But I really liked how they went beyond the typical Comiccon set up by bringing physical activities for fans to do, including a designated playing field for the Harry Potter game “Quidditch”, and a giant ZOmbie Apocolypse obsticle course.  IF you didn’t want to participate in these activities it was a lot of fun to simply watch.

Photo by MIshal Samman

Comikaze also featured a very strong lineup of panels where fans could sit in and listen to professionals talk about a variety of popular culture topics.I was lucky enough to be part of very informitive panel called “tricks of the trade”. Panelists spoke frankly about building a career in the creative field, and stories of what it is like to be a professional Artist, Director, Actor, and ARt Dealer. Denise Vasquez put together this great panel and did an outstanding job moderating it. The Panelists included wrtter/director/editor J.C. Reifenberg, Actress/writter/ crafter Jennifer Landa, Artist Manager/art dealer Michelle Smart, and my self (Illustrator). Each panelist did a great job of giving their points of view from their creative career path, and all had very interesting stories to tell. Some of my favorite moments were when J.C. Reifenberg told some great stories about working with Director Kevin Smith. I loved hearing Jennifer Landa revealing her experience working at Disneyland. Michelle Smart gave some VERY important information from the point of view of the art dealer and art director, which was very important for aspiring artists to hear. And Denise, was her normal positive self tieing all of our stories together to make one great point after another.
I was a little anxious before the panel, because you never know if you will have a full house or just a couple of people. To all of our delight it was a standing room only panel, and those who attended were a GREAT audience! THey really responded to everything and hung on every word that was spoken. Q&A was short, but there were some excellent questions. As well as everyone did on the panel, a lot of the success has to do with the audience. They gave back the energy we were giving out, and that is always exhillerating, and it made for an outstanding panel. Thank you to all the fans who attended! If you missed the panel, I’m happy to report Denise is already working on bring her “Tricks of the Trade” Panel to a convention near you!

Photo By Denise Vasquez

Another highlight was being a special guest at the, up and coming vinyl doll and art company ,Angry Koala booth. We officially debuted “Empowerment-Mega Fan Girl” to the world with a great print!
Denise and I were very happy to lend our support to Angry Koala and thank them for having us at their booth.

My favorite part of every convention is seeing friends.  I work so much from my studio, I don’t get to see friends as much as I would like, so hanging out at conventions with friends is always a highlight for me!

Over all Comikaze was a great time. Sure there were some bumps in the opening hours, but like pros, they recovered and refused to let Comikaze be brought down by adversity. I believe Comikaze is here to stay and I can;t wait until next years show, which I know will be bigger and even better!

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