L.A. Comic Con's 7th installment is a worthwhile pop culture extravaganza!
Although I hadn't been to this event (the L.A. pop culture convention formerly kown as Stan Lee's Comikaze) since 2013, I Had been tracking its progress and reading about its growth. And when the event was renamed in conjunction with a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, I knew only good things were to come.
My original plan was to work L.A. Comic Con this year, but when wedding planning took over my mind, body, and soul (not to mention every square inch of my wallet...) I had to take a rain check on this con till next year. So when my buddy Tim offered me a VIP Pass just a few days ago, I was pretty damn stoked.
We both took the metro to the event, since we both live super close to metro stations, and, the L.A. Convention Center is just a block away from one, too. Very smart move, and I highly recommend you do the same. The metro can be loud and annoying at times, but I think it's far less annoying than stop-and-go traffic or obnoxious parking fees.
Once inside, check-in and navigation were a breeze. The vendor and artist layout is awesome, but the line structure is not. Lines were often times running through the center of the convention floor, forcing foot traffic in certain directions, rather than allowing free travel from aise-to-aisle. Velvet ropes and designated line areas for the main attractions would have helped a lot. Additionally, we thought it was pretty cheesy that a con of this caliber hadn't forked out the measly few bucks it would have taken to have new banners printed, as they were still using a lot of banners and backdrops with their old name/branding on them. Come on, now!
More signage about the food trucks as well as the gaming room would have been nice, too. I had a pleasant lunch at a restaurant a block away, but I would have loved to check out the food truck selection, had the info for them been bigger, brighter, and better positioned. Facing the hall as well as the foyer, placed above ground level, etc. The gaming hall was practically empty, as were many of the panel room seats, so I hope some extra attention is paid to promoting these aspects of the convention next year.
The panels I checked out were neat as hell though. One was hosted by a team of writers and creators, discussing Virtual Reality and how it might relate to entertaiment moving forward, and the second was a discussion curated by Ryan Meinerding - Head of Visual Development at Marvel Studios. I got a huge kick out of hearing him talk about some of his work and experience.
Our time at the convention was spread in a pretty awesome manner, and by 5:45 PM, I definitely felt like we had come, seen, and conquered this con. We saw every attraction, small to large, had a beer in the V.I.P. lounge as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson rallied the crowd, and even made a few friends in Roccat Studios and comic book writer Onrie Kompan.
Los Angeles Comic Con's 7th year was solid. Staff had been bolstered, and for the most part the event seemed to run pretty smoothly. There is, however, some room for improvement (as there typically is with most things in life), so I hope the management team over at Los Angeles Comic Con lends their ear to the street, and makes next year's event even greater.
In the meanwhile, check out the impressive list of guests, vendors, artists, and panels, by visiting stanleeslacomiccon.com, and if you're in So Cal and see this post in time, you won't be disappointed attending L.A. Comic Con 2017!