2014 Comikaze Expo

Day 1 of this year’s Comikaze Expo reminded me of how often I overestimate my abilities. Deciding that driving the 10-11 hours from Salt Lake City to LA in one day was a bad idea, I decided to stop in Las Vegas on both ends of the trip.

So, I enjoyed my night in Vegas, saw a couple shows, got to bed around 1:30 am, then was on the road by 7 am.

Four and a half hours later, I checked into the hotel in LA and took the train up to the Convention Center. After I picked up my credentials, I waited with the masses, breathlessly, for the doors to open.

Once inside, I made it my first duty to do what I always to at these events: find the photo-op table. After paying for Saturday pictures with Jewel Staite, a Battlestar Galactica reunion (with Edward James Olmos, Jamie Bamber, and Michael Trucco: can we please get a Grace Park, Katee Sackhoff, and Tricia Helfer reunion for Salt Lake’s next con?), and an impulse photo with Dita Von Teese, I began my circuit of the floor to see what was going on.

It seems like there is actually more going on this year than last. Aisles upon aisles of artists (both well-known and up-and-coming) and vendors. Oh, the vendors!

Everything is available: from comics (old and new),  graphic novels, trade paperbacks, superhero hoodies, t-shirts, masks, backpacks…it’s all here. Including my favorite, and hottest items going, it seems: Funko Pop! characters. There’s one for every movie/TV show out there: Game of Thrones, Supernatural, Marvel and DC comics, even American Horror Story. You name it they’ve got it.

Also amazing, as always, is the incredible breadth of the costumes you see. From the classic Superman/Batman/Spiderman, to Anime characters that I’ve not yet been exposed to by my incredibly hip daughter, to the pretty current, mainstream costumes, like the Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, and even the evil Clown from American Horror Story: Freak Show.

Wouldn’t have called that last one, by the way.

Anyway, back to the crowd.

What a great bunch of folks. I heard that they are looking for around 50k people this weekend. Not San Diego, New York, or Salt Lake City levels, but still, clearly a devoted group of folks.

Around 5 o’clock, though, I was done.

Too much car time and walking, coupled with too little sleep, and I was wrecked. Back, feet, head; I had to eject and head back to the hotel.

Good choice. Go, Me!

A good night’s sleep, and back for more the next day.

Sitting in the food area outside the exhibition floor writing this, and watching the fans slowly file in waiting for the doors to open.

Comic cons bring out the best in people, I think. 99.9% just want to come and bond with their peers, the people who like what they like, without judgement.

Of course, in any group, there’s going to be that .1% that feels they’re “better” than the other fans. They have better costumes, or like “better” shows/characters, or what have you.

Those people are wrong.


If you buy a ticket and show up (whether in costume or not), then you’re the same as everyone else that walked through the door: a geek.

And that’s okay.

So, as far as day 2 goes, I started by making sure that I got done all of my “fan” stuff. Because what really is the point of covering events like this unless you get to indulge your fandom, right?

I began by catching the wonderful Marilyn Ghigliotti (most known for her role as Veronica in Kevin Smith’s Clerks) at her autograph table. She graciously gave me about 15 minutes of her time, talking about her time at conventions, as well as her involvement with Smith’s upcoming Clerks III. A really charming lady, as evidenced by the fact that she put up with me for 15 whole minutes. I picked up a killer print, designed by Marilyn, and went about the rest of my day.

Next up, photo ops.

Yeah, photo ops. There are a couple of things to note for next year’s event.

First, only running 1 photo booth may have been a mistake. There were some big names here, and they tend to cause some back-ups or run long due to an excess of fans. Also, line organization was spotty, but passable.

Second, I can’t believe that the photo company was apparently running only a single photo printer. Really? One computer for 8 billion photos? Wow. That bit them in the butt a couple of times today.

But, in the end, I got my photos, but I lost a lot of precious time doing it.

I picked up a print for my daughter from artist Camilla D’Errico, per her request. I was given free rein to choose, so I opted for Camilla’s Comikaze Exclusive. It is very cool. I’m kinda jealous, actually. I got it signed for the kid, though, so it’s hers.

Dang it.

Picked up a couple of things for me, as well, along with a couple of things for the family. The bulk of the money spent on this trip, however, was definitely photos/autographs.

After a 7 hour day, I called it quits again. More rest, then a quick jaunt across the floor tomorrow, then I’ll start the drive back to Las Vegas in the afternoon so I can arrive before it gets too late. Home on Monday, and glad to be there.

These things are fun, but man, they can take a lot out of you.

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