Ian and I have been attending Comikaze from the start and seen it grow. We’re sad to see the name retired but look forward to seeing further transformations in what is now Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic-Con at the LA Convention Center on Halloween Weekend.

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Last year, we had hassles with Panda Parking. They couldn’t accept the reservation conformation code and then couldn’t read the code off of my cellphone. Instead, we tried parking at the South Hall convention center lot. We got there early, about 8:33 a.m. There was a short but fast-moving line. If we had known that the staff were allowing illegal parking (parking at along the walls and at the ends) or at least parking in unmarked areas, we could have gotten closer to the entry way. We wondered how safe that was. There was also parking allowed in the tow-away zones outside.

Inside, we quickly picked up our press passes and then waited above in the restaurant service area to watch the orderly crowd. The attendance has grown considerably since the very first year, but this isn’t nearly the insane crush you’d see on Saturday morning as San Diego International Comic-Con. And, instead of people getting in early, the crowd was let in almost 10 minutes late.

We heard there had already been a slight snafu on Thursday night. Crews that came to setup for the Friday opening discovered that the previous show had yet to clear out. That meant some people had to scramble in on Friday and get set up and ready for the 5 p.m. opening.

There were other problems that we’ve come to know and hate about Comikaze but maybe next year when the management is totally LA Comic-Con that will improve. Some of the literature, including the map require extra carrots. You’ll need to eat a ton of carrots to improve your eyesight or have superhero vision to read the map and the program schedule.

Our favorite celebrities who were signing autographs were Adam West, Burt Ward, Cary Elwes, Julie Newmar, Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig. Nerd HQ had its red van there with free posters, raffles and giveaways. There were celebrity appearances advertised as well.

Technology

Inside, our first stop was the Samsung setup. No freebies and a lot of the TV presentations were in Chinese (no subtitles). I did try the Occulus experience which wasn’t bad once it got going. I tried the haunted house which was okay, but might give your kids nightmares. I’d love to see Pixar do something like that with “Monsters, Inc.”

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We adore that there is now a BB8 Builders group. They were at a table together with the R2D2 Builders and WALL-E. There was a lovely WALL-E and EVE. I still can’t convince Ian that he need to join one of these and build me my own robot. For those who have questions about whether R2D2 walks or rolls, he rolls. And a few of them were rolling around the convention center exhibition floor.

Want to help your kid to enter the world of robotics and coding? Try the Ozobot Avengers Experience.20161029_094303 Your kid can join Stark Academy, get a small bot and use an app to move your superhero character around for adventures.

“Dexter” may be off the air as the title character has retired to the forests somewhere up north, but you can get a Dexter app called DexterSlice, a new puzzler narrated by Dexter’s father.

Clothes Shopping!

We saw some fine leather hats that at LA Comic-Con 2016. Yes, leather. Thick leather and they aren’t cheap.20161029_093606 Expect to spend at least $100, if not two at the Etsy store for The Blonde Swan. I love the steampunk bowler. Another patron struck a pose for me.

The Blonde Swan was teamed up with Volante Design, Inc. and their superhuman streetwear–nice, sturdy coats with a distinctive style. You just had to be there to try them on. Volante Design does custom orders.

If you’re looking for pirate frock jackets and even want a custom-made, we saw Samiah Fine Clothing cv9ixrwvuaaiieithere was well. I love the choice of heavy upholstery weight fabrics. These coats cost around $700. If I had splurged on a wedding dress, I would have spent is on something sensible like a coat you can wear again and again.

I also purchased the SmarterGarter purse which is a garter purse. I probably needed a slimmer band, but for most of the day, the SmarterGarter purse did stay up and was a handy holster for my cellphone. It might also make a great boot pocket in the future.

cv-g50kvyaaoftnEvery Cosplay woman needs a corset. We noticed some fine ones at Castle Corsetry for those who like to wear their Tardis proudly.

You want to put some East LA Cholo feeling into your Cosplay, then look up Han Cholo who has jewelry that isn’t for the timid. Other large statement rings were from Hespera Jewelry, something that might appeal to Game of Thrones fans. I might get one of their water-cut GemFire rings in the future. cv-grfyuaaavylp

Gourmet Food for Geeks!

Friday was National Chocolate Day. We found the perfect chocolates and geek sweets at the Truffle Cottage. The crafting of the chocolate reminds me of the wonderful Japanese creations I have seen in the past. The subject matter of this gourmet and novelty chocolates boutique is bound to make every geek happy. Ian bought a set of three skulls and approves of the taste.cv-esuivmaana5a

Visit the website and you’ll find chocolate Death Stars, Pokemon balls that contain a surprise and much, more more.

Artists: Found and Lost

We missed seeing The Yuan Twins (Matt and John) who are behind Inspector Oh who has fantastic journeys into the magic landscape of medieval China.

cv-d6txukaaok7rWe really liked the poster art of Justin Orr of Jusscope.com. He goes for the old-style movie poster feeling where everything is bursting from the center.

cv-d1wduiaavo4_Another artist we like is peach MoMoKo, an artist from Japan who always draws women and we think that’s a good thing. peach MoMoKo is in Los Angeles from Japan (Saitama). add_2_20830

In general, we feel sad that Comikaze as a name has been retired, but are glad that the octopus continues to be its mascot. We look forward to greater things with Los Angeles Comic-Con.

Our advice: Get there early. Have a lot of patience with the parking. Eat a lot of carrots or bring our magnifying glass for a Sherlockian adventure into a Con still finding its way as it grows bigger and hopefully better.

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