GeekOut

Stan Lee launches his own comic convention

LOS ANGELES (CNN) - Wherever superhero creator Stan Lee goes, a crowd of comic book fans seems to gather, but now Lee's making it official with his own comic convention.

"Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo Presented by POW! Entertainment" launches in Los Angeles in September and is expected to spread with shows around the world, according to Lee and his "partner in crime" Regina Carpinelli.

Carpinelli grew up as a big fan of Lee's many superhero characters, including Spider-Man and other Marvel Comics fixtures such as the X-Men, Thor and Iron Man.

Having Lee's name on the marquis and his POW! Entertainment helping with promotion is "making history," said Carpinelli, who compared the former Marvel Comics chief to Walt Disney, Einstein and Shakespeare. "What more can a convention want; this is magic we're making here."

"Despite my legendary shyness, I thought that would be a great idea," Lee said.

Grown men have been seen crying after shaking hands with Lee at comic book shows.

"I have that firm grip," Lee said. "I squeeze their hand so hard, what are they going to do?"

Fans line up for hours to pay $50 to meet Lee and get an autographed photo at conventions.

"Yes, they kept saying 'Is he still around?'" Lee joked.

Lee decided to partner with Carpinelli after attending the inaugural Comikaze show at the Los Angeles Convention Center last November.

"The idea that Los Angeles, which is to me the seat of the world's entertainment, did not have its own con, and the fact that (Carpinelli) got more than 40,000 people on your first one, just shows what a market there is," Lee said.

Lee's two-day show is set for September 15 and 16, two months after the San Diego Comic-Con International, which sold out 125,000 tickets online in 90 minutes last month.

"If you can't get into that other show that happens in California because tickets are sold out, come check out Stan's show because he's going to be there," Carpinelli said.

"But despite that, it will be a great show," said Lee, known for his self-deprecating humor.

The line up of stars will be revealed over the coming weeks, and "Stan's bringing some of his pals," Carpinelli said.

"We're going to have the cream of the crop of people in movies, television and the comic book world," said Lee.

Lee continues to create new comic characters and attend big shows at age 89.

"They're no longer comic book conventions," he said. "I think of them as pop art conventions, entertainment industry conventions, really. Because though they started with comic books, they now encompass movies, television, video games, digital entertainment. Everything in the field of entertainment is now represented in these so-called comic cons."

Lee's ComiKaze will be kid-friendly, with children under 12 admitted free, Carpinelli said, recalling her own childhood fascination with Lee's work.

"I was a little girl with my brothers actively seeking spiders to bite us, making my mom mad jumping off the roof to play Spider Man," she said, adding: "I grew up in the middle of nowhere, and all I had was comic books and movies, and acting that out. It was a positive experience and I think that's what made me who I am."