Comikaze lures ‘Thrones’ cast, Batman, cosplayers to downtown L.A.

Oct. 31, 2014 | 12:46 p.m.
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Des Grisham, of Los Angeles, works on the finishing touches for her Wonder Woman costume in the women's restroom at the Los Angeles Convention Center during Comikaze 2013. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Gabe Connor, dressed as Sad T-Rex, receives an ovation from other Comikaze 2013 attendees as he rides the escalator at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Dressed as Loki, Katie Manthey, of Glendora, attends Stan Lee's Comikaze 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Two Batman cosplayers attend Comikaze 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Daniel Proctor of Citrus Heights, Calif., cosplays as Captain America during Stan Lee's Comikaze 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr/ Los Angeles Times)

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Daniel DesVoigne, from Paso Robles, Calif., cosplays as Jack Skellington from Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" during Comikaze 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Susy Platon, of Temple City, feeds ice cream to her children Nathaniel Platon, 5, left, dressed as Batman, and Melanie Platon, 7, dressed as Batgirl, right, as they take a break during Comikaze 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Yasu Tano, of Santa Monica, cosplays as a Na'vi hunter from the 2009 film "Avatar" during Comikaze 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Zachary Luna, of West Hollywood, strikes a pose in his Spider-Man costume in the lobby of the Los Angeles Convention Center during Comikaze 2013. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Spider-Man cosplayer Zachary Luna, of West Hollywood, sits on the hand rail during Comikaze 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Dozens of people cosplaying as characters from Batman's Gotham City pose during Comikaze 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Dozens of people cosplaying as characters from Batman's Gotham City pose during Comikaze 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Cassandra Rodriguez of Carson, Calif., cosplays as "My Little Pony" character Fluttershy, and Brandon Venzor, of Tehachapi, Calif., poses with her during Comikaze 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Photographers take pictures of cosplayers during Comikaze 2013at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Maurissa Leon, of San Diego, and her 5-year-old son Little Z cosplay as the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter during Comikaze 2013, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Los Angeles residents Kam Legacy, left, cosplaying as Connor from "Assassin's Creed III," JL Jelly, middle, cosplaying as Trickster Jake English from the Web comic "Homestuck," and Layne Legacy, right, cosplaying as Dark Riku from "Kingdom Hearts" attend Comikaze 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Dressed as Deadpool, George Pecoraro, of Las Vegas, takes photographs during Comikaze 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Dan Clark, of Portland, Ore., cosplays as pirate Captain Redgoat at Comikaze 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

More than 60,000 sci-fi, fantasy and comics fans are gathering at the Los Angeles Convention Center downtown this Halloween weekend for Stan Lee’s Comikaze.

The home-grown pop culture expo, now in its fourth year, features panels, screenings, game tournaments, merchants and guest speakers from the genre entertainment world, not to mention costume contests and trick-or-treating — a dry option in case rainy weather predictions are correct. The convention kicks off this afternoon and runs through Sunday.

"Game of Thrones" actress Gwendoline Christie attends the show's New York premiere on March 18. (Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images)

“Game of Thrones” actress Gwendoline Christie. (Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images)

Among Comikaze‘s featured guests this year are Gwendoline Christie, who plays lady knight Brienne of Tarth in HBO’s hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones” and who will star in “Star Wars: Episode VII” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2”; “Game of Thrones” actor Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy); classic “Batman” stars Adam West and Julie Newmar; John Barrowman, of “Doctor Who,” “Torchwood” and “Arrow” fame; manga icon Kazuo Koike (“Lone Wolf and Cub”); and, of course, Comikaze staples Elvira and Stan Lee.

Notable comics professionals attending include Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Marc Silvestri, J. Scott Campbell, Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr.

The expo also boasts a “geek couture” fashion show and a cosplay contest with cash prizes, screenings of acclaimed anime, including “Cowboy Bebop,” a Guinness Book of World Records attempt for the 30th anniversary of the video game “Tetris,” and panels for “Teen Titans,” “My Little Pony,” “Power Rangers” and other family-friendly fare. And Saturday night features a screening of Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation.

Comikaze began with Regina Carpinelli, now Comikaze president, and her siblings after ticketing complications kept them from attending San Diego’s Comic-Con International.

“We thought, ‘There needs to be a show that everyone can get into, that everyone can afford, that is totally awesome,’” Carpinelli told Hero Complex last year. “We put our heart and soul into creating this geek smorgasbord.”

Stan Lee on stage at Comikaze 2013. (Comikaze)

Stan Lee appears on stage at Comikaze 2013. (Comikaze)

Since then, Comikaze has grown from 35,000 attendees its first year to 55,000 last year, partly due to the expo’s partnership with Cassandra Peterson (otherwise known as Elvira) and Pow Entertainment, the company of Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee, who says he never tires of conventions.

“The enthusiasm of the convention-goers is so exciting, it’s like nourishment,” Lee said. “When you go there, and you realize that all these people are really involved and really care about the things you’re doing, you can’t get tired. It’s like getting a tonic every time. And that’s why I love the Comikaze, because that is the only one that I have any sort of control over. So I can make this one work just the way I want it to.”

Tickets are $30 per day for adults, or $70 for a three-day pass. Kids 12 and under are free when accompanied by paying adults.

Check out the gallery above for a look at cosplay at last year’s expo.

— Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+

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Comments


One Response to Comikaze lures ‘Thrones’ cast, Batman, cosplayers to downtown L.A.

  1. Robert Wolfe says:

    Wish they had something like that in Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

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