Comikaze: Part I

Hi guys! You probably know I went to Comikaze Expo the weekend before last, and I’ve been working on writing about it, but what you probably don’t know is that there was so much fun stuff to write about that I split my article into different parts! Here is the first part which can also be found on SeattleGeekyGirls.com. A picture gallery is soon to follow as well!

Also a note: I attended all day Saturday and only part of Sunday, so I can’t comment on Friday’s events at all, or really most of Sunday’s events either. I’m sure they were awesome, but I had a day job to attend to on those days unfortunately.

I started out my day by picking up my press pass right near the entrance of the Los Angeles Convention Center.  Immediately I spotted some amazing costumes. There was a fully-functional Bumblebee from Transformers interacting with a grandma on a sweet power scooter. They obviously didn’t come together, but I found the pairing so adorable and funny that I really hoped Bumblebee would convince her to attend every con in the future right by his side. He made a nice comment about her having “wheels just like him” or something to that extent. Awww! I also saw an impressive Predator, Beetlejuice and Lydia couple, and a whole gang of Power Rangers posing for a small crowd right in the entrance area.

I went up the escalators and into the main hall. I was instantly overwhelmed by the size of the place. The L.A. Convention Center is very beautiful, spacious, and for the most part well-lit, so in that respect, it is similar to the Washington State Convention Center that holds Emerald City Comic Con. I found that the feeling of excitement coupled with stress over where to start is the same at either con. I just went with the old standby method that I use in the grocery store—weave until you find something you want!

I started at the left-hand side of the hall and worked my way right. There was a gaming area where they had vintage badges and buttons on display which were pretty awesome. There were old arcade games as well, and I got a turn on one. It had been forever since I’d played anything on a machine like that aside from Street Fighter or Tekken, so that was a great change of pace. I also ran into (almost literally) a giant Snorlax milling about that area. He was so soft and fluffy! If it wasn’t for my crippling fear of mascots, I might have actually hugged him.

After the gaming area, I stopped by a few booths selling some beautiful artwork. Camilla D’Ericco is an artist I greatly admire, so it was really nice to see her work there. Everything she does is so soft and painterly. Then, I spotted some excellent nerdy craft items nearby. There were things like tentacle earrings (so clever!) and Hogwarts house bows for your hair. I talked with the artist who handcrafted the earrings and she gave me a little spiel about how she puts them together. They were definitely worth the price of $12 as that doesn’t compare to the time and effort she obviously put into all of them. Along the way I also got to see about a million t-shirts that were nerdtastic. They ranged from pretty generic Superman logos to clever, punny ones. I purchased a Bioshock t-shirt from Graphiclab that says, “Me and My Big Daddy” with a picture of a Little Sister hugging a Big Daddy on it. So cool. I also got a Krang tee for my hubster.

I decided that by the time I hit the middle of the room, I might as well attend the Adventures of Pete & Pete panel that was starting on the main stage, because I was a fan of the show when I was young. There wasn’t any seating for the main stage so people just stood in a crowd around it. Maybe it was the standing around or the fact that I was smashed in next to a guy that seemed to be equal parts fake blood and very real body odor, but it wasn’t super entertaining for me. People were really enjoying themselves at that panel though, so I don’t want to knock it too much. I will just say that I found their conversation to be filled with some awkward pauses and “jokes” with heavy use of quotes there. Still, it was nice to see something that made me feel nostalgic for my youth. Now I just need an All That reunion (little Pete can come to that too of course), or maybe Are You Afraid of the Dark?

After the Pete & Pete panel, I got to talk with an art dealer named Greg from Reids Collectibles. He showed me some amazing pieces signed by some of the comic industry’s most well-known names. One of my favorites was a grid painting comprised of smaller pictures, each one done by a notable DC name. Every artist did a Batman villain in their signature style. How cool is that? My favorite was the Harley Quinn square by Bruce Timm, mainly because who doesn’t love Bruce Timm? He’s amazing. I would definitely recommend checking out Reids Collectibles online if you are in the market for a unique and beautiful piece. Some of these are quite large, so they would go great over a mantle or to fill that random wall in your house you’ve been staring blankly at for years.

Buyer beware though, as you may expect, these are quite pricey works of art. Maybe even a little too pricey. Greg let me know that it is much better to purchase collectibles at the conventions themselves, as art dealers like to cultivate buyer relationships (of course they want you to keep coming back!), and will therefore negotiate the price with you. I was clearly not in the market for a piece of art at the time, so I think he was being up front with me on that little tidbit.

Phew! That’s a lot of rambling. Aren’t you glad I stopped here? This article is absolutely to be continued. Keep checking here and/or on Seattle Geeky Girls for Part II of my experience at Comikaze Expo. Also be sure to take a look at the photo gallery from my adventure that is soon to come so that you can see just a fraction of the cool things that happened.

About EBCorbin

Writer. Reader. Pumpkin Eater.
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