After the exhausting experience of attending the monolithic Comic-Con, I was going to make a concerted effort to hit up some of the smaller shows scheduled over the next several months. First on the list was Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo, occurring Sept. 15 and 16 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, right across the street from the Staples Center. I was looking forward to hitting a show that wasn't plagued by overcrowding and long lines. This was the second ever Expo and organizers was expecting an estimated 60,000 attendees, which was double last year's. Unfortunately, the staff was completely unprepared and overwhelmed by the massive amount of people flooding in.
I was planning to get there before doors opened at 10AM. Unfortunately, the drive from San Diego took nearly three hours and there was a massive line stretching around the convention center. Apparently, the building reached capacity almost immediately. To ensure the fire department didn't shut the show down, security asked everyone to line up. Staffers were obviously overwhelmed and uninformed, providing fans with little information. Regardless of being an exhibitor, attendee, professional or press, everyone waited in the same line. That's not counting people who showed up to buy passes at the door. While one long line is more manageable, they marched people in one direction towards someone handing out wristbands for entrance to folks who pre-registered through the official website. Too bad, not all got their tickets that way. If I hadn't seen the booth for press registration, I would have stayed in line and wasted more time like so many others. Don't ask me how the convention center could fill to capacity, yet still have more and more people arriving.
After approximately 90 minutes of waiting in the sweltering heat, I finally got inside. All in all, it was a fun show, despite the lack of big names or major companies. Celebrities in attendance included Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flannery of Boondock Saints
fame, Adam West, Lou Ferrigno, and Kevin Smith as well as comic book luminaries like Stan Lee, Todd McFarlane, and Mark Silvestri. I did a little bit of shopping and mostly took pictures of the abundant cosplayers.
More pics can be found on Flickr
Upcoming shows include Power Con
, SD Comic Fest
, Long Beach Comic-Con
, and the So Cal Comic Con