Thousands flock Planet Comicon

Planet Comicon 2014

Thousands of pop culture fans packed Bartle Hall to attend Planet Comicon (Photo property of Planet Productions)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Around 8:30 a.m. this Saturday morning, I arrived at Bartle Hall for the second day of the three-day pop culture event known as Planet Comicon.

2014 marked the convention’s second year at the downtown Kansas City Convention Center.

15 minutes before the show started a parade of Star Wars-inspired cosplayers marched to the escalators, which led to the showroom floor.  Once 10:00 a.m. flashed across the multiple clocks in the convention hall, ecstatic fans marched to the showroom floor.  I also noticed for the first time (a line to come in) snaked near the highway.

 

One of the best cosplayers at Planet Comicon is Supergirl.  She is always a hit with the crowd. (Photo property of Jacob Elyachar)

One of the best cosplayers at Planet Comicon is Supergirl. She is always a hit with the crowd. (Photo property of Jacob Elyachar)

Once, conventioneers got to the top of the showroom floor…they were greeted by numerous cosplayers. Throughout the day, I counted multiple Harley Quinns, Doctor Whoians and Spider-Mans walking around the hall. However, there were multiple standouts that included a Darth Vader in a chef’s uniform with Jar-Jar Binks’s head on a silver platter, Batman and Wonder Woman, Maleficent and the legendary Supergirl.

Some of the attendees’ primary goals were to meet their favorite creators.  The artists and writers traveled across the United States and around the world to attend the event.  Stalwarts such as Damont Jordan, Paul Kupperberg and Rick Stasi reunited with some of their longtime fans.  Fans of iconic creators such as Darwyn Cooke, James Robinson and Scott Snyder experienced long lines.  However, their long waits proved to be the award as each creator took their time to sign each of the attendees’ comics and graphic novels.

On the other side of Bartle Hall, the media guests held court.  Celebrated actors Margot Kidder and Sylvester McCoy greeted multiple generations of fans, while millennial icons Jewel Staite and Wil Wheaton received strong fan support.

However, there was a special ensemble of performers that drove a lot of fans to attend Planet Comicon. Six cast members of Star Trek: the Next Generation cast (LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis and last-minute addition John de Lancie) arrived in Kansas City to partake in tomorrow’s special TREKtacular event, which will be hosted by none other than Captain Kirk himself…William Shatner!

Other attendees camped out of Room 3501 for the biggest panels of the convention.  Unfortunately, due to line issues beyond Planet Comicon’s control…I missed Wil Wheaton’s panel, which fans told me was one of last year’s most popular panels.  However, what happened at 1:00 p.m. brought new energy to the convention.

LeVar Burton & Brett Spiner reflected on "Star Trek: the Next Generation" at their panel at Planet Comicon. (Photo property of Jacob Elyachar)

LeVar Burton & Brett Spiner reflected on “Star Trek: the Next Generation” at their panel at Planet Comicon. (Photo property of Jacob Elyachar)

Brett Spiner & LeVar Burton teamed up for huge hour of laughs and surprises! Some of the highlights included cameos by both Jonathan Frakes and Gates McFadden, a heated discussion of Data’s death in Star Trek: Nemesis and the revelation of a Kickstarter campaign to put Reading Rainbow in classrooms across the country.  In addition, it was great to see LeVar Burton lead the audience in a sing-along of the Reading Rainbow theme and Brett Spiner do a dead-on impression of Sir Patrick Stewart.

As the day continued, fans rushed to find the best deals on artwork, comics and collector’s items from dozens of exhibitors.  In addition, some fans congregated to the show’s gaming area as others headed towards the center of the exhibition hall to see an impromptu performance by Darryl “DMC” McDaniels and a B-boy dance crew.

Planet Comicon concludes tomorrow with panels, puppet shows and the TREKtacular TNG Reunion Event.

For more information about Planet Comicon, visit the show’s website: http://planetcomicon.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar