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Stan Lee’s Comikaze was not worth the wait or price

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A lot of attendees of Stan Lee’s Comikaze chose to engage in cosplay, which is a trend of dressing up like your favorite pop culture character. These attendees opted to wear Power Ranger costumes to show their love for the long time television show. Photo credit: Sigournee Grondin / Daily Sundial

Stan Lee’s Comikaze took place in Downtown Los Angeles. It had been advertised all over the city and people responded, possibly too many. The event took place on Saturday, September 15, 2012 and Sunday, September 16. The over-hyped event took place at the LA convention center. This marks the 2nd year the event has been put on and it was filled with far too many flaws.The convention was expected to start at 10 AM and I arrived at noon. Parking was $15 and the parking structure was filling up fast. Tickets were available for purchase online weeks before the event. I took it upon myself to buy tickets ahead of time to avoid having to wait in any line at the actual event. This proved to be unnecessary because even with an advanced ticket, the line to get into the LA convention center wrapped around the entire building. As I walked to the back of the line in 100 degree weather, I immediately began to regret my decision to attend this event. People were clearly upset and I only saw three security guards helping with line control.

I stood outside of the convention center for one hour and 30 minutes. At this point, kids were crying, adults were becoming vocal about their frustrations and I just wanted to go home. After almost two hours, we enter the convention center, only to find out there is another line to get our wristbands. We slap them on ourselves and attempt to have a good time by walking the convention center floor. This is a mash up of artists, gamers, vendors and panels. We walk by tables set up for Dungeon and Dragon players, a display of almost every Marvel character figurine you can think of and of course, vendors selling comic books and t-shirts.

After checking everything out for about 20 minutes, we notice a commotion in the near distance. We head over and Stan Lee is talking on a stage. Of course, everyone has stopped what they are doing, taken out their cameras and crowded around this one stage. It instantly became an issue, with massive amounts of fans screaming, flashing their cameras and pushing innocent bystanders to get a closer look. I decided it wasn’t worth being pushed over and headed away from the stage.

I walked around for another 10 minutes and after being hit in the ribs pretty hard by someone who wanted a closer picture of a  man in a Storm Trooper costume, I decided this wasn’t worth my time. I wanted my money back. I had wasted almost 2 hours outside, only to get inside and be bored and injured? I have attended Comic-Con in San Diego the past 3 years and I attended Wonder-Con in Anaheim in March. The founders of Comikaze need to take notes from these conventions with more experience.

Although Stan Lee’s Comikaze is only in its 2nd year, I truly hope that they realize how many real fans were upset this past weekend. Nothing about the experience was worth it and by the look of their Facebook page, others would agree with me.

Fred Kaufmann wrote, “Very poor planning for this event. There was no reason why people that pre-bought their tickets had to wait in line up to two hours in heat that was over 100 degrees.”

Kenny Johnson wrote, “I didn’t leave because of the heat (alone). I left because I didn’t want to wait in a 2 hour line with my son in the heat. I also left because I saw people cutting in front of me by the dozens with no staff stopping them. I left because I bought my tickets ahead of time and did not expect to wait 3 hours just to get in.”

Hopefully by 2013, Stan Lee’s Comikaze will have gotten their act together.


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4 Comments

  1. Jason Amelio Sep 22, 2012

    Could not disagree more, the event was a well priced blast!
    The whining from people like yourself was the only black mark on an otherwise awesome weekend. 

    Was it perfect, no. But things like long lines and parking are always an issue with big events. Perhaps if you had taken 10 minutes to research before coming you would have found one of the countless lots across from the convention center that were empty for most of the weekend.

    Yes, it was 100+ degrees. Clearly this was the events fault. The local news had been warning people for days that it was going to be a hot weekend. Take a little personal responsibility and prepare for it! 

    They did have issues with disorganization with the line, that said so does the San Diego Comic Con every single year which it has had 40 years of putting on the event not 2. It has been YEARS since you could walk up and by a single day pass on a Saturday at Comic Con. The last time I knew anyone who did they waited in line for nearly 5 hours to get in. Once Comikaze got the line moving it moved fast. 

    The biggest disgrace of the weekend was the vomit of childish negativity by our community on facebook. If there was ever a bigger bunch of spoiled babies I have not seen it. If feeds into every stereotype about nerd culture. Thousands of bad imitations of The Simpsons “Comic Book Guy” crying “Worst Convention Ever” onto social media. 

    Could this SECOND YEAR event learn for other events of the type? Of course!

    Personally I hope that all of those people that swore they would not come back stick to their guns. It’s those fair weather fans that have made Comic Con such a miserable shell of what it once was.

    1. Jennifer Sep 22, 2012

      I don’t see his review as whining at all. The author is right on the money. The temperature outside wasn’t the event’s fault, but it certainly WAS the staff’s fault the line situation was poorly handled. They keep trying to blame security, but it’s their job to act as a liaison with security on behalf of their attendees. Comic-Con isn’t disorganized with line management; their issues are simply based on attendance numbers and they’ve actually gotten that under control over the last few years. If people didn’t line up hours ahead of time, they wouldn’t have to wait so long. I’ve never had to wait longer than 20-30 minutes to get my badge for Comic-Con. People who pre-paid for their passes to Comikaze should not have had to stand in line for 2-3 hours, as was the case, while people who walked up to purchase passes went right in – that’s backwards. 

      Constructive criticism is the only way things get changed. Your attitude is the disgraceful one. You are raging at someone who is taking the time to be honest about his experience and who isn’t lashing out at anyone. Calm down before you give yourself a heart attack.

      1. Jason Amelio Sep 23, 2012

        I’m fine, that wasn’t even in all caps…

        “Comic-Con isn’t disorganized with line management; their issues are simply based on attendance numbers”
        What exactly do you think the issue was Saturday if not a attendance based issue. Had they not received such a high volume of guests the line to get in would not have been as long. Yes, there were other issues but they all come back to the sheer amount of people trying to get in. 

        The issue with people who walked up being able to get in before prepaid was the one thing Comikaze could have done better with and will be a struggle as long as the box office is indoors. 

        Would it have been any more right to make those people (who are paying their hard earned money just like you and I) wait until the prepaid line was in? I’m not sure yes is the answer there. Is a prepaid customer somehow “better” and therefor more entitled than a walk up? This is the spoiled baby attitude I’m talking about.  

        While we are on the subject of lines lets mention what you did not have to line up for all weekend, panels. No one had to camp out overnight for a Glee or Twilight panel like Comic Con. Didn’t they let someone from one of those lines get killed this year?

        You are correct “Constructive criticism is the only way things get changed.”There was one line of constructive criticism to that article, the rest was someone who spent 30 minutes inside the con (apparently not watching where they were going) complaining about their day and feigning injury after bumping into someone. 

        Let me offer some constructive criticism to Daily Sundial. Have someone who spent more than 30 minutes inside a 2 day event write a review. The con floor was open for 14 hours that weekend, the writer spent 30 minutes on it and told you so in the article. If you were covering an hour long debate would you take an article from someone who only watched 4 or 5 minutes of it?

  2. Geoffry Shreckengost Sep 20, 2012

    I don’t totally disagree, though I did have a good time. I bought tickets through Groupon and the line for those tickets took less time than the line for Starbucks. A lot of good cosplay, good art, and booths with decent b-list stars made it compelling for me. No question that parking/entry could have been better: they could have brought the line inside and down the concourse to the west hall instead of outside. All in all, though, I enjoyed it.

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