Pop culture at Comikaze celebrated by fans

By Rogelio Alvarez

Fans paid tribute to multi-media pop culture and celebrated Halloween weekend in style with artistic and creative costumes at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo last weekend.

Independent artists, writers and comic book booths sold various items ranging from collectible action figures, autographed books and artwork, movie posters and swords.

Despite nearing 90 years of age, Stan Lee was animated and entertained the crowd with his personality and witty humor.

The Hollywood Science Fiction and Horror Museum had the biggest booth at Comikaze with iconic cars on display.

Fans posed next to the cars from films and television series. BumbleBee from the “Transformers” movie franchise, the shaguar from “Austin Powers” and DeLorean, the time-traveling car from “Back to the Future” were some of the cars present.

Huston Huddleston, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Hollywood Sci-fi museum, was delighted to bring famous pop-culture memorabilia to                            the convention.

“There’s no sci-fi museum in the world that’s exclusively sci-fi, that teaches real science through sci-fi, space and film-making,” Huddleston said.

The museum’s displays received the most visitors in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“It’s wonderful, but getting to meet people who love what we’re doing as much as we do, you can’t pay for that and that’s really magic to me,” Huddleston said.

R2-D2 Builder’s Club had several R2-D2 models from “Star Wars” on display. Each replica was built by a member.

Almost one hundred panels offered attendees informational and entertaining panel discussions.

The “Battle of the Batmans: Which Dark Knight is the best?” panel was one of the last panels on Friday.

Seats were immediately filled with Batman fans eager to hear the panel members debate over which version of Batman is better.

Another popular panel was the Funimation Peep-Show.

At the end of the screening, audience members participated in a quiz based on the anime video clips and were awarded prizes for correctly answering a question.

Saturday’s activities included a national cosplay championship for adults and kids, respectively. Participants had the opportunity to win over $10,000 in cash and prizes.

Superhero comic book fans saw a special screening of the film “The Death of Superman Lives; What happened?” followed by a Q and A with the film’s directors, producers and editors.

Some panels offered support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender geek community.

Panelists shared their experiences in the geek community and how he or she overcame discrimination.

“Queersplay Cosplay” had a booth that was aimed at providing a safe oasis for queer and transfandom.

Founders Kimber Brightheart and Lilyana Fey’s booths sold huge hair bows and colored drawings.

Some of the funds raised were to provide resources for disadvantaged youth in the trans community.

“It’s a been a really positive experience,” Brightheart said. “I think that in general it can be really hard for queer people to find safer space in conventions.”

“We want to really make sure that people that are under represented have a safe place they can go and get away from some of the gross things people run into,” Brightheart said.

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