Friday at Los Angeles Comic-Con was subdued. The noise level was down and the crowd was manageable. You’ll see some familiar faces that you saw at Long Beach Comic-Con and you’ll also witness the continued struggle of a Con trying to define itself.
Just this year (April) Comikaze broke ties with POW Entertainment and will now be Beyond Fest Expo LA. I’m old enough to remember when it was Comikaze Expo in 2011. Elvira was the big-name host. Then in 2012, it became Stan Lee’s Comikaze with Stan Lee and his POW Entertainment partnering with Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) Comikaze Entertainment. In 2016, Comikaze was renamed Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con.
This year a large section on the left side of the hall was devoted to the US Air Force. Seriously. Check out the exhibitor map and you’ll see the airplane. That’s right. Food was readily available. Not only from the usual venue, but also in an outside lot. Just above the airplane, there’s a rectangular area with five black rectangles. Those black rectangles represent food trucks. On Friday, there were only three: Shake Ramen, Rice Balls of Fire and another one whose name escapes me. Rice Balls of Fire put tape over its prices and no prices were actually listed except for the special on the a-frame board. So you ordered, but had no idea what the prices were. We had a salmon rice ball, three tacos and fresh watermelon slush with boba for a little over $30. There were plenty of tables but no shade.
If you like soda, especially handcrafted, then your first stop should be Wild Bill’s Olde Fashioned Soda Pop Co (1461, 1900). For about $30, you buy a metal mug and for the rest of the day, you get free refills. The flavors included Blazin’ Black Cherry, Buck’N Birch Beer, Outlaw Orange Cream, Gatling Gun Grape and Vintage Vanilla Creme. As a great fan and taste tester for ginger ales, I was disappointed that Open Trail Ginger Ale wasn’t one of the offerings. Still it’s a good bargain for a full-day of hydration and they are located not too far from the restrooms.
Utah-based The Truffle Cottage is back (1558). This is chocolates for the geeks and make great gifts. If you don’t know someone who would love an R2D2, a Pokeball (with a surprise Pokeman inside), a Games of Thrones dragon egg (with dragon inside, of course) or a Weeping Angel chocolate, you really can’t call yourself a geek.
A more local delight was the all-natural butter crunch by POP Candy (SP 860) all-natural butter crunch based in Santa Monica. Try the “c-c-c-curry butter crunch” or the “fire pistachio butter crunch” if you like hot and spicy.
Two artists we loved and interviewed at Long Beach Comic-Con where there: Mike Matola of Line by Line Posters (E16) and Daisuke Okamoto of OkainaImage.com (D21).
Matola is working on a new poster, the subject made both Ian and I gasp! It was too early for photos (Matola had just finished a few lines) and the image had yet to emerge.
If you’re a Dodger fan, you might want to check out Okamoto’s LA image. He also has t-shirts, including one of an octopus which is, after all, so very Comikaze.
Friday night, there was a private screening of “Post Apocalypto” in room 411 AFTER the Tenacious D (Jack Black & Kyle Gass ) panel somewhere else: The Main Stage at 7 p.m. The direct invitation notification for the private screening went out on Thursday at 10 p.m. (after the regular event update went out on Wednesday). The first three chapters of the six-part story were already up on YouTube. The fourth chapter went up a week ago and the fifth chapter went up yesterday. “Post-Apocalypto” tells the story of how this singing duo survive nuclear holocaust. It is definitely an adult story with sexual content that is explicitly illustrated.
Does it make any sense that the Q&A is BEFORE the free screening of the full film? Tenacious D was preceded Friday by the Nerdfest geekdom variety show and the Le Geek So Chic Fashion show. The animated movie was too adult-themed to really discuss at 7 p.m. when their might be kids with parents because 7 p.m. is still prime time. The exhibition all where the Main Stage is located closed at 8 p.m.
Black and Gass briefly appeared to introduce the film, but that left no time for possible selfies or questions. The screening wasn’t full and people did some and line up without tickets that were in a lottery.
Saturday night, there’s a screening of “Mandy” at 7 p.m. with a personal intro to the movie with with producers Elijah Wood, Lisa Whalen, Josh Waller and Daniel Noah. That costs $15. “Mandy” premiered at Sundance this year and was released theatrically in September. It is still playing locally at one theater.