By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
If I had to describe 2016 Planet Comicon in one word, that word would be EXCELSIOR!
Planet Comicon wrapped up its three-day celebration of all things pop culture on a high note. I have been attending Planet Comicon on and off since it was a small boutique convention that was held at the now defunct Overland Park International Trade Center. I have fond memories of meeting pop culture icons such as Yvonne Craig, James Marsters and Adam West and luminary comic book creators Denny O’Neil and the late Julius “Julie” Schwartz at the convention.
I am so proud to see this great conference grow from its humble beginnings. Thousands packed Kansas City Bartle Hall to meet their favorite actors, creators and cosplayers and to have the chance to shop for the hottest items in the pop culture universe. Here were some of the most memorable moments of the weekend:
Stan Lee: King of Planet Comicon
If the fans of Planet Comicon had to coronate one media personality to be the ruler of this year’s Planet Comicon, the title would have gone to the legendary Marvel creator and pop culture icon. Thousands packed 2:00 PM Saturday panel, where His Honorable Mayor Sly James declared March 21, 2016, was “Stan Lee Day” in Kansas City, Mo. While actress and GeekNation co-founder Clare Kramer moderated the panel, a few lucky fans had the opportunity to ask him questions about his lengthy career in the comic book industry. From absurd questions such as a young boy asking if Mr. Lee could “Whip and Nae Nae” and his favorite cameos from Marvel movies to revealing interesting tidbits about Spider-Man’s appearance in Amazing Fantasy and a potential upcoming autobiographical film starring an unknown A-list actor, his panel was one of the best panels I have ever been to in my 20 years attending conventions.
An Evening with Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith almost did not make it to his scheduled May 20 evening show. The actor-director was “royally screwed” by Delta Airlines and was forced to ride with his archrival of many moons: Southwest Airlines. Thankfully, Mr. Smith called a temporary truce in his feud with Southwest and made it to Planet Comicon for a nearly three-hour show. His topics ranged from raising his daughter: Harley Quinn Smith and his broken friendship with Prince to directing The Flash and choosing his future wife over Salma Hayek as a date for an award ceremony. Fans also learned his hysterical nickname for The CW (the Shirtless Boys Network) and how he credited longtime friend and partner-in-crime Jason Mewes for helping him fall in love with The Flash.
Selfies with Tom Felton
One social media trend that was on display at Celebrity’s Row were selfies. However, one media guest that took advantage of the trend was Tom Felton. The Harry Potter actor and musician had one of the longest lines at the convention that at times rivaled Mewes, Stan Lee, and George Takei. To award his fans for their patience, Felton offered the opportunity to take a selfie with him at the booth. My selfie with Mr. Felton exploded like wildfire and gave me some of my highest social media likes in my career. I hope that he can return to Planet Comicon soon.
Authors in Artist Alley
Artist Alley continues to be one of the best places at Planet Comicon for creators to express themselves. Planet Comicon veteran Rick Stasi debuted his brand new audio CD: Talking to You, (To You)! ” while fellow Marvel and Southern Bastards authors Jason Aaron and Jason Latour talked about their latest projects at a Friday panel. Meanwhile, Amanda Conner made her Kansas City debut and teased fans that she and her husband, Jimmy Palmiotti, might be reuniting with Starfire in the future. Finally, one of Spider-Man’s most iconic artists, Humberto Ramos, also made his first appearance at Planet Comicon and gave me a hint of how much danger the Extraordinary X-Men team would be in as the Apocalypse Wars continue.
To view my photos of Planet Comicon 2016, visit my Facebook page!