LA Comic Con Wraps Up An Epic Weekend Just Shy of 95K Attendees & Introduces AVOX 2022
By Staff Reports
Los Angeles Comic Con, is LA’s largest event for comics, gaming, sci-fi and pop culture, celebrated its 10th anniversary by welcoming fans, celebrities, artists, vendors, sponsors, cosplayers, comedians, and creators to a lively and festive three-day event at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Convention-goers enjoyed comics, panel discussions, autograph signings, photo ops, dance performances, a live cosplay cam, sponsor activations, and much more. The event hosted more than 750 artists and vendors, selling comics, collectibles, art, toys, apparel, and more.
The official total attendance for the December 3-5, 2021, event was 94,900. This was the first event held since September 2019, prior to the CV-19 pandemic. Compared to the 2019 event’s best-ever attendance of 123,400, it represents a decline of -23%. Looking at attendance for fans 12+ years old, attendance was 86,900, a decline of only 8%.
“There was a sense of joyous relief among fans, exhibitors and talent to be back,” said Chris DeMoulin, CEO at Comikaze Entertainment, L.A. Comic Con’s parent company. “We couldn’t be more thrilled that nearly 95,000 fans were able to join us this past weekend. Given the vaccination status of most 2–11-year-olds, it’s not surprising that those fans were the bulk (74%) of our decline – almost 21,000 fewer from 2019 – and we fully support their parents’ decisions to stay home this year. For the tens of thousands 12+ who were able to join us, it was a weekend full of friends, panels, celebrities, shopping, cosplay, gaming, discovery, and fun. We had full COVID-19 precautions in place and are happy to report that 98% of our attendees came with proof of vaccination or a negative test – and the 2% who didn’t get free tests onsite, and only seven received positive tests and had to go home. Only three attendees were made to leave because they refused to remain masked once inside the show.”
For those who stayed home, a digital pass was available, and over 50 hours of programming was streamed in the Comic Con Metaverse by Vatom. Fans can still access that content for 30 days.
Happy exhibitors reported that most had achieved their sales goals for the show by close of business Saturday, and over one-third re-booked Sunday to come back in 2022. Fans and talent were thrilled to be able to see each other again and past records were shattered as over 8,000 autographs and photographs were purchased by fans, commemorating meeting their favorite celebrities. The new Gaming & Anime pavilion in West Hall debuted Saturday morning and more than 30,000 attendees explored the Tiltify Arena stage activations, the MSI gaming LAN, the AVOX signing areas and more.
Here are just some of the highlights from an amazing weekend:
AVOX 2022 Announced
L.A. Comic Con and PCB Productions, a cross-platform content creation company for interactive, VR, film, television, and emerging media, have joined forces to produce and present AVOX 2022: The Actors Voice Over Expo — a gathering like no other to celebrate the talent and performances in video games, anime, and animation, which is set for July 2–3, 2022 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California. Chris DeMoulin, CEO at Comikaze Entertainment, and Keith Arem, CEO of PCB Productions made the announcement Saturday on the Tiltify Arena Stage in the West Hall.
AVOX 2022 will consist of special appearances, unique performances, exclusive panels, private signings, and sneak peeks with more than 150 of the biggest names in voice acting from some of the most popular shows, movies, and video games. Fans will have a personal opportunity to meet their favorite stars as creators and performers share their talents, experiences, and professional advice. Audiences will get a chance to challenge their favorite stars, social media influencers, and commentators in casual and competitive gaming live onstage.
“We are excited to partner with PCB Productions. L.A. Comic Con had been looking to expand into gaming and anime given feedback from our fans. LA is a huge gaming market, and anime and gaming complement our current show content perfectly,” said Chris DeMoulin, CEO at Comikaze Entertainment, L.A. Comic Con’s parent company. “L.A. Comic Con’s motto is ‘by the fans, for the fans,’ and the AVOX format will be ‘by the talent, for the fans’ as a result of our partnership with PCB.”
The event will consist of 4 unique experiences guaranteed to every ticket holder:
- A Premier Stage Experience in the Historic Civic Auditorium
- Panel Discussions
- Intimate Workshops
- A shopping hall filled with vendors, individual signings and autographs with the voice actors, and more.
Characters will come to life in a whole new way as more than 150 voice actors match a face to thousands of voices. Attendees will hear the stories of how some of their favorite titles were made and gain valuable insight into an industry often hidden behind the microphone.
“Teaming up with LA Comic Con for AVOX 2022, especially after what we were able to produce together for this year’s Con, was a natural and perfect fit,” said Keith Arem, CEO of PCB Productions. “This is going to be a different kind of show, a different kind of experience, it’s meant for the fan who wants a more in-depth interaction with the talent.”
PCB Productions are the preeminent directors and performance producers for voice acting roles in gaming and anime and is behind many popular video game franchises including Persona, Call of Duty, Monster Hunter and Yakuza.
LA Comic Con 2021 Sponsors included:
Tiltify, AREA21, Liquid Avatar Technologies, Hot Topic, Legion M, Nickelodeon’s Warped!, MSI, Popshop Live, That Hashtag Show, AMD, UE COMIX™, and Voodoo Ranger.
Events and Activities Included:
A Star Trek Experience
LA Comic Con teamed up with Atomic Studios for a celebration of all things Star Trek, while honoring Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) and her contribution to society and pop culture. More than 20 cast members from several iterations of Star Trek shows and movies were in attendance. Over 35,000-square feet of exhibit space was dedicated to all-things Star Trek and space exploration.
West Hall Expansion Featuring eSports, Gaming, and Anime
LA Comic Con partnered with PCB Productions for a first-ever expansion into the West Hall. Fans were afforded the opportunity to watch competitive gaming on the Tiltify Arena stage, play PC games on high-end computers sponsored by MSI, attend workshops, and interact with some of the top video game and Anime voice-over talent in the industry.
Persona 25th Anniversary Panel
The voice cast from the Persona video game franchise including Xanthe Huynh, Valerie Arem, Amanda Winn Lee, Keith Silverstein, Abby Trott, Erica Lindbeck, Cherami Leigh, Jamieson Price, D.C. Douglas, Erika Harlacher, Cassandra Lee Morris, Billy Kametz, William Salyers, Megan Harvey, Keith Arem, and Karen Strassman participated in a panel on the Tiltify Arena Stage.
Meet the Cast of: Demon Slayer
Demon Slayer actors Abby Trott (Nezuko Kamado), Billy Kametz (Rui), and Erika Harlacher (Shinobu Kocho) came together to discuss what it’s like being on the show, recount some of their favorite moments, and what they’re looking forward to next.
The Official LA Comic Con Scavenger Hunt
Throughout the weekend, fans participated in the official Los Angeles Comic Con Scavenger Hunt, created by and administered by Digital Innovation Partner, Liquid Avatar Technologies. Hunters won amazing prizes and were able to take advantage of several special offers.
Pop culture giant Sideshow exhibited at Los Angeles Comic Con for the very first time. Sideshow’s booth featured high end collectibles inspired by and from the worlds of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and more — including many that made their first physical convention debut.
Owning Your Brand: The Business of You
Clinton Sparx hosted a panel discussion with multimedia personalities Erin Ashley Simon and Mari Takahashi entitled Owning Your Brand: The Business of You.
Raised by Wolves Season 2 Sneak Peek
L.A. Comic Con presented a sneak peek of HBO Max’s original drama series, Raised by Wolves. The sneak peek featured stars Amanda Collin, Abubakar Salim, Travis Fimmel, Niamh Algar, Kim Engelbrecht, Creator, Showrunner, Executive Producer, and Writer Aaron Guzikowski, and was moderated by Dalton Ross, Executive Editor at Large for Entertainment Weekly.
Laugh Factory Comedy Show
Iconic comedy club Laugh Factory took over the Main Stage on Friday night with an exciting two-hour lineup. Fans gathered in front of the mainstage and kicked off their LA Comic Con weekend with more than a dozen rising comedy stars.
L.A. Comic Con First Event Partner Features Comic Con Metaverse launch
Content from all three Comic Con stages – the Main Stage, the Tiltify Arena Stage, and the Cosplay Cam Stage, brought to you by the Helpful Honda Dealers – was streamed live into Vatom’s new Comic Con Metaverse. Accessed through the LA Comic Con App, fans could download a Metaverse Wallet loaded with 10+ free NFTs, and access Con content, art galleries, pop culture features, online shopping, and more as the first digital inhabitants of the Comic Con Metaverse.
Kids Costume Contest
Nickelodeon Warped! presented the official LA Comic Con Kids Costume Contest hosted by co-stars Kate Godfrey (Ruby) and Anton Starkman (Milo). Kids of all ages dressed as everything from Batman to the Ghostbusters and Slimer.
NFT — The Beautiful & Smart Digital Object
Jessica Kill kicked off Saturday’s programming with a panel discussion entitled NFT — The Beautiful & Smart Digital Object, featuring Nicholas Frontera, Colin Hornett, Terra Naomi, John Karas, Lesley Siverman, John Karas.
SpongeBob and Squidward are two of the most iconic animated characters ever created, and part of what makes them so recognizable and beloved are their unique voices. Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Roger Bumpass (Squidward Tentacles) discussed one of the best loved, longest running shows in television history in a lively panel discussion.
Boy Meets World
From 1993–2000, Boy Meets World explored the trials and tribulations of growing up in the 1990s. Will Friedle (Eric Matthews), William Daniels (George Feeny), and Rider Strong (Shawn Hunter) chatted about this successful and popular series in a panel discussion.
Comic book creator, writer and artist Rob Liefeld, best known as the creator of the “Merc with the Mouth,” Marvel’s Deadpool, presented ROBSERVATIONS Live!
Londyn Jackson moderated a panel discussion of the long-running CW series, Arrow, with cast members Caity Lotz (Sara Lance), Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance), Katrina Law (Nyssa al Ghul), and Neal McDonough (Damien Darhk). Arrow ran from 2012-2020.
Tom Welling (Clark Kent/Superman), Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor), John Glover (Lionel Luthor), and Laura Vandervoort (Kara), presented an illuminating look at the popular show Smallville, moderated by Byron Burton. From 2001–2011, Smallville brought us a dramatic look at Clark Kent’s formative years.
Billed as a Smallville-themed comedy night, Tom Welling (Clark Kent/Superman) and Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor) read scenes from the series and invited fans to participate during this interactive look at the show.
Eras of Batman
Londyn Jackson moderated a fascinating panel discussion entitled Eras of Batman featuring Kevin Conroy, who has portrayed the Dark Knight more times and, in more media, than anyone else, and actors Will Friedle (Batman Beyond), and John Glover (The New Batman Adventures). The trio discussed all things Batman and how they came to play their characters.
NCIS’ Mariana Da Silva moderated a panel discussion entitled GENTEFIED, featuring Marvin Lemus, Linda Yvette-Chavez, Karrie Martin Lachney, Joseph Julian Soria, Annie Gonzalez, and Julissa Calderon, about the importance of telling your story, celebrating your culture, creating opportunities for yourself and opening doors for the Latinx community.
Spotlight on Bruce Campbell
Popular cult film actor Bruce Campbell was featured in an LA Comic Con Spotlight. In the late 1970s, Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi collaborated on a horror short called Within the Woods, which became The Evil Dead (1981) which Campbell co-produced and starred in as Ash Williams. Campbell and Raimi followed with Evil Dead 2 in 1987, and Army of Darkness in 1992. Campbell reprised the role of Ash in the Showtime series Ash vs Evil Dead for three seasons from 2015–2018. His credits include Burn Notice, Bubba Ho-Tep, and much more.
Spotlight on Zachary Levi
LA Comic Con presented a spotlight on Zachary Levi, an accomplished actor, singer, and dancer, who has appeared in films, on television, and on Broadway. Most notably, Levi starred as the title character in Shazam! in 2019, and Chuck Bartowski in Chuck from 2007–2012. The Louisiana-native has also played the Asgardian Fandral in Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok.
Spotlight on Giancarlo Esposito
LA Comic Con also featured actor Giancarlo Esposito in a spotlight. Esposito is perhaps best known for portraying Gus Fring in the AMC crime drama series Breaking Bad (2009–2011) and the prequel series Better Call Saul (2017–present). He can also be seen in as Dr. Edward Ruskins in the Netflix comedy-drama series Dear White People (2017–present), Stan Edgar in the Amazon Prime Video superhero drama series The Boys (2019–present), and Moff Gideon in the Disney+ space western drama series The Mandalorian (2019–present).
In a discussion with moderator Stephen Kramer Glickman, Ming-Na Wen (Fennec Shand) and Giancarlo Esposito (Moff Gideon) regaled convention goers with tales from one of the most innovative production sets ever built as the third season of the poplar Star Wars story, The Mandalorian, gets ready to hit Disney+ in 2022.
The Boys of Summer (Cast from the Sandlot)
The Boys of Summer, more popularly known as the boys from The Sandlot movie – Brandon Adams (Kenny DeNunez), Chauncey Leopardi (Squints), Grant Gelt (Bertram Grover Weeks), Marty York (Yeah Yeah), Thomas Guiry (Scotty Smalls), and Victor DiMattia (Timmy Timmons) – participated in a panel discussion about the making of the film, their foray into worlds of NFTs, the metaverse and merchandising. The cast participated in a Q&A as well and fans had the opportunity to win prizes.
Representation Matters: Telling Our Stories Through Comics
Mariana Da Silva moderated a panel discussion with actor and comedian John Leguizamo and producer and writer Peter Murrieta. The multi-talented Leguizamo has been featured in Bloodline, the John Wick series, the Ice Age franchise, Kick-Ass 2, Dora the Explorer, ER, Summer of Sam, and more. Murrieta is known for Mr. Iglesias, Superior Donuts, Wizards of Waverly Place, and more.
Jock Interviews Frank Miller
Comic artist Jock sat down for an interview with legendary creator Frank Miller (300, The Dark Knight Returns, Give Me Liberty, Ronin, Sin City). Miller discussed comics, film, and what’s next for the comic book and film legend.
Tribute to the Legends of Karate Kid and Cobra Kai
Galaxy presented a tribute to the Karate Kid franchise featuring William Zabka (Johnny) and Martin Kove (Kreese).
6th Annual Cosplay National Championship
Cosplayers competed in three categories: Master, Journeyman, and Novice for cash and other prizes in the 6th Annual Cosplay National Championship. Cosplayers featuring characters from film, television, theater, comics, video games, sci-fi, anime, horror, and original creations entered the competition.
All Things Metaverse
Digital Innovation Partner Liquid Avatar Technologies presented a panel discussion entitled All Things Metaverse, featuring David Lucatch and Grant Gelt, followed by a preview of Apex Comics Group’s 2022 offerings.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
From 1993–1996, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers sprang into action to fight all kinds of baddies and protect the town of Angel Grove, and the world at large. The original series, which was adapted from Japan’s Super Sentai series, launched more than 20 iterations and three feature films. Jason David Frank (Tommy Oliver/White Ranger/Green Ranger) and David Yost (Billy Cranston/Blue Ranger) discussed this iconic franchise with moderator Mike Rome.
Spotlight on Jim Starlin
Coy Jandreau presented a spotlight on Jim Starlin who is best known for his genre-changing, space opera stories such as Marvel’s “Infinity Gauntlet Saga.” He’s responsible for creating the beloved Marvel characters Thanos, Drax The Destroyer, Gamora and Shang-Chi. Numerous box-office hits have featured characters Jim originally created, including Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings.
My Hero Academia
English-speaking cast members J. Michael Tatum, Brandon McInnis, Ricco Fajardo, Alexis Tipton, and Christopher Wehkmap discussed bringing this popular story adapted from a Japanese superhero manga to North American audiences with moderator Craig Price.
Londyn Jackson moderated a panel discussion about the popular series Lucifer (2016-2021) with actors Lesley-Ann Brandt (Mazikeen) and DB Woodside (Amenadiel). In the series, the devil himself takes up residence in Los Angeles as he tries to better understand humanity.
Julia Bianco moderated a panel discussion entitled What the VOX: Discussing the Difference Between Acting for Animation and Acting for Games with Cissy Jones, Courtenay Taylor, Krizia Bajos, Arif Zahir, and Damien Hass.
Lynette Rice moderated a panel discussion with writer Jason Tracey, executive producer Jonathan Littman, Paula Newsome (Maxine Roby), Matt Lauria (Joshua Folsom), and Mel Rodriguez (Hugo Ramirez) about the popular crime scene investigation show that recently made its triumphant return after spawning several spinoffs.
ABOUT LOS ANGELES COMIC CON:
Los Angeles Comic Con, widely known as L.A. Comic Con, is Los Angeles’ biggest and best multimedia pop culture convention, held annually at the Los Angeles Convention Center. LA Comic Con assembles the most exciting, new, and innovative players in comics, movies, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, anime, gaming, and all things pop-culture. Over 123,000 fans attended the 2019 event, making it Los Angeles’ ultimate pop-culture destination. LA Comic Con’s top priority is the safety and enjoyment of the show’s fans and regularly updates its CV-19 protocols. As one of the most diverse and celebrated geek and pop-culture events in the United States, LA Comic Con gives fans once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to truly enjoy safe interactions with their favorite creators and major players in the entertainment industry.