By Michele Brittany, SoCal Correspondent
Sunday, November 1 marked the third and final day of Stan Lee's Comikaze, held in the West and South Halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Parking on the third day proved challenging; many of the street parking lots have been bulldozed for new buildings, so more attendees were vying for a $20 space at one of the few parking garages at the center. Surprisingly, outside of the convention center, parking costs ranged from $10 to $30!
The con opened at 10 AM and the exhibition hall, where I spent most of my time, quickly filled with con-goers. Some of the artist alley aisles were narrower than others unfortunately, which caused pedestrian jam-ups as people looked at the wares or stopped to take photos of passing cosplayers that caught their eye. It's a typical problem, but it could have been alleviated by two or three less rows to create more space between the remaining rows.
I attended a handful of panels over the three-day event and I found each to be well organized and kept to a strict 50-minute session. This resulted in panels not going over their allotted time, which I appreciated as a person scheduling my reporting day. Generally, I felt the offering of panels was diverse and touched on many areas of popular culture. And, as a reporter, not having panels start at the same time the con is opening, relieving the anxiety of trying to get to the panel room areas on time.
Comikaze attracted Top Cow, Aspen Comics, Darby Pop and several indie publishers, however the larger mainstream publishers such as IDW and DC Comics that both have offices in Southern California (Burbank and San Diego respectively) were absent. Otherwise, vendor merchandise ran the spectrum from clothing to weapons, from mystery loot boxes to plushies and Pop toys.
Lastly, I believe splitting up the con into two halls did the event a disservice since in previous years, the con has been held in one hall. I heard this layout was the result of overbooking on the part of the convention center, not Comikaze organizers, however I could not confirm the truth of that information. In any case, I hope the organizers next year will go back to the one hall configuration.
Here is a photogallery summary from the last day of Comikaze, including a snap of the loot I amassed over the weekend:
Michele Brittany is an independent popular culture scholar and semi-professional photographer. She has edited James Bond and Popular Culture: Essays on the Influence of the Fictional Superspy (McFarland & Company) as well as the forthcoming book Essays on Space Horror in Film, 1950s – 2000s. Follow Michele on Twitter: @mcbrittany2014.