PHOTOS BY DAN LYBARGER
A few years ago I wrote a very scathing review of the Kansas City Crypticon Convention. I felt my review was honest and it was based on not only my own observations but those of people I spoke with, both convention guests and attendees. While I continued to attend each year, I didn’t write anything about the show because I didn’t want it to look like I was uncaring or that I was just looking to continually kick the organization.
Last year the show left the nasty hotel (recently torn down by the city) it called home and headed an hour north up Interstate 29 to the birthplace of Jesse James: St. Joseph, Missouri. I wasn’t able to attend last year because of a previous commitment that weekend but this year I decided to check it out. And what I discovered was a pretty cool con.
The show was held at the St. Joseph Civic Center, and I thought the layout was perfect. The bottom, open middle section was set up for the dealers. Whereas in Kansas City the dealers rooms were always cramped and hard to navigate, here they were a breeze to explore. Plenty of room, and a nice selection of goods. The upper level was devoted to a few dealers and ALL of the celebrity guests. The area was bright and clean and every celebrity had a very nice banner, as opposed to the construction paper and magic marker creations from the past.
And the celeb lineup was first class. As this is mostly a horror-themed convention, the guest list was perfect. Linda Blair from The Exorcist. Nick Castle and P.J. Soles from Halloween. William Kaat from Carrie. And, for fans of more recent horror, you couldn’t do any better than “American Horror Story’s” Dennis O’Hare. These guests, and about a dozen more, greeted fans and many of them (especially the Halloween gang) seemed to have a steady line at their tables. Autograph/photo op prices were pretty reasonable as well, which is always a good thing at one of these events.
Congratulations to the people behind the Crypticon conventions. You’ve done an amazing job in transforming your show from one of the worse in the Midwest to a destination event. I look forward to next year.
No hard feelings? 🙂