As the Los Angeles City Council celebrates Stan Lee Day, the comic book legend rebranded his expo Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con.
Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man and other beloved Marvel superhero characters, made his latest cameo at City Hall today to promote the re-branding of his Los Angeles-based comics convention.
The event previously known as Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo was officially renamed “Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con,” Lee told the City Council.
Lee’s comics expo, which is not affiliated with the San Diego Comic-Con, is scheduled for Oct. 28-30 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where it has been held since 2011.
The 93-year-old former president of Marvel Comics said “we want to have the most glamorous and sought-after guests possible in the entertainment field, because after all, Los Angeles to me is the home of entertainment — this is where it all starts.”
The former New Yorker, who has lived in Los Angeles for at least the past three decades, said his adoptive city is “the movie capital of the world, the music capital of the world — everything, it’s all here in L.A. and we should have the best convention of all.”
When asked by reporters after the City Council presentation if the name change signals an attempt to take on the wildly popular San Diego event, Lee shouted, “There’s no competition!”
Keith Tralin, CEO of Lee’s convention, said the goal is to create a parallel, co-existing convention with a similar “financial impact” for Los Angeles.
“We know we’re a different show (than San Diego’s) because we’ve got all the creative people, we’ve got the community that can generate more content and better content than anywhere else in the world,” Tralin said. “We don’t need to compete with anyone else.”
Tralin said the event attracted more than 76,000 attendees last year, with about 90,000 people expected to attend this year’s convention to meet comic book artists and actors in shows and movies such as “The Flash.”
“It’s about anything pop culture, being a nerd,” said Regina Carpinelli, who co-founded the convention with Lee.
Tralin also described the event as a lower-key version of the San Diego convention at which artists and crafts people involved in comic book-related industries have a better chance of gaining exposure.
Various comics conventions have flirted with settling down in Los Angeles, most recently with WonderCon being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center this year, rather than in its usual home in Anaheim.
The San Diego Comic-Con organizers, who also put on WonderCon, might have been “testing the waters,” Tralin said, but he feels each of the local events have their own place in the region.
“San Diego’s got a show, Anaheim’s got a show, L.A.’s got a show,” Tralin said.
The City Council declared it Stan Lee Day in the City of Los Angeles, an honor that Lee said made him “the luckiest man alive.”
“We’re honoring the most notable person in the history of comic books, and that is a very colorful history,” Councilman Paul Koretz said. “He has created so many amazing characters, and we’re just honored to have him here … in the city of Los Angeles announcing this comic-con.
“It’s amazing that someone like him even exists that could have created so many comic books and drawn so many comic books and written so many,” Koretz added. “We’re just proud to have him here.”
Councilman Curren Price said the “economic development” boost to the city that comes from such comic book conventions “couldn’t have happened without the genius of this man — I’m proud to celebrate Stan Lee Day.”
Lee has become synonymous with Marvel Comics, the publisher of stories that feature his biggest super-hero creations, such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Daredevil, Thor, the Hulk, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four.
In recent years, his comic book characters, many of them created with artist Jack Kirby, have maintained their popularity and sparked a flurry of big- screen adaptations in which he often makes cameos to the delight of his fans.
Mr. Lee told City News Service that “it’s exciting for me” to see his comic book creations gain a bigger audience via the success of films and television shows, many made as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise – – though he said that because of poor eyesight, he often has those movies described to him.
He said “it’s hard to have favorites” with the adaptations “because I love them all,” but he does have a soft spot for “the first Spider-Man, because that’s what started it all — so that might be my favorite.”
Source City News Service
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