Will LA ever get a good comics show? It seems as elusive as a football team. This weekend saw first time show Comikaze unfold at the LA Convention Center, scene of much heartache over the years. Held just one week after the Long Beach Comic Con, Comikaze still was a sell-out, according to IGN, but first hand reports were very mixed.
Comikaze Expo, a comic book, horror, gaming, anime and sci-fi convention that is debuting this weekend in Los Angeles, CA is reporting that tickets to their debut show have completely sold out.
Held in the LA Convention Center this Saturday and Sunday, the show features dozens of creators, genre celebrities, tabletop gaming tournaments, and big gets like Stan Lee, Mark Hamill, and the last ever convention appearance of horror icon Elvira.
Elisa Ward of The Fangirl Files has an EXHAUSTIVE report that covers everything, from parking to programming layouts. Ward seems to have had a swell time:
THE SIZE: Comikaze’s size was ideal – not too big (like ComicCon in San Diego) and not too small (like the L.A. Comic Con at USC), but just the right size to feel like you got your money’s worth, but weren’t either let down or overwhelmed by the show itself. By the end of the day, I was tired, but not exhausted, and really felt satisfied that I had had just the right amount of con experience to satiate me.
THE GUESTS: The guest selection was fantastic. The good amount of guests made sure anyone wanting to meet their favorites would get their money’s worth. And although there were some of the familiar con regulars, it wasn’t all the usual suspects (Bill Moseley and Sid Haig were no shows). There were a few celebs I’d never seen at conventions previously (Noah Hathaway, for example), which made the selection refreshing and fun. Heck, Comikaze’s two “guests of honor” were Stan Lee and Elvira – you can’t get more polarizing than that!
Ward was more focused on the “nerdlebrity” aspect of the show — and even snapped a pic of Ernest Borgnine and Morgan Fairchild sitting together to prove it.
Ward did mention that the show was unorganized — volunteers unaware of facility layout and so on — and we heard that confirmed from a more comic-based attendee, who wished to remain anonymous. In fact according to our source, the show left much to be desired — it was actually held in a parking garage UNDER the LACC, not in a hall, which led to “an echoing din…it was a brutal experience. Morale was at a low. Everyone wants a decent LA show, even a small local show like a nascent Emerald City, but no one wanted this. It was not a solid comics show or comics crowd. There were booths for lasik eye surgery and local attorney offices.”
Despite the drawbacks, there seems to have been a decent crowd on Parking Level C, and some folks had strong sales. As you can see from this video of the cast of the Nickelodeon sketch show ALL THAT leading a good-sized crowd in a theme song singalong, people were having some fun.
So… mixed grade.
New York was thought to be an impossible city to throw a comic-con in until ReedPOP put on the right kind of show. LA has a lot of logistical problems, most of them to do with getting people to come downtown on a weekend — Wizard recently cancelled their show at the same facility — but it might just take that kind of magic moment to get things to work.
[Photos ©2011 Elisa Ward. Used with permission.]
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.