10 Reasons You Must Attend Comikaze Expo
By: Shawn Marshall @The_Con_Fluence
Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a lot of people asking me why I’m so high on the upcoming Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles, CA (11/5-11/6). With this being the first year of the show, it is a very reasonable question. So, here is my run-down of the 10 reasons Comikaze Expo is a must attend event:
10. Location: Although we’ve seen many shows flop in LA, this doesn’t alter the fact that the pop culture seen is LA. There are a number of reasons that past LA shows have failed, but none of them have to do with the fertility of the cultural landscape in the City of Angels.
9. Ticket Prices: Currently, Comikaze Expo ticket prices are $12 for a day or $20 for two days. Kids prices? Children 12 and under are free. Do I need to say anything more?
8. Choices: This show is bringing options like few others I’ve seen. What’s your pleasure? Anime? Comics? Cosplay? Sci-Fi? Gaming? Fantasy? Horror? Tattoos? Whatever it is, this show has you covered.
7. Star Trek: Over the last few years, Star Trek has all but disappeared from the So Cal con scene. If it weren’t for Trek Day at Frank and Sons (a must visit in City of Industry, CA) earlier this year, there would have been no real outreach to the Star Trek community in this part of the country this year. That being said, with 10 Trek personalities already listed on the guest list, Comikaze Expo is bringing the Trek back to LA.
6. Tattoos: I’m not sure how many of you have gotten a tattoo during a convention, but I can tell you it’s a blast. A few years back, I was fortunate enough to get Stan Lee to sign my arm at Long Beach Comic-Con and then to have had that autograph made permanent at Outer Limits Tattoo down the street from the show. As many items as I’ve bought at cons over the years, nothing rivals the nostalgia of that experience. This year, I hope to take Comikaze up on their offer to pay for my Comikaze logo tattoo, which I’ll have done at the show.
5. Elvira and Stan Lee: There aren’t many bigger names in the world of cons than these two. ‘Nuff said.
4. Creators: With over 50 comic creators already announced, Comikze Expo is placing a particular emphasis on local creators. Outside of the Alternative Press Expo, indie creators are rarely given center stage at a show. Although there will be a number of powerhouses from Marvel and DC (Joshua Fialkov, being my favorite), the indie scene will be bigger than most anywhere else in So Cal this year.
3. Outreach: I have not seen another group of organizers reach out to their community the way this one has. They are constantly promoting and constantly communicating. Over the years, I’ve seen a direct correlation between the outreach of the show and the product they put out. If this holds true again (which I anticipate it will), this will be one for the ages.
2. Community: Comikaze has made it abundantly clear that this is a show for the people of LA. They are reaching out to partner with just about everyone that they can find, so that they can make this, “the show that LA deserves” (words I’ve heard them say repeatedly).
1. Customer Service: I think I’m extremely biased on customer service from all of my years working at In-N-Out during high school and college. For those that are unaware, customer service is the cornerstone of In-N-Out’s philosophies on business. As such, making sure that customers left the restaurant happy was ingrained in everything we would do. As such, I get frustrated at shows where I know I am not being valued by the organizers. Many show organizers will make the mistake of over-emphasizing the bottom line of the upcoming show by putting at-risk the experiences of the attendees. I often urge con organizers to look at the show experience the way that a Las Vegas casino must. Casinos need to make money, but they can’t do it at the cost of the experience, or before they know it they’ll have empty gaming halls. In short, they must make sure customers leave their place with a smile on their face, even if their pockets are empty. That being said, the customer service that Comikaze Expo has shown reflects a forward-thinking attitude that takes into consideration a future for their brand. It is obvious that they want people to enjoy themselves…and with attendee enjoyment will come a much stronger probability of future shows.
So, I hope this list gives you an idea of why I think this show will be one of the most memorable of the year. It really wouldn’t surprise me at all if 5 years from now there are people flying in from all over the country for this annual event…and if this occurs, I’ll be saying I told you so.