Planet Comicon: Where a nerd can be a nerd | Editorials
On Saturday August 21, I walked the floor of Planet Comicon in Kansas City and felt what can only be described as sheer exuberance.
Since the pandemic swept through all of our lives in 2020, the last comic book convention I was able to attend was Branson Con in March of last year. If I had known that the rest of the comic cons I planned to attend over the next year and a half were going to be canceled, I probably would have spent a few more hours on the ground soaking in the atmosphere. .
While we are still in a pandemic, Planet Comicon was able to get started, with various health security protocols in place, and I was able to join the nerd world again. I should also add that not only was this my first scam in about 17 months, but it was also my first time discovering the wonders of Planet Comicon!
Joined by my Nerd Informant brother in Nerdom, Josh Grisham, we started our trek north at 5.30am on Saturday, hoping to arrive just as the doors opened at 10am. evolving plans, we chose to spend only one day at KC. However, I made the most of it.
While the seller’s floor is full of items that I am passionate about, from comics to art to action figures, my favorite part of the downsides is visiting some of my favorite big and small actors and actresses. screen. Thanks to the cons I have had the chance to meet dozens of guests at the convention over the years. Some quick examples would be Jason Momoa, Nathan Fillion, Lou Ferrigno, Sebastian Stan, and Elizabeth Henstridge.
As a nerd and as someone who has become kind of a connoisseur of autographs and celebrity photos, of course I have my list of artists that I would like to meet. Lucky for me, I was able to cross one of these names off my list at Planet.
While I know him as Oliver Queen aka The Green Arrow, you might know him better as Stephen Amell. Lucky for me, he was one of the last guests added to guest roaster Planet Comicon.
For eight seasons, Amell brought DC’s comic book hero to life on the small screen and is responsible for directing the series that has become known as The Arrowverse. Since the series debut in 2012, The CW has continued to introduce new comic book characters on shows like The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Black Lighting, Star Girl, Batwoman, and Superman and Lois.
Like many Arrowverse fans, I’ve been a fan from day one. Needless to say, meeting Amell at the Planet was a great experience and honor. Having the chance to say thank you to him for bringing this iconic comic book character to life was an invaluable moment for me. Of course, the meeting had a real price, which I was more than happy to pay. It’s really worth it.
My celebrity experience was also almost double the fun, as I got to meet the con Katie Cassidy as well. Alongside Amell’s Oliver Queen, Cassidy played Laurel Lance aka The Black Canary in Arrow. Two superheroes from the same fandom franchise at the same scam. It was pretty cute.
While in the Arrowverse reunion and greetings, Josh found himself in the world of The Karate Kid as he met two of the stars of the Netflix series Cobra Kai, William Zabka and Martin Kove. Although I didn’t have the opportunity to visit these two gentlemen face to face, or several other stupid guests for that matter, it was still quite pleasant to see their interactions with the fans of far.
Normally there are a lot of handshakes, punches, and sometimes even hugs when you meet your favorite celebrities, but it really depends on who you meet. I once had a long conversation with Manu Bennett, aka Arrow’s Deathstroke / Slade Wilson during a comic book that ultimately ended with a series of treasured photos and selfies, taken by him, and a hug. Then again, I also asked guests to sign their autographed photo and slip it to me without even looking up. Every celebrity is different.
Doing what they could to ensure the safety of attendees, vendors, organizers, volunteers, and celebrities, there were additional barriers at Planet. A being, everyone was asked to wear face coverings. Another was large plexiglass shields installed on each of the celebrity booth tables. For my photoshoot, which was a combo I bought with Amell and Cassidy, they even installed a plexiglass shield between us. Weird, not as fun and slightly uncomfortable? I will be honest. Yes. Even though it wasn’t my favorite thing, I was happy to respect it, if it meant I could visit celebrities and be among my fellow geek and nerd people again. A small price to pay.
Now when I started attending comic book conventions I wanted to get photos and autographs of celebrities appearing. I would literally spend the whole weekend jumping from booths to photoshoots. While this is still a big part of the origin of my fun at the convention, a few years ago I also discovered my love for attending celebrity panels.
Since no photos are allowed to be taken of the guests in what’s called Celebrity Row at Planet, I realized that the best opportunity for me to get guest photos during the con was to attend their panels. With that in mind, I attended the Stranger Things panel with Gabriella Pizzolo and Gaten Matarazzo, the Cobra Kai panel with William Zabka and Martin Kove, the My Hero Academia panel with most of the voices and finally the Stephen Amell panel. Believe me, I wanted to attend a dozen more, but unfortunately there were so many other things I wanted to do and see downstairs.
Downstairs, I dove deep into incredible collections of comics and action figures. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything I couldn’t live without. Normally my end of the asshole loot bag would have overflowed, so leaving the asshole without at least one new figure was a little weird for me.
I have to tell you that even if you are not a fan of meeting celebrities, there is still a ton to do. With video game demos, cosplay contests, and panels, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in a scam. Honestly, the booths of artists and artisan vendors at the con alone are worth the experience of the convention. These people are incredibly talented, and more importantly, have found something they love and are proud of. From art and jewelry to cosplay gear, the ones that set up against are the best of the best.
In my mind, Planet Comicon 2021 has been a huge success. I’m already looking forward to next year and seeing who will make their guest list in 2022.
To learn more, visit planetcomicon.com.