Comikaze is a new convention based in LA. This is their second year running and my second year going. I went with my freind, Roseanne, Boyfriend Alex, and sister, Amy. There were a lot of changes from last year, some good, some bad. First off, they’re marketing themselves as Stan Lee’s Comikaze now, not really sure how or why it’s his but his name is now an integral part of the title. Maybe he funds it now or something, I am not really sure. But I did get to see Stan Lee in passing! That was exciting, kinda. I got shoved out of the way by some security guard and it wasn’t until someone pointed it out that I saw him in the middle of a crowd making his way towards stage. Anyways, besides the new titles, Comikaze also was sporting a fun new onstacle course- zombie themed. We only went over to check it out breifly but it seemed pretty neat. I have no idea what the price was but in costume the first day and in a dress the second, I wasn’t exactly wearing zombie escaping attire. In the main hall there was also a big stage with a giant screen. It played ads and clips of the con most of the time, but I heard it also previewed a few new shows. There wasn’t any seating there, only standing or sitting room during the off hours.
A few of the not so good changes… (This is where it gets ugly)
The drive to the convention was long, as a drive to LA usually is. We got off at the wrong exit but managed to get back on the freeway again only to be stuck in a MASSIVE line of cars. It took us half an hour or more to get off the freeway again, follow the signs to the parking, then actually finding parking in the sun on the roof. I don’t think the traffic was the cons fault necessarily. Most of it seemed to be due to a badly timed traffic light.
But that by far wasn’t the worst. When we got to the con we suited up in the heat, sweated our butts off, then found a line that wrapped all the way around from the entrance of the building waaaaay back to the parking structure again. Anyone familiar with the LA Convention Center will understand the size of the main building. The line wrapped around half of it, then doubled back again. And this was for PRE-Registration! An hour and a half to two hours outside, in the heat (I did mention it was 100 degrees out, right?), and partially in the sun finally took us into the buildng where they took our printed papers. Just on person was handing out wristbands. She didn’t even look at my ID or printed paper. So Roseanne with her one day pass and the rest of us with our two day passes got the same color wristband. It seemed a little weird and very unorganized. Comikaze’s facebook page said they didn’t anticipate that kind of wait but come on! Those were pre sale tickets! They knew exactly how many were sold. I might mention here that the on site ticket line was much much shorter.
Well after that the day was kind of a bust. Everyone was tired and over heated and in a bad mood. We left early that day and returned home disappointed.
But they realized their mistake and the con staff really stepped it up today. There admittedly were much less people, but the parking was well managed, we didn’t have any huge lines to wait in, and everyone arrived in a better mood.
I think it’s time to retire my Alexstrasza costume. You wouldn’t think that a costume based around the infamous “armor bikini” would be hot, but let me tell you- it was. Ha ha, I won’t go into details but sweat in a costume isn’t much fun and it’s not exactly the kind of attire that can be easily washed. Also, my feet have blisters from the shoes. They were too small to begin with, but I’ve worn them so much and they’ve taken so much wear that they really can’t be worn with any sort of comfort.
So in the end, I have decided that I probably will go to comikaze next year. I hope they learned alot from this year and know what to change in the future. Also, I hope they hold it later in the year so poor cosplayers don’t have to get stuck in the heat!