What Is Planet Comicon?
Once again, Planet Comicon brought the largest comic book and pop culture convention in the Midwest to Kansas City, Missouri this past weekend, February 16 through 18. Packed with celebrity, cosplay, and creator guests, the three day weekend kicked off the comic convention season in a big way. (You’re up next, Emerald City Comic Con, where GeekDad’s Will James will host a cosplay panel and be part of the cosplay face-off.
Who Attended Planet Comicon 2018?
Attendees were able to meet, attend panels, take photos with, and get autographs from celebrities like Jason Momoa, John Cusack, Michael Rooker, Danny Trejo, Sonequa Martin-Green, Matthew Lewis, Khary Payton, and Alan Tudyk. Kids and adults got to hear some of their favorite voice actors like Kevin Conroy, Zach Callison, Jim Cummings, Tom Kane, and a number of cast members from RWBY and Animaniacs.
On the comics side, top-of-their-field creators and artists Jason Aaron, Brian Azzarello, Marguerite Bennett, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, Patrick Gleason, Tom King, Jason Latour, Tony Moore, Scott Snyder, and Jill Thompson mingled with fans, signed books, and took commissions. Artists and writers participated in panels ranging from how-to basics to behind-the-scenes looks at DC and Marvel.
What About DIYers/Makers?
Cosplayers were out in full force. Professionals gave tips on prop construction, outfit crafting, and makeup application. Attendees were decked out in all manner of characters from across the broad spectrum of pop culture. The best and bravest presented themselves before the judges and the packed house at the Cosplay Contest.
After a few years of having a small presence at Planet Comicon, alternative and self-produced media arrived in a larger way this year. Not only was this represented in cosplay, but also in the various panels and discussions. There were both informational panels on how to podcast and live podcast recordings. There was a panel on Twitch live-streaming and Xbox gaming with celebrities in the Great Hall. There was a panel on writing for the internet and, well, internet writers like yours truly covering the convention.
As hard as it is to believe, Planet Comicon somehow continues to get better year after year. From a layout perspective, this year saw the comic creators and exhibitor area grow to take up a larger percentage of the floor, giving attendees more room to stop and check out all of the amazing arts, crafts, and merchandise, or to walk around those standing without whacking them with a foam sword or faux cybernetic appendage.
What’s The Best Thing About Planet Comicon?
More than that, Planet Comicon truly embodies the feel of being in the Midwest. I’ve heard it said by others and have echoed the myself: Planet Comicon is the kindest comic convention that many have ever attended. The crew is great with the guests and with the attendees. The guests comment on how friendly everyone is. Let me clarify that–they have been heard saying such in the back of the house, away from the crowds and the lights and the microphones and where saying so can not possibly gain them anything. Sure, there were probably a few situations to the contrary… there would almost have to be in a group as large as the Saturday crowd, but I witnessed attendees overwhelmingly engaged in positive, friendly, and helpful interactions with one another.
We talk about how these gatherings can come to feel like family for those who frequent them. While I wouldn’t try to speak for your family gatherings, seldom are the participants as genuinely kind and walk away feeling as positive about the experience than the family of thousands that converges on Bartle Hall in Kansas City every year for Planet Comicon.
Personally, I enjoyed the chance to enjoy the convention with old friends, family (many of whom were attending for their first time), new friends, and acquaintances. I, too, was presented with a number of opportunities over the course of the weekend to display kindness, and doing so did more for me and my well-being than it could have possibly done for those I was able to be kind to.
When Is Planet Comicon 2019?
Next year marks the 20th anniversary of Planet Comicon. The date is set for March 29 through 31, 2019. If you are in the Midwest or have the means to be, make it a point to join the found-family at Planet Comicon.