Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con, formerly known as Comikaze Expo, celebrated it’s 5th anniversary at the Los Angeles Convention Center during Halloween weekend. Since its inception in 2011, the event now occupies nearly half of the convention center, offering much needed space for additional programming and events. Most of the action still occurs in South Hall, however, where the exhibit hall, artist alley, and the main stage occupies. The other rooms outside are used for primarily for live programming such as panels and Q&As.
This year’s impressive guest lists included a variety of guests ranging from comic book artists like Rob Liefeld (X-Force) to voice actors such as Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) and even musical guests like Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance)who was on hand to promote his series The Umbrella Academy. There was also a quite a number of actors on hand, including Mike Colter from the Luke Cage Netflix series to Cary Elwes from the beloved film, The Princess Bride, and even a handful of actors from the Power Rangers franchise. The man of the hour himself, Stan Lee, was present each day to make appearances and sign autographs. All of these guests, also not forgetting the large number of comic/film/TV industry guests, ensured there was something for everyone in the exhibit hall and panel programming. One of the most popular ones was the The Voices of the DC Universe panel on Saturday, which featured prominent voice actors such as Conroy, Phil Lamar, Tara Strong, and many more. One of the topics discussed that really hit home for the panelists was the SAG-AFTRA strike.
Overall, the L.A. Comic Con continues to improve and grow in attendance: this year brought an estimated 91,000 attendees, which means that it’ll continue to expand and use more of the convention center. Hopefully this potential expansion will offset some of the flaws I found with the convention: the lack of seating for the main stage festivities and the overall lack of live events like concerts and other performances beyond the the masquerade. All these events would benefit from a more dedicated, enclosed space in terms of crowd control, convenience for attendees, and overall sound quality.
Last, but not least, is the convention’s cosplay participation. This year saw a greater number of fans dressing up as their recent favorites. This year’s popular cosplays included Harley Quinn from the Suicide Squad film, Negan from The Walking Dead TV series, and characters from the video game Overwatch. Cosplay is always strongly encouraged at L.A. Comic Con and this year didn’t disappoint. Check out some of the highlights from Saturday below: