In 2001, Regina Carpinelli and her two younger brothers founded Comikaze Entertainment Inc. As children the three siblings were big pop culture fans and regularly attended San Diego Comic-Con International which is considered a Mecca for geeks. After relocating to Los Angeles from her home town of Temecula, California Regina Carpinelli decided that the city needed a muti-genre fan convention of its own.
The inaugural edition of Comikaze Expo was held on November 5–6, 2011 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It drew about 35,000 attendees. In 2012, Stan Lee and his company POW!Entertainment, as well as Cassandra Peterson (American actress best known for her portrayal of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark), formed a partnership with the convention.
Thus, Comicaze Expo became the only popular culture convention owned by two industry icons. The event underwent a complete rebranding, changing its name to Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. The second edition of the convention attracted more than 50,000 attendees, becoming one of the top 5 largest pop culture conventions in the United States.
The attendance has continued to grow steadily ever since. Having attracted 75,000 pop culture fans in its fifth year, Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo is one of the most diverse and celebrated events of its kind in the USA. It assembles the most exciting in comics, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, video games and all things pop culture to provide an unforgettable experience.
The convention’s program is very rich and diverse. It features panels, autograph sessions and photo-ops with celebrity guests, a cosplay contest, gaming tournaments, sneak-peeks and presentations of upcoming feature films, and other exciting events and activities. At each convention, attendees can meet comic and media guests. For example, the guest list of the 2016 edition included Stan Lee, Walter Koenig (Star Trek: The Original Series), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek: The Original Series), Denise Crosby (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Candice Patton (The Flash), Adam West (Batman), Lee Meriwether (Batman) and more.