Comikaze swoops into Los Angeles

Comic-Con International brings hundreds of thousands of people to San Diego each year, but Los Angeles was never host to many large-scale comic book conventions. Into the Angeleno void now enters the first-time, upstart convention, Comikaze Expo. Started by two siblings, Regina and Mario Carpinelli, Comikaze is the smaller, nicer, goddaughter of Comic-Con.

The event takes up only one hall in the expansive Los Angeles Convention Center. The floor is tread mostly by independent artists and painters attempting to sell their comic-book-themed pieces.

With approximately 50 booths of vendors and toy-makers, Comikaze breaks the industry focus with star power, which no convention can do without.

More intimate than Comic-Con, Comikaze features celebrities accessibly signing autographs at tables, with no security, no long lines, and no wristbands required.

The longest line in the entire convention was, to no surprise, the line to meet the expo’s honorary guest, Marvel Comics visionary Stan Lee.

Other celebrities present included original “All That!” cast members, Lori Beth Denberg, Kel Mitchell, Katrina Johnson, and Josh Server.

Also in attendance was the official “Spooksperson” of the expo, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. The stars mingled with fans, discussed their works, signed prints, and took pictures to please their fans.

With enthusiasts dressed as witches, wizards, Halo soldiers, Vulcans, Storm-Troopers, Batman, and Spider-Man, the costumes were worth noting at Comikaze. Devoted fans, excited about these expos, spend considerable time preparing their costumes.

“The cool thing about going to these things is the fact I get to dress like a total nerd and blend into the crowd!” said Jennifer Hernandez, an expo-goer clad in a homemade Superwoman ensemble.

In only its first year, Comikaze has shown that it has the potential to grow to be as big as Comic-Con and Wonder-Con. Willing fans will likely flock to the LA Convention Center to take part in this fast-growing comic book event.