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Advanstar, one of the world’s largest tradeshow and event producers, is teaming up with Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo presented by POW! Entertainment as a strategic and operating partner to expand the Comikaze show and brand globally. The announcement was made from the floor of Licensing Expo 2012 with a video greeting from Stan Lee and ceremony with legendary horror icon Elvira Mistress of the Dark.

“We’re committed to making this expo the largest consumer show in the world,” said Stan Lee. “Advanstar will help us get even more entertainment and pop culture brands to showcase their work in front of millions of fans. Excelsior!”

Latin for “ever upward,” excelsior certainly describes the trajectory of the partnership between Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo and Advanstar and the resulting opportunity for expansion.

“Stan Lee is an icon and legend, creating many of the superheroes that have captured our imaginations,” said Joe Loggia, Advanstar CEO. “We are extremely impressed with all that he and Regina have accomplished in a short period of time. Their vision of making pop culture more accessible to fans opens a myriad of opportunities. We have the resources and operational expertise to make that vision a reality. Together we create an unstoppable team.”

Debuting in 2011, the one-of-a-kind expo wowed the industry by bringing more than 35,000 fans and 300 exhibitors to the Los Angeles Convention Center, earning rave reviews from the geek press and comic convention industry insiders alike. Advanstar will leverage their existing relationships with studios and entertainment brands through its licensing division to deliver even more interactive and thrilling content to the expo.

“Comikaze is part of the fan community,” said Chris DeMoulin, executive vice president of customer development and president of licensing for Advanstar. “Our experience in events, licensing and entertainment will help them exponentially expand their reach and concept globally. We couldn’t be more excited to be part of the Comikaze team.”

Advanstar executives were impressed with what the Comikaze team built last fall, both as a stand-alone event for fans and also the potential to complement its existing licensing and retail businesses.  Through its Licensing Expo in Las Vegas and Brand Licensing Expo in London, Advanstar creates a global marketplace that brings more than 600 entertainment and intellectual property owners together with tens of thousands of potential business partners.

“We saw an opportunity to do it better together as partners,” said DeMoulin. “This opportunity for our customers to get more exposure to and feedback directly from the end users – the core fans of their entertainment – is incredibly valuable and exciting.

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