I’ll have to admit I was a little worried when promoter Chris Jackson moved the Kansas City Planet Comicon from it’s familiar Overland Park, Kansas location to the Kansas City Convention Center at Bartle Hall in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. I needn’t have worried. The convention, which was held April 6 and 7, was a major success, establishing Planet Comicon as not only the best annual convention in Kansas City but one of the best in the entire Midwest.
Fans from all over packed the building to meet some of their favorite actors. This was the convention’s best line up of talent ever, led by George Takei, Adam Baldwin, Wil Wheaton and Lindsay Wagner. “Star Wars” fans were greeted by Chewbacca himself, Peter Mayhew, as well as Ray Park, who was so memorable as Darth Maul in “Episode One.” They also had what was sadly one of the last opportunities to meet Richard LeParmentier (Admiral Motti) who passed away earlier this week. Even Corey Dee Williams, son of Billy “Lando Calrissian” Dee Williams, was on hand. The young man shared some great stories of being with his dad during the filming of “Return of the Jedi” and even had a cameo as Klaatu, who ended up in the Sarlac pit when Jabba’s barge was destroyed.
Returning fan favorites included Lee Meriwether, Lou Ferrigno and Adrienne Wilkinson as well as Media Mikes favorites Tom Kane and Blair Butler. The autograph lines moved quickly, though I must say that I never saw the line end at Ray Park’s table. It’s amazing how less than 10 minutes of screen time made such an indelible impact on the fans. If meeting celebs isn’t your thing, there were plenty of dealers selling the very best in comics, toys and paraphernalia. My wife is tickled pink with her talking TED key chain (very “R” rated).
Overall, the convention was a hit, with fans already talking about next year as they were leaving. So am I.
For more information about the Kansas City Planet Comicon: http://planetcomicon.wordpress.com/
Photo credit: Dan Lybarger