Super Comikaze

First-timers to Comikaze!

First-timers at Comikaze!

Last year, Destiny Pizzas was, sadly, denied press access to Stan Lee’s Comikaze. But clearly, there is no denying the worthiness and awesomeness of our podcast because we were accepted to this year’s con! Comikaze is a three-day comic book convention held at the Los Angeles Convention Center bringing together comic fans of all calibers. Naturally, we all had to be there.

Press passes make us official

Press passes make us official

There are three* things I love in this world: nerds, Halloween, and free stuff. Talk about #blessed. So thank you to Stan Lee and the crew at Comikaze (and more specifically, the person who clicked the ‘accept’ button five times) for allowing us to be present at this year’s event. Click through for our full-experience!

To be honest, we weren’t particularly sure what to expect as we entered the double doors Friday afternoon. But the best plan is to go in with an open mind, ready to have fun. And that is precisely what we all did.

The crew on Friday

The crew on Friday

Friday was a very relaxing day. It allowed us to get an idea of what the weekend was going to be like, but without the rush of a schedule, long lines, and rude people shoving us around. We were able to take our time going down all the booths, figuring out where everything was, and getting an overall feel for the ambience (which, by the way, I would label as: Casual Geek Social**). Everyone around us seemed to be friendly, stress-free, having a good time, while still able to bask in the collective nerdiness that is fandom life.

There was a solid plan once we got settled, though. We would start at one end, then snake our way through all the booths to the end. Of course, as a whole, we got distracted plenty of times by the wonderful costumes, the Hot Topic Main Stage panels, or random (and sometimes, shiny) goods from across the way. And so many booths had candy! Shoutouts to Dave & Buster’s, LINE, and SuperHeroStuff(.com) for all the free swag. My favorite booth was probably Trinket Slot; I definitely had to keep myself from buying everything. Whosits and Whatsits has beautiful Disney-inspired clothes, and three of us got Pizza Planet hats (so many compliments for us and so much business for them…win-win!). Gumball Poodle had fun socks, especially the ever-appropriate pizza socks. The Marvel Experience looks exciting, with tickets already on sale. Flex Comics had some hilarious shirts. PVC Armory has bad-ass bow and arrows for your cosplay (and/or regular archery needs). There were so many unique exhibitors, I really wanted to buy so many things.

Stan the Man

Stan the Man

I personally had a great time because of all the compliments on my Baymax plush. No one recognized me, naturally, as I cosplayed as Hiro Hamada from Disney’s upcoming (November 7th) Big Hero 6. Reppin’ my Asian brothers. Carol got a lot of compliments on her Nova outfit, and as for Dhruv, it’s okay, there’s always next year to cosplay. Of course, Dhruv was able to get a perk out of the press pass- able to see Stan Lee from a foot away, snapping a picture of The Man himself at the eponymous Mega Museum. Next year, maybe we can get in for a signature and photo-op…and an interview?!

The crew on Saturday

The crew on Saturday

Saturday was a different story. The crowd was larger, the day was longer, and there seemed to be so much more to see and do. It was almost 12 hours of non-stop everything from start to finish. I was mainly looking forward to seeing Kevin Conroy, but unfortunately, the line seemed too long- I didn’t want to spend the whole day there. I did get to see Jewel Staite, John Barrowman, Gwendoline Christie, and Alfie Allen throughout the day. Unfortunately, I am much too poor to afford signatures, but I am glad that others are willing and able to get the chance to meet them up close. As for me, I had to settle for staring at them in awe at a distance of roughly ten feet. I also unashamedly went back to gawk at Kevin Conroy a few times throughout the day- a good break between exhibitors. I did get to meet Jim Lee and have him sign my Batman mask, so that was a highlight of the day. Seeing the Blue and Black Rangers from Mighty Morphin’ was kind of surreal. And of course, standing inches away from Stan Lee at the LiveJournal booth was wonderful. The EI School of Professional Makeup booth was displaying their skill, turning an average woman into Mystique. We spent more time looking over the Cosplay Contest, with awesome group costumes. Definitely inspiration for next year: Destiny Pizzas presents Animal Crossing x Village People?! It’s okay, we have a year to come up with a better idea.

For my part, I dressed up as genderbent!Jubilee from X-Men the Animated Series, a nice combination of 90s things, Asian characters, and Marvel. Surprisingly, I actually got a plethora of compliments and inquiries for photos. Since I am unable to take compliments properly, I was rather flustered. What pose do I do? Don’t you want to be in the picture with me? And other such questions ran through my mind. It was flattering, sure, but maybe next time, I’ll be more prepared for all the staring and stopping and such. I can say that as for “cosplay does not mean consent”, I was glad that no one groped me inappropriately (without my consent, that is). Shoutout to all the people who dedicate all that time and energy into making an amazing cosplay and are able to show off their hard work properly.

The crew on Sunday

The crew on Sunday

Sunday was a good in-between. At that point, we were pretty much veterans, going in and out, knowing where we wanted to go, and making quick work of all the booths (and our wallets). Taking things slow was a good idea, seeing as how getting up early on a Sunday is painful enough as it is. It was also a really nice day to look at booths we maybe glanced over the first day. Dhruv and Carol got minionized at the Minion Me! booth. Mike and I were able to participate in the raffle held at the Fatsalagata booth, JC Lee’s jewelry line. I won an Excelsior hat and got to meet, hug, and take pictures with JC Lee. Of course, wrapped up in the whirlwind of it all, I totally forgot to get pictures on my own phone. But Stan Lee did make an appearance there and it was actually a small crowd. Love it! We also ran over to the Main Stage when we heard Stan Lee was there with Japanese superstar Yoshiki for their new digital comic, Blood Red Dragon. It’s great to seamlessly be able to be on the floor and simultaneously be there for these great mini-panels.

As a whole, parking (and leaving) was quick and painless, the crowds were kind and clean(-smelling), and the food trucks were delicious (shoutouts to Oh My Gaga and Chancho’s Tacos). I think the greatest thing is the million random and sometimes-announced Stan Lee sightings on the floor and stage, yet each time, I still get giddy with excitement. There were so many great artists there and next year, I will definitely be making major purchases, since I should be less broke by then. We also didn’t get to see many panels this year, but that just leaves something to look forward to next time. I do like the setup with the Main Stage, where we can quickly run from booths to the stage and get the most we could out of it. My feet hurt and I’m way tired, but I find myself sitting at work thinking about how I wish I could go back. Truly, a great event. #comikazehangover

I’m sure I can speak for everyone in the crew when I say that I cannot wait to come back next year (and possibly splurge on that authentic Thor’s hammer this time). See you then!

 

Brian Le
brian@destinypizzas.com
Twitter: @btabsays
Instagram: @btabsees
Tumblr: @squirtleface

* there are more than three
**  also the aesthetic I was going for on Sunday

BONUS! Some of my favorite cosplays:

Vampire Jubilee!

Vampire Jubilee!

No Face!

No Face!

Hawkgirl!

Hawkgirl!

Older Aang!

Adult Aang!

Captain America!

Captain America!

Starlord!

Starlord!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.