The Best of Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con 2016

Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con is a three-day spectacle of comics, video games, sci-fi, fantasy, horror and pure awesomeness. My favorite part? The people.

Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con 2016 (formerly known as Comikaze) is a pop culture lover’s dream come true. Held annually at the Los Angeles Convention Centre, this three-day spectacle of comics, video games, sci-fi, fantasy, horror and pure awesomeness attracts over 75,000 of the most hard-core fans looking to get their geek on. And I mean that in the best possible way. Where else but at a comic con can you dress as your favorite character, meet your celebrity heroes and have a great time talking about Star Trek, Batman and all things The Walking Dead with your friends and family?

Stan Lee Convention

Stan Lee Convention

If you’ve never been to Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con, it’s well worth the effort. But as with any major comic con, it pays to prepare.

Meaning, reserve a hotel room near the con if you can. The ease of walking right out of your hotel and over to the convention center is priceless compared to taking a drive into L.A. on a Friday night or weekend afternoon. Besides regular L.A. traffic, it can take over an hour just to park once you arrive. Thankfully, as you slowly make your way toward the lot, there’s some wonderful people-watching to do: many fans stand in a long line, dressed as colorful characters.

Once you park, be prepared to wait in that line to redeem your tickets that you purchased in advance. Remember: there are tens of thousands of people all coming to have a good time, so it’s natural to find yourself queued up and waiting to get in.

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By the way, it’s still well worth buying your tickets online in advance, as the convention offers a nice discount for early birds who prepurchase. Although it may not save you a lot of time getting in, it will save you money.

Once inside, be sure to grab a free program so you can get the lay of the land with their convention map and begin checking out the panel schedule so you don’t miss out on your favorite discussions or an autographing.

Stan Lee Comic Con

If meeting your favorite celebrity is high on your list of things to do, Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con has you covered. Movie and TV stars, comic book artists, show creators and even high-profile cosplayers are all in attendance and excited to meet their fans.

Stan Lee Comic Con

For those who want to add unique items to their pop culture collections, there are hundreds of vendors, but don’t delay in deciding if you really want to buy that hard-to-find item. Wait too long, and you may just come back to find someone else has claimed it. When it comes to cons, the general rule is this: if you want it, buy it when you see it.

Stan Lee Comic Con

Action figures, sculpts, cosplay clothing, one-of-a-kind art pieces and, of course, comic books are all available. And if you’re a fan of Funko’s Pop! Vinyl figures, Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con has no shortage.

Stan Lee Comic Con

Stan Lee Comic Con

Stan Lee Comic Con

Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con offers so much to do that you really need to attend the entire three days to experience it all. But if you can make it for only one day, it’s worth it.

Stan Lee Comic Con

Stan Lee Comic Con

Stan Lee Comic Con

When it’s time to take a break, get off your feet and grab some lunch, the convention offers a good variety of food and many areas to get it. Although you might not be able to find a table and chair, you can join the many other attendees copping a squat on the floor and taking a moment to recharge.

While we were hitting the food trucks for lunch, the pleasant atmosphere that permeates the show was briefly interrupted by a small band of doomsday preachers who were determined to convince us we were going to hell, every last one of us. The man on the megaphone let us know what horrible people we were and how we deserved the wrath of God. Unfortunately for him, he was simply met with chants of “We don’t care!” from people dressed in colorful spandex. With the number of Negan cosplayers in attendance, I’m surprised they weren’t run off by Lucille the “Vampire Bat.”

Stan Lee Comic Con

The highlight of Saturday evening was Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con’s National Cosplay Championship, which showed off the best cosplayers who entered this year.

A large crowd gathered at the standing-room-only Hot Topic Main Stage to watch the best of the best compete. This is where the costumes on display at Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con really shine. A great audience cheered for their favorites and celebrated everyone who had the courage to step out and show off their handiwork. Over $10,000 in prize money was awarded on Saturday, but it was a treat for everyone to be a part of the experience.

Stan Lee Comic Con

Stan Lee Comic Con

Stan Lee Comic Con

Stan Lee Comic Con

Stan Lee Comic Con

With all the fun things they’ve put together for attendees to do at Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con, the best part of the show is the people. In a time when we’re bombarded with news stories that divide us, a spirit of inclusivity attends Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con. I saw many smiles, heard lots of laughs. I watched kids having a great time, saw adults walking around in wonderful costumes unafraid of judgment. It’s a celebration of the things we love and the people who make it all possible.

Stan Lee Comic Con

I’m grateful for conventions like this and the colorful fans who attend. And next year, you’ll find me right back at Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con having a great time along with them. end

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