Guide to Kansas City’s Planet Comicon: Celebrities, comic books, costumes, parties

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Downtown Kansas City’s going to be full of costumes this weekend, and it’s not even Halloween.

Planet Comicon returns for the 24th time, and for the 10th year downtown. From Friday through Sunday, thousands of anime, comic book and pop culture fans will fill 400,000 square feet in Bartle Hall.

The convention brings numerous celebrities, comic book artists and cosplayers. Some of the biggest names include William Shatner of “Star Trek,” Richard Dreyfuss of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira.

“It’s fun to see different fandoms passed down from generation to generation and watch different pop culture trends that will often dictate what costumes you see on the show floor,” organizers with Planet Comicon said in a statement. “Every year offers something new.”

Planet Comicon is open from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.


Some of the celebrities include:

  • Bonnie Bartlett from “Little House on the Prairie” has a new memoir, “Middle of the Rainbow.” Her husband, William Daniels from “Boy Meets World,” will also be in attendance.

  • William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in “Star Trek,” is in town on Friday and Saturday.

  • Diane Guerrero, the voice of Isabel from the Disney-animated film “Encanto.”

  • Giancarlo Esposito, who starred as Gus Fring in “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul.”

  • Kevin Nash, a WWE Hall of Famer and featured in “Magic Mike.”

  • Richard Dreyfuss, who starred in blockbusters “Jaws” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” He’s available Saturday and Sunday.

  • Nicole Stott, a veteran NASA astronaut who’s walked in space.

In addition to the celebrities above, these guests are from the region:

  • Cassandra Peterson, known for her cult classic character Elvira, was born in Manhattan, Kansas.

  • Dennis Hopeless, a comic book writer for Marvel and Valiant.

  • Kevin Mellon, a storyboard artist for “Archer,” “The Vampire Diaries,” and “Black Lightning.”

  • Buster Moody, who’s currently providing artwork for the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles” comic book series.

  • B. Clay Moore, who wrote for DC Comics and Image Comics.

  • Anthony “AO” Oropeza, a local artist known for his Chiefs and Royals paintings.

  • Ande Parks, who worked on comic books for Marvel’s “Daredevil,” and DC Comics’ “Batman Beyond.”

  • Kyle Strahm, who’s the co-creator of “Unearth” and “Spread” for Image Comics

  • Freddie Williams II, who illustrated the New York Times’ bestselling series “Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

Check out the entire list of who you can meet at Some of the celebrities may have a fee for photos or autographs, so take a look before you go.


Many vendors will be selling items on the floor each day. If you’re missing a piece from your Funko pop collection, this might be the place to find it.

Also look for cosplay contests, panel discussions with some of the voice actors, and tabletop gaming sessions.

If you’re looking for something to do after the convention ends each day, Planet After Dark has you covered. Starting 7 p.m. Thursday at Nighthawk in the basement of Hotel Kansas City, Planet Comicon pass holders have free access to 21+ events.

Planet Comicon organizers recommend that everyone read their Planet pre-flight guide on the website before attending. The guide includes tips for first-timers and experienced guests, such as where to meet if you are split up from your party.


An all-weekend pass costs $86. A youth pass for children ages 8-12 costs $23.

Adult passes for individual days cost $32 Friday, $54 Saturday, $38 Sunday.

Passes for kids ages 8-12 cost $11 Friday and $19 Saturday. Sunday is free.

Children 7 and under are free every day.

You can purchase tickets in advance online or at the Bartle Hall box office.