So last weekend I went to Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles. After hearing about the convention for the past two years, I decided to check it out, if only on Saturday. It was $25 for a one day badge, and I was able to walk up and buy a ticket easily. The line for pre-sale tickets was actually longer than the on site line. From what I understand, the badges that were used this year were new–last year they had used wristbands, which, for people at the con for longer than a day, can be incredibly annoying. So kudos on that.
I did not go to any panels while there, so I can only speak on the main dealers hall/show floor. The area itself was quite large–I would say about ½ the size of the main show floor at SDCC. There was a wide mix of vendors and artists, raining from comic books to anime and video games. In fact, I saw a *large* amount of anime/manga representation–more than I have seen at a non anime convention in a while. It was interesting; I wonder if Comikaze is attempting to straddle the line between comic and anime convention.
Towards the back was the main stage. Sponsored by Hot Topic, it seemed in an odd place, and there clearly wasn’t enough seating there–there always seemed to be a great many people standing around, blocking up lines of traffic while trying to watch various panels/discussions/etc.
The guest list was interesting–there were not a great many comic writers/artists, and there was a heavy presence of cosplayers (I had been told that SyFy’s Heros of Cosplay was filming there). As a cosplayer myself, I have mixed feelings about this. While I think it’s great that people are getting more recognition for their good work, I do wonder if it’s becoming too much of a popularity contest, and how the way cosplayers are being chosen for spotlight is a bit suspect.
Various other celebrities from the small screen were there, ranging from Dean Cain to the woman who played Miss Yvonne from Pee Wee Herman. Elvira Mistress of the Dark was a featured guest (and was incredibly beautiful and nice), as well as RuPaul. Again, I’m not quite sure what the ‘vibe’ Comikaze is going for. While I love some of the guests they have chosen, it surprised me how little ‘star power’ there was, considering how the con is in LA.
I will say that I feel like I got my $25 worth. I had a good time, and it was nice to go to a con and not have to fight across the floor for a bit of space, and there definitely was a great deal to look around and see. With panels added to that, I definitely think you could pass a good long day there. For three days, though? I do question the amount there. The con is definitely growing, and I think within two or three years, it will definitely be a con to spend more than one day at.