by R.C. Samo
Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo being held September 15-16, 2012, is the brain child of Regina Carpinelli CEO of Comikaze Entertainment (www.comikazeexpo.com) and was created out of sheer love for any and all things comic and geek related.
Following the disappointed feeling of several other conventions listing themselves as, “Comic Con,” Carpinelli decided that out of love and respect for the people who put on San Diego Comic Con and San Francisco’s Wonder Con, she would start her own, all the whilenot use the “Comic Con” name and instead call it “Comikaze.”
“I don’t mind paying $175 for San Diego, but $35 for one of those other shows in a down economy, are you kidding me?” said Carpinelli, in a phone interview with FanboyNation.
The desire for something bigger and better is a long standing family tradition. Carpinelli’s great grandfather migrated from Italy to Argentina during World War I creating a successful business, unfortunately, under the rule of Juan Domingo Perón, her grandfather was forced to move the entire family to Los Angeleswhere they had the first Argentinian import market called, “Catalina’s,” off Westernand Santa Monica in Los Angeles, CA.
“It’s still there, just under different ownership now,” said Carpinelli, which is a testament to her family’s desire to being successful as is proven with Comikaze.
Her father transitioned from imports/exports into a music promoter, instilling the value of hardwork into his six children as Carpinelli was out on the street from the age of three passing out fliers with her siblings. At the age of 16, she was promoting two successful night clubs that housed 3,000 patrons a night, of which she proudly proclaims, she was not old enough to attend.
“I grew up in the entertainment business. My brothers and I grew up on comic books and one year we couldn’t get into San Diego, we were so disappointed by the other Comic Cons we decided to start our own,” said Carpinelli.
The title, “Comikaze” was born, no doubt from the Carpinelli family’s adventure seeking ways, Regina is a professional skier while her brother Fabiano is a cross country cyclist, along with her four other brothers who are rescue divers and extreme sports enthusiasts.
“We are all really crazy…we are happy sleeping in a tent and happy sleeping in a bed in a nice house. We sacrificed a lot and that’s how we put it together and made it work.We are the people who jump off cliffs and others follow, we have zero fear and 100% passion,” said Carpinelli.
The first annual Comikaze Expo was not expected as gargantuan a success as it was. The original estimate for attendance was 5,000, when the numbers were finally counted, 35,000 tickets were sold, filling the Los Angeles Convention Center, breaking every first time attendance record for a convention and catching the attention of its guest of honor, Stan Lee.
“After the show I got a call from Stan Lee, who was impressed and wanted to be a part of it, without hesitation I said ‘yes,’ you don’t say no to Stan,” emphatically stated Carpinelli.
Ever since the event she has been hanging out with Lee and promoting the event at various comic conventions throughout the country.
“Here I was just a fan that wanted to do something that was affordable and different and here I am palling around with Stan Lee. It’s amazing and humbling at the same time,” said Carpinelli, in awe of her own achievements.
Before Lee attached his name to Comikaze, Carpinelli claims to have harassed Elvira, Mistress of the Dark’s manager for several months before agreeing to attend the expo, who now, after the initial outing is an investor with Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo.
Regina Carpinelli is a prime example of what being a kind person who works hard can achieve,I don’t care if you are CNN or a blog read by your mom, we will talk to you and support you. It’s what being a nerd is all about,” said Carpinelli.
Tickets for the event are $15 for a one day pass and $24 for the weekend, making it affordable for the whole family. Visit Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo at www.comikazeexpo.com, follow them on Twitter @StanLeeComikaze and like them on facebook at www.facebook.com/ComikazeExpo