What started with small events in hotel conference rooms has quickly exploded over the years to become mainstay events across the world, celebrating all things geek, and pop culture; I’m talking of course about Comicon. Most people are familiar with the big one in San Diego. There’s Dragon*Con in Atlanta, and Wondercon also in San Diego. Bigger cities will always get the most attention, but right in the heart of America, in Kansas City, Missouri is the best in the Midwest: Planet Comicon.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Planet Comicon put out a lot of effort to appeal to as many as possible. Are you a traditional Sci-Fi geek? There’s William Shatner. A fan of classic horror? Linda Blair. Classic TV? Henry “The Fonz” Winkler. Throw in WWE superstars Mick Foley, and Rey Mysterio, and you can get a good idea of what’s going on. Oh, and who can forget the voices behind one of the most popular video games of 2018? The men behind Arthur Morgan, and John Marston in Red Dead Redemption II.
With over 50,000 attendees, people were drawn in from all around the Midwest, and some even coming from the coasts (surely stopping to get some BBQ along the way). A packed dealer hall, lots of cosplayers, contests, video games, speed dating, karaoke…and oh, so much more…very little sleep was had for the geekdom in Kansas City last weekend.
With all the highlights being said, I will say that I was a little disappointed. A lot of hype was made for this being the 20th Anniversary of Planet Comicon, but I felt like there could have been something more. Maybe a few more big names. A big event. A few years ago had the cast of Star Trek The Next Generation. The ability to bring the talent in is there. The crowds are there. Certainly the financials are. But, that’s what makes these types of events exciting. Everyone has their favorite fandom, actors, actresses, artists, etc… for different reasons.
Going to a Con is about escape. Spending time with fellow geeks, and maybe getting to spend a few moments with that guy from that show you watch sometimes. Walking the dealer hall, and seeing all the art, props, comics, and clothes for sale from the vendors is a little overwhelming, but the talent and passion seen by everyone is exciting. If you go, prepare for a long day of walking. Bring a water bottle, and bring cash – you’ll need it.
So, fellow geeks, go forth, buy that Ghost artwork, or cartoon cels of Skeletor like I did. Buy the photo op. Ask William Shatner, “Why is Captain Kirt climbing the mountain.” and enjoy a memorable weekend.