I just received an update about the attendance for last month’s Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con.
And they’re impressive to look at.
Press release excerpts and my reactions are below. Enjoy!
For Immediate Release:
LOS ANGELES (November 9, 2017) – The seventh edition of Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con is now in the record books as the 3-day gala event broke the 100,000 attendee mark to make it the biggest pop culture convention in L.A.’s history.
That’s right: a reported 100,000 people made it through the doors over the Halloween weekend. As I have previously noted, it never feels that busy when you attend this event, and I’m not sure why. Perhaps there is appreciably more square footage to work with at the LA Convention Center than other cities’ facilities I’ve attended. I don’t know. I’m also not sure what the busiest day/time was, though I’d be interested in seeing a breakdown of that kind of data if one was available.
The new partnership with the convention’s Official Media Partner ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY resulted in such star power additions as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who attracted a record crowd to the convention floor as he premiered an exclusive clip from his upcoming film, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle; the Black Eyed Peas, who participated in a panel session for their new AR-infused digital graphic novel Masters of the Sun – and performed for fans at Club Novo; Drew Carey, who was named the 2017 Comedy Legend; and Melissa Joan Hart who headlined a must-see cast reunion of her much-beloved hit show Sabrina, The Teenage Witch. Other notable stars appearing at the pop culture extravaganza included Chloe Bennet from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Scott Bakula and Quantum Leap creator Donald Bellisario, Katee Sackhoff from The Flash, Paul Reubens (Pee-wee Herman), Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Rob Liefeld (Creator of Deadpool), Rose McIver, and Kevin Smith.
Yes, much was made of those guests, some of whom I was able to catch at least part of their panels, while others slipped by without me hearing so much as a loudspeaker announcement of start times.
Keith Tralins, CEO of Comikaze Entertainment (remember, this event used to be Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo until 2016, when it was renamed Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con roughly a month prior to the event, in what could only be described as a big, fat middle finger to Comic Con International at the height of the media’s awareness of the lawsuit between them and Salt Lake Comic Con) says:
“Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con has taken its place as L.A.’s largest gathering of stars and creative talent in comic book, publishing, gaming, film, broadcast, cable and streaming entertainment — and a true celebration of Los Angeles, the world mecca for the creation and production of pop culture entertainment in all forms. We are thrilled with the record turnout – and we’re now focused on making year #8 even bigger!”
Allow me to humbly suggest that bigger isn’t always better. As I’ve noted the two previous years (2016 and 2017), organizationally, I am growing more concerned about the direction the event is taking. Uncontrolled and unmanaged growth will kill an event like this, and no matter the quality of the guest list, if the fans are not happy with the way it is being run, they will stop coming. Not all at once, but they will stop.
Still, I hope Mr. Tralins will take note of the various issues and will work toward correcting them for 2018. I would hate to miss what I have spent the last 5 years generally feeling is a fun time, though lately it seems the fun is waning, or at least being offset by “not-fun” aspects of the way it’s running.
I mean, I must enjoy attending; I fly in from Salt Lake City every year, and it’s not like I don’t have a local con to get my fix from, right?
So….. see you next year? I hope so.