‘You can be whoever you want to be.’ Planet Comicon Kansas City celebrates 25 years

Planet Comicon Kansas City brought together fans of film, comics, games and more this weekend, celebrating its 25th year of fandom fun.

Cosplayers transformed into their favorite characters and took Bartle Hall in the Kansas City Convention Center by storm, where hundreds of vendors set up activities including celebrity meet-and-greets.

“It’s a great time to be yourself,” said Logan Taylor, who cosplayed as Beast Boy from the comic and cartoon Teen Titans.

Chris Michal, another cosplayer, dressed up as a female Batman Forever version of Riddler. She said her favorite thing about Comicon is its welcoming atmosphere.

“I enjoy the gender bends, they’re non-traditional, and I like taking (the characters) to the next level,” Michal said. “(Comicon) opens up availability to be yourself and be whoever you want to be. It’s ... open, understanding and welcoming to anybody.”

The convention was open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will be open on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are for sale online and at the door of Bartle Hall.

The convention began Friday, but there are still plenty of events and activities planned that can be viewed on the Planet Comicon KC website.

Saturday evening, there was set to be a cosplay contest, and on Sunday there is a showcase for children’s cosplay. There are Esports and gaming tournaments people can sign up for at booth P69 in the Planet Entertainment Zone.

And in conjunction with several downtown partners, Planet Comicon KC has a lineup of after-hours events at the Convention Center and nearby venues. These events are free and included in admissions unless otherwise noted. A full list of the after-hours events are on the convention website.

But, of course, the biggest draw to Planet Comicon KC in recent years has been its growing cosplay scene. As people explore all the convention has to offer, they might run into Leo, a pug dressed as Grogu (baby Yoda) cruising in a makeshift hover-pram alongside Ahsoka Tano.

Mia Chaco, Leo’s owner dressed as Ahsoka, came up with the costume idea this year.

“He’s actually a king at the renaissance festival, but this is his third year at Comicon,” Chaco said. “He enjoys it.”

“I really enjoy seeing him spread happiness and cheer to all the people,” Chaco said. “It’s really rewarding.