Advanstar Teams Up with Stan Lee's Comikaze for 2012 Show
Opening day of the Licensing Expo at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas this week had some added excitement when a special ceremony was held announcing that Advanstar Communications, which runs Licensing, was forming a strategic and operating partnership with Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo presented by POW! Entertainment.
The announcement was made in Advanstar’s booth on the showfloor by Chris DeMoulin, executive vice president of customer development and president of licensing for Advanstar, as well as Stan Lee, who gave a video message, and another Comikaze event partner, Cassandra Peterson, better known as Elvira Mistress of the Dark, and the event’s founder Regina Carpinelli.
“We’re committed to making this expo the largest consumer event in the world!” said comic book legend Stan Lee, creator of “Spider-Man” and “Avengers”, to name a few.
He added, “Advanstar will help us get even more excitement and pop culture brands to showcase their work in front of millions of fans.”
Lee ended the message with his trademark phrase “Excelsior!”, meaning “ever upward”.
The Comikaze event debuted last year at the Los Angeles Convention Center and attracted 35,000 fans and 300 exhibitors.
Advanstar plans to leverage their existing relationships with studios and entertainment brands through its licensing division to grow Comikaze even more, according to Advanstar officials.
Through not only the Licensing Expo, but also the Brand Licensing Expo in London, Advanstar brings together more than 600 entertainment and intellectual property owners with tens of thousands of potential business owners.
“Stan Lee is an icon and a legend, creating many of the superheroes that have captured our imaginations,” said Joe Loggia, Advanstar’s CEO.
He added, “We are extremely impressed with all that he and Regina have accomplished in a short period of time.”
Carpinelli told the gathered crowd at Advanstar’s booth that the idea to create Comikaze was born after she and her brother couldn’t get into San Diego’s Comic-Con International convention.
“We had our first show last year and broke every, single record,” Carpinelli said.
She added, “We want your brand to do well at our show. We want to put your brand in front of more consumers.”
Peterson said she has gone to several conventions during her lifetime as Elvira so she was “skeptical” when she was first approached about attending Comikaze.
“When I went in, I was so thrilled,” she added. “I was very pleased to be there and be a part of it.”
So much so she signed on as a partner.
“Between Stan Lee, Elvira and Advanstar as our new partner, I am proud to say that we will conquer the galaxy,” Carpinelli added.
The next Comikaze Expo will run Sept. 15-16 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.