Comikaze Expo 2011

During the first weekend of November, I checked out the first-ever Comikaze Expo, which bills itself as Los Angeles’ “first and only large-scale, multi-media pop culture convention.”

Comikaze’s mascot is an octopus. Wut? I guess each arm represents a different type of pop-culture nerdery it welcomes? Iunno, sometimes I read into things too much, lol.

I hadn’t gone to a comic con in years (and let’s face it, that’s pretty much what this was), so I’m a little out of touch with some of these cosplays. This is a grown-up Harry Potter, yeah?

Just kidding! I don’t watch Dr. Who but I at least know a Doctor (and a sonic screwdriver) when I see one. 😉

Not really being in the loop led to a huge fail on my part here. I’m not normally a fan of body mods (piercings, tats, that sort of thing) nor am I really into steampunk, but fuhuggen shite this girl was gorgeous. Not being up on comics, I thought she was just a cosplayer manning the Nei Ruffino booth and only realized afterwards that she was Nei Ruffino. -_-;

What makes it worse is that I knew I recognized the name somewhere; turns out I have some of the stuff she’s worked on, her art is really nice, and I could’ve gotten some original art. OTL

As a consolation prize, I did get to use the Wayback Machine oodles and oodles. Lots of things from my childhood made an appearance, like the Baroness and the rest of Cobra’s finest!

Spy vs. Spy! I loved these guys as a kid. It’s amazing the hilarious and bloodthirsty stories you can tell without words!

Claudia Wells, Back to the Future‘s original (and best) Jennifer Parker, had a booth in the exhibit hall. I love BTTF, and I thought it was ironic that she was in aisle B8 (as in, the “B” could be taken as an “8” in 1337, which makes it “88”, as in, “miles per hour”, as in — oh, forget it!).

There were also a few versions of waifu #1 Ariel around, and this one was my favorite! I chatted with her briefly and she was so nice, and she even noticed The Little Mermaid pins I had on my camera’s neck strap! 😀

This couple was definitely the best thing I saw at the con! I love the original Jurassic Park, and they did a whole bit where the velociraptor stalked Game Warden Robert Muldoon. Later, she stole the Jeep and took it for a joyride. xD Check out the videos on my YouTube Channel!

While I do see a lot of crossplay at the anime cons and events I attend, I hardly ever see gender-bent ones like this Darth Vader! Crossplay involves guys dressing as female characters and vice versa, but gender-bent cosplays tend to take it a step further by re-imagining the original character as the opposite sex.

I’m prolly one of the few people who actually liked The Rocketeer movie, but I’m sure this version would make anyone a fan! Some of these gender-bending cosplays are obviously more nosebleed-inducing than others. xD

Despite the expected heavy comics presence, there were a few cosplays from the anime world! I think these were the first Fate/extra cosplays I’d ever seen anywhere. There are so many Fate series that I can’t keep them straight at all!

Though I did enjoy stalking cosplayers (bwaha), I went to the con mainly b/c some friends were going and b/c it was cheaper to get in than it was to park. :p And of course, there were other things to see! Here is a booth that was selling steampunk stuff. These glass heads were so cool!

Zombies are the “in” thing right now, and besides the Zombie Research Society, AberZombie & Flesh also had a booth. I would totally shop there before I shopped at the other A&F! :p

Here was a booth selling some Serenity stuff; I believe it was prints and art. It’s a show I still haven’t finished, unfortunately.

Besides Claudia Wells, there were other celebrities from great to small in attendance as well! Here’s model/cosplayer Jessica Nigri as Anya Stroud from Gears of War!

And here is Elvira, Mistress of the Dark! She was a Guest of Honor and this was apparently her last con appearance. I didn’t realize she had so many fans; there were tons of women dressed up as her!

Well, I suppose I should say a little something about the con itself. Holding the event in the LA Convention Center certainly says a lot about the high hopes the organizers had, and comparisons to the other major con held here during July 4th weekend certainly crossed my mind.

Of course, I don’t ever remember seeing the parking lots full during AX, but there was at least one other event running the same weekend as Comikaze in South Hall, and something else was happening at LA Live. I know this b/c I almost wound up having to park over there. Dx

There were some glaring WTF oversights, such as holding panels in the exhibit hall. I went to one panel and could barely hear a thing the speakers said due to the noise that seeped in through the curtains (similar to the ones seen here) that had been set up for the panel “room”.

Also, in an effort to save money, there was one map (probably no bigger than a regular 24″x36″ poster) posted near the hall entrance. There were no programs and no schedules available, either. In the age of smartphones I guess this could technically work… but not all of us have smartphones. :< Additionally, the exhibit hall chosen was Kentia Hall, which had previously been an underground parking lot (the floor still had the lines for the parking stalls!). Good luck if you can't get a signal!

There were also a couple of serious organizational problems. Since the con was using wristbands instead of the standard badge × lanyard combination, I almost didn’t get the second day’s “pass” due to the box office agent’s inattention. I’d bought my weekend pass on-line through Living Social, but he didn’t look at the voucher carefully enough, I guess. Good thing I went back and double-checked, or else I would’ve been a sad panda the next day!

There was also supposed to be a gift for those who bought through Living Social, but they somehow ran out. How did they run out? It was part of the package (not “While Supplies Last”)! If they sell X number of packages, they should have X number of gifts, no? I’m still debating what I should do about that one, b/c that seriously borders on false advertising.

(EDIT: After contacting them several times, I still never got the gift… nor did I even get a response. Living Social did the right thing and gave me an account credit for the cost of the pass, but thumbs down to the way Comikaze handled the situation — which is to say, not at all. >_< )

For a first-year con, I guess it could’ve gone worse. They did manage to snag Stan Lee and Elvira as GOHs, along with Mark Hamill and cast from All That and various Star Trek series. I did notice the absence of the major publishing houses (Marvel, DC), though. And while Top Cow had a booth, I didn’t even notice it until Sunday. By comparison, Long Beach Comic Con had some huge names and comics companies its inaugural year (including Berk Breathed doing his first-ever con appearance!).

In the end, hanging with old friends, making new ones, and seeing things that wouldn’t normally be at an anime con made it worthwhile. If they improve things next year while keeping prices relatively the same (and there was no shortage of deals this round), I’d prolly check it out again.

Be sure to check out the complete set of photos via the link below; for video, be sure to visit my YouTube Channel!

2011 11 05-06 Sat-Sun: Comikaze Expo

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3 Responses to Comikaze Expo 2011

  1. Sarah says:

    I emailed them and I got my living social gift. Pow entertainment who provide the gift forgot half the box of gifts. Just email them.
    Besides what first year show or establish show doesn’t have problems? We paid $12 for a real nice show. If you complain about that yr kinda a little bitch. Long beach is like 35$ and totally sucks .

    • agcpictures says:

      I’ll be sure to drop them a line, thanks!

      And of course I’m going to complain, how else are they going to improve? 😛 They’ve already promised to address some of the issues (maps/schedules, panel rooms) for next year, so nothing wrong with being a little bitch if it gets the wheels of progress moving. 😉 You’ll note that I didn’t say it was a terrible con and that I’d prolly check it out again next year. As for Long Beach, I haven’t been back since the first year, so I can’t say.

      Thanks for reading!

      • agcpictures says:

        Nope, e-mailed them a couple of times and they never replied. Living Social eventually gave me an account credit for the cost of the package, but Comikaze didn’t even bother to write back. Nice.

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