Topcon celebrates its sixth year

Nicholas Solomon

Going on their sixth year, TopCon, Topeka’s version of Comic-Con, is back at the Kansas Expocentre. It takes place Saturday Sept. 21 and Sunday Sept. 22. Each year folks near and far from Topeka make the trip to show their passion and dedication.

People from the patrons of Kansas City to Washburn University students and recent graduates, stop by to witness the accidental creation every year.

James George, the creator and executive director of TopCon six years ago, explained the convention.

“It was one those Bob Ross happy accidents. There was a bank downtown, a credit union downtown that had an event space on the top floor. They couldn’t get anybody to rent it. They asked me what they could do to get people to rent it. I said you can throw your own event. Don’t wait for people before an event. And they asked if I could help with that. I said, well, sure. And I helped them throw a couple of movies festivals up there with a few people.” said George.

Figuring out how to get more people there for events, George had to decide what was next.

“I said, well, the comic books are big in this area. And I said, why don’t we run a one day swap by trade show? I said local collectors can bring their comic books in and they can trade off. And just a simple little show. I said, you’ll get a lot of people in here, and they’ll see the space and then maybe they’ll want to rent it. And so they said ‘yeah, can you put that together for us?’ I said sure. So I put it together. And about two weeks after I put it together, I started realizing that I had inadvertently created a con,” said George. 

It went on from there. Starting in a tiny room upstairs in the Credit Union downtown, it has since taken place at the Ag Hall, as well as the Ramada in Topeka. And in 2019, it had its best showing yet. There are vendors selling handmade items and passionate fans dressed as characters like Jean Grey from the X-Men and Beetlejuice. What was accidental at first, has definitely turned into James George’s brainchild. 

Edited by Jessica Galvin, Adam White, Brianna Smith