Nerds swarm to Planet Comicon

On March 14, 15 and 16 Kansas City’s Bartle Hall was flooded with nerds of all types for Planet Comicon. The event began on Friday at noon and ran until 5 p.m. on Sunday. The event represented many different types of nerd culture and featured numerous panels from actors, comic writers and illustrators.

The cream of the crop of these panels was the Planet Comicon 2014 TREKtacular, which had an additional fee but was an hour and a half panel that featured the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, Wil Wheaton and Marina Sirtis. The panel was also moderated by none other than the original captain of the Enterprise, James Tiberius Kirk himself, William Shatner.

Star Trek wasn’t the only facet of nerdom that was represented however, as the guest list was particularly star-studded this year. Autographs and photo-ops were offered by Sylvester McCoy, the Seventh Doctor and Radagast the Brown, from Doctor Who and The Hobbit respectively, as well as Eddie McLintock who portrays Pete Lattimer on the SyFy series Warehouse 13.

David Yost, Billy the Blue Ranger from Power Rangers and Femi Taylor, who played Jabba the Hutt’s Twi’lek slave dancer Oola in Return of the Jedi, were also in attendance signing autographs and posing for photos.

People weren’t just there for the actors though, as Lexi Lemons, a junior art and theater major, that attended in costume as a female version of The Crow was at the convention for the artists. Lemons was very excited about a piece of custom art she was having drawn at the convention.

“I was walking around and visited a booth and the guy that was working there was mentioned he’d always wanted to do a female Crow drawing so he’s going to do a personalized female Crow drawing specifically for me,” Lemons said.

Bryce Korf, another Washburn student, also had some custom art being made.

“I have Phil Hester doing a custom Green Arrow print for me,”said Korf, who also recommended the convention to all Washburn students, saying “Even if you’re not that big of a fan of comic books there’s something here for everyone.”

Cosplayers were out in full force at the convention as well and could be seen all over the convention. The prices at both the comic and merchandise booths were reasonable and the event was very well organized with panels ending and starting like clockwork.

One particular panel that was a lot of fun, was that of Seventh Doctor, Slyvester McCoy, which was moderated by Shaun Collins, Glenn Bartlett and Keith Miles of the Topeka-based Doctor Who podcast “Traveling the Vortex.”

Over the course of his panel McCoy left the stage and roamed the panel room, taking questions from the audience, cracking jokes and even playing the spoons on the helmet of a Darth Vader cosplayer.

Planet Comicon 2014 was great fun and allowed nerds to meet and talk people with the same interests, find new merchandise or comics, get a custom piece of art, meet the writer of their favorite comic, get an autograph or photo with their favorite actor, or just kick back and play some board games with like-minded folk in the game room.