For many nerds there are not many places that we truly feel at home, places where we can be our selfs. One place we can go is an event that takes place at the end of October every year in the L.A. Convention Center. An event created for nerds by nerds.As we pulled into the parking structure for the L.A. Convention Center, we could see people excitedly hurrying towards the west hall of the convention center. As we maneuvered through the structure to find a parking spot we saw cosplayers standing by their vehicles making the final adjustments to their attire before heading into the convention. We quickly found a parking spot and gathered our things from the car, making our way down the stairs to join our fellow nerds and make our way to Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo.
When we walked into the entrance of the badge pickup line, I looked over and saw that there was a pretty large crowd to our left. I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “Oh great, we are going to have to fight our way through that when they open the doors at nine.” I moved forward and picked up my badge, a badge, which compared to the badge I received at the 2013 Comikaze, was very impressive: a nice high quality badge. After retrieving lanyards, we made our way to the massive crowd. As we got closer, I noticed that there were staff members lining people up inside of masking tape lines that seemed to zig zag up and down the entrance floor. There was still another twenty minutes till the doors opened and already the anticipation of entering the expo was building into barely controllable excitement. The clock crawled by minute by minute, second by agonizing second, until suddenly over the many heads in front of me I saw the doors open and the line began to shuffle forward into the expo.
“Here we go, I give it thirty-seconds before the shoving starts,” I thought as I watched the line slowly file through the door. But, I was mistaken. After about ten minutes or so, everyone was calmly into the expo and the second day of Comikaze had begun.
We followed the crowd into the west hall, bubbling with anticipation. We could see cosplayers posing for photographs and lines beginning to form at the various booths. We made our way to the autograph area to get in line to meet comic book legend Jim Lee. When we got there, we were lucky enough to each get one of the limited bracelets guaranteeing us an autograph. Two hours and one Jim Lee autograph later, we began our journey into the massive amount of booths. As we browsed through the many vendors and artists, we stopped and spoke with a few of later about their work. We also talked with some of the cosplayers about their amazing, complex costume designs. We passed by Stan Lee’s Mega Museum and Elvira’s Spooky domain in the rear of the hall, all the while, I snapped photos of the event around me. I stopped and spoke with author Quincy J. Allen about his new book, Blood Ties, the first in a series of six books in The Blood War Chronicles. After an extensive conversation that was full of good friendly advice, I purchased a copy of Blood Ties and made my way through the rest of the booths.
After another few hours of exciting conversations and awesome nerd moments, the time arrived for us to head home. We made our final purchases and began making our way out of the hall, the convention center, and out to the parking structure. My overall experience this year at Comikaze was terrific. The thing I loved most about the expo was we were able to be our nerdy selves without having to worry about being judged. This is a place where nerds can go to just be nerds. A place where we can gather and have good, fun conversations with other people who can actually relate to us and who we can feel comfortable around. For a lot of the individuals who identify as nerds, being social and talking to friends, let alone strangers, can be a nerve racking event. Not here. Here you can be yourself. You can get down and nerdy and no one will judge you or belittle you for it. Hell, they will probably join you, and so if you find yourself in need of some serious nerd time, then I highly recommend attending Comikaze next year. The prices are great, and the guest list just keeps getting longer with each convention.
So, see you next year my fellow nerds!