Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo
Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo returns Friday to the Los Angeles Comic Convention Center with a guest list headlined by the likes of John Romita Jr., Jhonen Vasquez, RuPaul and, of course, Lee himself.
It’s the third year for the pop-culture convention, which began in 2011 as Comikaze Expo before it was re-branded through a partnership with POW! Entertainment. It was purchased last year by trade-event organizer Advanstar. The first installment attracted about 35,000, a number that increased last year to more than 50,000.
Legal | Marvel has sued a Jerusalem retailer for $25,000, claiming the well-known Kippa Man store is infringing on its trademarks by selling unlicensed yarmulkes bearing Spider-Man’s likeness. “A reasonable consumer could be fooled into thinking that the infringing product is manufactured and/or sold by the plaintiff with the knowledge and/or approval of the defendant,” Marvel said in its complaint. Kippa Man owner Avi Binyamin notes the yarmulkes are manufactured in China, and that he only sells them. “There are 20 stores on this street, they all sell the same thing,” he told The Jerusalem Post, theorizing that he’s being targeted because his store is well known. The Times of Israel characterized the lawsuit as “the first move by Marvel against what it perceives as widespread copyright infringement in Israel, where products featuring its copyrighted superheros are commonly sold.” [The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel]
Conventions | Coming up this weekend: Stan Lee’s Comikaze in Los Angeles, featuring special guests Todd McFarlane, Neal Adams and Marv Wolfman. Attendance is expected to reach 60,000, which is a pretty big number for such a convention that’s only in its second year. [Hero Complex]
Conventions | James Sime, owner of Isotope Comics and one of the organizers of MorrisonCon, talks about, well, Isotope Comics and MorrisonCon, and what it was like translating the world of writer Grant Morrison into a comics event: “The *promise* of MorrisonCon is this crazy, life-altering weekend where you’re plugged directly into this swirling world of brilliant ideas, offbeat interests, mad obsessions, and personalities who fire Grant’s creativity. We had to make that promise real, to translate as many improbable concepts and even random off the cuff Morrison riffs as possible into the tangible world. To render all that into nightclubs and hotel rooms and meeting space chairs and places for awesome humans to meet and mingle. We all agreed, it just wasn’t worth doing unless we could live up to that promise, to truly make something worthy of the name MorrisonCon… and go far beyond it.” [Three If By Space]
Trade-event organizer Advanstar Communications has bought Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo a little more than a year after the fledgling Los Angeles convention was rebranded in a partnership with the legendary creator and POW! Entertainment. The second installment of the expo will be held Sept. 15-16 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Although the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, Folio reports that Comikaze Entertainment CEO Regina Carpinelli and her small staff will focus on publicity and promotion while Advanstar, which organizes the annual Licensing Expo, handles the business and logistical elements.
“They will be contacting the vendors at Licensing Expo to see if they want to be part of our show because it is a good marriage,” Carpinelli said. “Those brands fit in with our base — the demographics of Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo is one of the most desirable in the world. We’re all about our consumers, but we also want to help brands reach their target audiences. Advanstar has access to brands and people it would take us years to get a hold of.”
The first Comikaze Expo, held in November 2011, drew about 40,000 attendees; Carpinelli hopes to attract more than 100,000 by 2013. Guests for the September installment include Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Camilla d’Errico, Jhonen Vasquez, Devin Grayson and, of course, Stan Lee.