With the exception of last year, I have attended every single Comikaze Expo/Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo/Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con since it began in 2011. (I happened to miss the event due to a severe concussion that had me recuperating for five months and unable to attend the show.) And in these six short years, Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con has gone on to become my favorite geek/pop culture event in the country. More that San Diego Comic Con, more than Anime Expo, more than Dragon Con, more than E3… even more so than Star Wars Celebration – Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con is my go to event year after year. And if the ever-increasing attendance numbers are any indication I am not the only one to share these sentiments.
Starting off in 2011 with 35,000 attendees, the 2016 edition of the show saw the attendance numbers grow to over 70,000 attendees. Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con has managed to double its attendance numbers from the first show, which was already a huge success, to 70,000 attendees in just five short years. I have seen many an event begin and end and not come close to the attendance numbers that Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con has attained, much less grow considerably in such a short amount of time. But it is what the creative team behind Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con have presented to attendees that is the main reason behind the huge success of the event.
From the beginning, I have stated that if not for the passion and vision of Regina Carpinelli, the founder and CEO of Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con, starting off as a fan more than anything, she has her finger on the pulse of the geek and pop culture movements. There is nothing wrong with being a fan, and Regina’s attention to what is and can be popular, has shown dividends and tangible evidence that it can be used as a positive to appeal to the same fan base you are a part of. Year after year, led by Regina’s vision, the show had presented fans with a slew of guests that they have wanted to see in the Southern California area in a show like Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con. They have continually and consistently delivered on fans’ expectations, and I believe this, coupled with the care-free and inviting attitude that seems to surround the event, are what make the event as popular as it is.
As such, every year I look forward to the Guests List that the event puts out so I can plan out my weekend at the event, hoping to meet the guests that are lined up to appear at the show – and this year is no different. There are a number of guests that I want to see at this year’s Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con that it is hard to nail down a list of 10 guests that I really want to see at the show. Stan Lee will be excluded from this list, because really, he is the main reason I am at this show year after year (except for last year, damn concussion) and a huge reason why so many attend the event. But aside from Stan Lee, this is a list of the 10 guests I am really excited to see at this year’s Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con:
4 Itchy Tasty! Cosplay
While the members of 4 Itchy Tasty! Cosplay are more than one singular member, looking at their cosplay works, especially their marionette Pokémon creations, it’s easy to become fans of the group and their works.
Ever since Agents of SHIELD began, Chloe Bennett has been more favorite member of the cast. Not just because of her portrayal of Skye/Daisy Johnson, but because there is just something special about her performance, a natural charisma that is on display in her performance and I would love to see her soon stretch her acting chops in other endeavors.
I have been a fan of Dean Yeagle and his art for as long as I can remember. From his renditions of popular consumer mascots, to his standing as an official Disney artist, to his popular and sexy Mandy character, as well as his longtime work in the pages of Playboy, I have admired his work for years and always find it a pleasure seeing him at shows like this.
For very personal reasons, I am very interested in meeting James O’Barr, best known as the creator of the gothic comic book series, The Crow. His work on The Crow, as well as the movie it inspired, has made me a fan of James O’Barr – and if I could meet him at this year’s show, it would be something I can scratch off of my geek culture bucket list.
If you haven’t read any of the works of writer JP Roth, then you are missing out on the works of one of the best writers on the comic book scene today. Just pick up one of the series that she is publishing under her banner, Rothic Comics, to see what I mean. Ancient Dreams, Theory of Magic, REM:8, Southern Nightgown, Divinica… all are amazingly well-written series.
Ever since she debuted on WWE television as part of the wrestling stable MNM, I have been a huge fan of Melina Perez. At a time when most female WWE talent were nothing more than “model wrestlers”, Melina displayed a passion and talent that showed she was more than just a pretty face, but a true in-ring athlete. She may not be with the WWE anymore, but she is still one of the best female wrestlers in the scene.
Okay, to be fair, I have personally known Raychul Moore for more than a decade. Ever since she was a member of the Girls Entertainment Network and I used to help manage their forums, I have known her as well as been a fan of her cosplay work. Still, I am no less excited to see her each and every time she is at a show.
One of the most prolific voice actresses on the scene, as well as an all-around good person, I have had the pleasure of meeting Tara Strong once before, but I am more of a fan of her work now than I was those years ago when I first met her. Her work on The Powerpuff Girls, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Teen Titans, Batman: Arkham City, The Fairly Odd Parents, and more perfectly exemplify just how ranged and talented she is – and why she is as popular as she is.
I first became a fan of Vivid Vivka after seeing a featured pictorial of her on the adult cosplay site Cosplay Deviants and then later on Suicide Girls – and to say that I was smitten by her beauty is a severe understatement. Hell, with my wife’s permission, I even carry around a polaroid of her and I in my wallet. She is a beautiful woman, a talented cosplayer, and a very kind and generous person – and I am excited to get to see her again at this year’s show.
The Young Bucks
If you follow professional wrestling outside of the WWE sphere of influence, then you would know that one of the hottest acts in the independent wrestling scene today is the real-life brother tag-team of Matt & Nick Jackson, professionally known as The Young Bucks. Extremely charismatic, energetic, and talented beyond measure, these brothers are possibly the future of professional wrestling – and I look forward to possibly meeting the pair at this year’s event. Too sweet! (Or is that WWE C&D still in effect against them?)