By Jason Delgado
LA Comic Con (formerly Stan Lee’s Comikaze) returns on October 11-13 for its eighth year of celebs, cosplay, and exclusives. Stan Lee isn’t walking through those doors, but his spirit and the house he built ae still very much alive. Rob Liefeld (Deadpool creator) will be hosting a Remembering Stan Lee panel on the Saturday of the event. Personally, I’ll always cherish the interactions I had with Stan at this Con, especially when my wife and I brought our niece to see Lee’s last panel ever, a couple of years ago. Stan “the man” was quick-witted, appreciative of the fans, and filled with fascinating stories and funny quips up till the end of his ninety-five influential years on this planet, so I’m looking forward to the stories that Liefeld and others have to share.
To quote Tupac, “LA knows how to party.” They also know how to cosplay. I’ve seen some of the most elaborate and original costumes at LA Comic Con, many of which are in the lobby area as you enter the LA Convention Center. To see the cream of the geek crop, I recommend going to the Cosplay National Championship on Saturday night at the main stage.
Speaking of the main stage, I love the layout. Other conventions put your Spidey sense FOMO (fear of missing out) on high alert, as you line up hours early, just hoping it was soon enough to get into the panel you’re dying to see, but not at LA Comic Con. The main stage is in the middle of the massive exhibit hall, with big screens showing the panel, so there’s no need to worry about trying to cram into a room, since it is easily visible to everyone.
There are interesting panels galore at LA Comic Con, especially on Saturday. Zombieland 2: Double Tap promises a surprise of some sort. The star-studded cast? A screening? Whatever it is, I’m in! Kevin Smith is always a delight, so I’m looking forward to him “pushing whimsy”, as he likes to say, at his Jay and Silent Bob Reboot panel with the always comical Jason Mewes. If you’re nostalgic, there’s a Saturday morning panel that shows cartoons through the ages, and there’s also a 90’s animated X-men reunion panel with the voice cast! If you can’t get enough fun reunions, the Office and Hellboy have you covered.
Deeper dive panels include an Attack of the Show documentary to explore what happened to the geek-beloved program and G4 network that disappeared without warning in 2013, a screening of the cult classic The Room and Q&A with star/writer/director/strange dude Tommy Wiseau, and a SpectreVision horror spotlight with producer Elijah Wood. Many people may know Wood as Frodo from the Lord of the Rings films, but recently he has been part of a producing team, along with Lisa Whalen and Daniel Noah, that has made instant cult horror classics such as Mandy. The screening of Mandy at last year’s LA Comic Con was the highlight of the Con for me because of the manic Nicholas Cage performance, beautiful cinematography, haunting score, and gory revenge-themed horror at its best by amazing director Panos Cosmatos. I can’t wait to see what is next for this team with their films Daniel Isn’t Real (starring Patrick Schwarzenegger, son of Arnold and Maria Shriver) and Color Out of Space (which like Mandy, also happens to star Nicholas Cage).
Nerds love exclusives and LA Comic Con will have you foaming at the mouth like Macho Man Randy Savage over their Hot Topic Funko Pop exclusives (Ghost Rider and Harley Quinn) and Stan Lee t-shirts. Personally, I am geeking out for the variant cover of the new Spider-Man comic issue number one, written by filmmaker J.J. Abrams and his son Henry, with this cover by Kris Anka and only available at LA Comic Con!
If comics are your thing, come see Jim Starlin (Infinity Gauntlet), John Romita Jr. (Spider-Man), Gerard Way (singer of My Chemical Romance and creator of Umbrella Academy), Skottie Young (Deadpool), Jae Lee (Batman), Neal Adams (Green Lantern/Green Arrow), and DMC of Run DMC, with his independent label Darryl Makes Comics, among many more.
LA Comic Con figures to be more fun than a Thanos family reunion, I hope to see you there!