April 11th, 2012
06:28 PM ET

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."

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Filed under: Comic Longbox • Fandom • Squee!
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Christine

    Katerina Douvlis – Gia alli mia fora den exw logia gia tin A P I S T E U T H douleia pou exeis kanei!!!!Na zusoin ta paidia, ontws itan ola teleia!!!!!!Thano gia alli mia fora S U G X A R I T I R I A !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  2. need a dock

    I believe this is among the most important information for me. And i am happy reading your article. However should observation on few normal things, The web site taste is ideal, the articles is really nice : D. Just right job, cheers

    August 4, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  3. Pete

    Glad for his success, but really, I'm not going to stand in line for hours and pay $50 and cry just to shake the hand of another H. sapiens just because he came up with imaginary characters that lots of other H. sapiens got excited about.

    April 13, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Bryan Wright

      Only he didn't come up with those characters. Others did and he took credit for them. At best he co-created them.

      April 13, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  4. Arthur

    "Marquis"? I hope you mean "marquee".

    April 13, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  5. OGRE

    Hooray, another nerd convention where I get to find countless targets to pummel into pulp.


    April 13, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  6. Already a LA Comic Convention...

    ... like every other month, at The Shrine Auditorium. I forget the name of the comic and sic-fi convention, but its great!

    This sounds very contrived, the Shrine convention has been going on for years and has movie previews, celebs of the comic and sci-fi world, fun for the whole family. Do a search!

    April 12, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  7. freddy

    Anyone who hates Stan hates Comics!! this show looks COOL!

    April 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Alysandir

      So...Jack Kirby hated comics?

      April 13, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  8. Steven Gaynor

    Stan 'The Man' Lee. Yasher Ko'ach!

    April 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  9. Bryan Wright

    It should be called the "I have no new ideas since Jack Kirby is gone" comic con. Imagine you're whole persona built around the hard work of others...

    April 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  10. Alysandir

    OMG!!!! *Another* southern California comic convention! Exactly what we needed! /sarcasm

    Sorry, no thanks. Not that I don't appreciate Stan the Man for his contributions to comicdom, but if I had any doubts whatsoever about where his love is, they were dispelled at last year's Baltimore Comic Con, where you had to pay a exorbitant premium to just get a glimpse of the guy, much less meet him. If I were in his position, I'd be out in the open thanking everyone for their passion to what is becoming increasingly an irrelevant, dying art form, and it's the guys in charge like Stan that have helped make it this way by sticking to archaic business and distribution practices.

    April 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Ron

      Good, dont go...one less person to deal with

      April 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  11. Rick

    Stan Lee may have ideas, but his entire demeanor is unappealing. It's what drove me away from Marvel when I way younger. And going back an re-reading his early stuff, I was right. He spouts nonsense.

    April 12, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  12. beelzabarber

    Not busting on Comic books, but Lee is a bit of a tool. Listen to him speak, EVERYTHING is either a sales pitch or ringing his own bell. He's like an older Gene Simmons of KISS

    April 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  13. fritz

    it's nice to see stan has finally realized the great pop art aspect of comics as I have. have some great originals as well as signed prints I hope to one day loan to the comic art wing of a museum. (hoping they never see the light of day on e-bay) interested in making some donations stan?

    April 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  14. BimBam the Clown

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

    -So a comic convention where comics are listed last after movies and television in order of importance.

    April 12, 2012 at 7:46 am |
  15. Marine5484

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

    April 12, 2012 at 5:52 am |
    • mordrud


      April 12, 2012 at 7:12 am |
  16. Sean

    This is the best news ever! Did you see how friggen cheap the tickets are???

    April 12, 2012 at 1:35 am |
  17. ?

    All of Marvel's theatrical adaptations turned out to be dumb, from X-men to Thor. The problem is poor character development, substandard scripts and over-the-top, egotistical personas. Nolan's film adaptation of DC's Batman crushes them all.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • bgg1175

      Stan Lee wrote comics full of drama that entertained. The comic writers today pride themselves in thinking they are better, but all they write is gimmicks. Death and Returns, new costumes, so called Big Events. Right now the Marvel Films retrace Stan's stories to make good films. There will never be movies that retrace the terrible attempts at writing seen in Marvel for the last 20 years. And Joe Quesada will one day be seen as the worst editor in chief ever!

      April 12, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  18. Weak

    Ghey name and unnecessary con given the hoopla in san diego. Doomed to fail.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • You are dumb

      Guess what idiot, he is only putting his name on a convention that had 30,000 attendees last year...so go back to your troll cave and shut up moron

      April 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm |