A legion of zombie fans, comics geeks, wizard wannabes and gamers are expected to converge on the Los Angeles Convention Center for a weekend of panels, exhibits, video games and live music at Stan Lee’s Comikaze.
Now in its second year, Comikaze began as a passion project for Southern California siblings Regina, Fabiano and Mario Carpinelli, who sought to create a convention focused on (and affordable for) local sci-fi, fantasy, horror and gaming fans.
Despite some logistical hiccups in its freshman year, the pop-culture convention’s turnout of about 30,000 last November exceeded expectations — a success that enticed comics icon Stan Lee and horror hostess Elvira to come on board as business partners, Regina Carpinelli said. The convention was rebranded Stan Lee’s Comikaze presented by POW!, and organizers estimate it will draw 60,000 fans — double last year’s attendance.
The convention kicks off Thursday night with a red-carpet premiere at the historic Vista Theatre in Los Feliz for the winners of Elvira’s Horror Hunt — a horror film competition judged by the Mistress of the Dark herself. Other events include a Quidditch tournament, a zombie-apocalypse-themed obstacle course, an exhibition of Stan Lee’s comic memorabilia and an arcade area featuring six Activision games, including “Tony Hawk: Shred,” “Deadpool,” “Goldeneye 007: Reloaded,” “Transformers: Fall of Cybertron” and “The Walking Dead.”
Adam West, Todd McFarlane, Felicia Day, Julie Newmar, Neal Adams, Marv Wolfman, Zak Penn, Mark Hamill, Lou Ferrigno, Ron Glass and Amber Benson are featured guests, among several dozen others from TV, comics and film.
A complete list of events and panels can be found on Comikaze’s website. Tickets are $20 per day for adults and free for children under 12. Certain events, including the zombie obstacle course and musical performances, cost extra.
— Noelene Clark
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