by Andy Lyons, Editor-in-Chief
Kansas City Comic Con returns this weekend in what is sure to be a fan-sided event for the masses. As the first stop on the “Superman” 40th Anniversary Tour and a live recording of Kevin Smith’s “Fatman on Batman,” this year’s Con is full of family fun.
Barry Poole, KCCC’s social media manager, said there is three full days of events ranging from panels, cosplay creation, and more that focus on the comic community as a whole.
“We’re hoping to maintain a level of intimacy between all the players, our show is a way for our community to connect as opposed as a way to make money or something else,” Poole said. “Most of us are fans foremost, so we are trying to make a show that’s fun to come to and build from there.”
The main draw to KCCC is the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Richard Donner’s “Superman.” Fans can purchase a VIP “Super Experience” package that gives them special treatment throughout the weekend, including a group photo, the panel VIPs will get an autograph from six celebrity guests, VIP seating to the two hour panel, seating to special screening of “Superman 2: The Richard Donner Cut” at Alamo Drafthouse at 8 p.m. Friday plus a Q&A with celebrity guests prior to the showing. They also get a swag bag with Superman themed gear, eight limited edition anniversary posters and the ability to jump lines for autographs.
The other big event of the weekend is Kevin Smith’s “Fatman on Batman” podcast which will include guests joining Smith to discuss the personal and social impact of Batman as an icon.
This year will also include panels throughout the weekend, including typical celebrity panels – such as a Batman and Superman 40th panels with cast members including Valerie Perrine via Skype. Colin Cantwell, who created the famous Death Star of “Star Wars” fame, will also have a panel.
Another major part of KCCC is the creator guests, and the Con has always focused on local creators and this year is no exception.
“Historically, KCCC is focused on the local creators, we’ve got a ton of writers, creators here in KC,” Poole said. “We have a lot of incredible artists here. This year is no exception. We’ve had some people be asked to go to other regional Cons, and while we’re sad they aren’t here it opened some doors for some new up-and-coming talent, talent that should be bursting on the scenes.”
Some of those locals include Jason Aaron, who has worked on Marvel’s “Star Wars” and “Thor” comics; David Finch, who has worked on DC’s “Batman” comics; and Jai Nitz, who created DC’s El Diablo character and has worked on “Suicide Squad Black” comics.
Other options including a cosplay building area in a lower panel room which will teach guests how to use foam, leather and adhesives to make Amazon or Greek inspired armor, exhibition matches from KCXW Wrestling, as well as a KCCC artist demo review panel, a creators networking panel, and a room dedicated to podcasts.
With KCCC’s focus on the community, fans make up a big part of that so Poole said they wanted to include fans as much as possible.
“Our focus has been on the community itself,” Poole said. “The whole show was built thinking about the community and what they would enjoy. We wanted a little something from everybody.”
With that mantra, KCCC will offer a cosplay contest for both “big kids” and “little kids” with a chance to show off in the main hall. The contest is will be broken down with finalists from Friday and Saturday who will go head to head on the floor Sunday. There will also be a special kids are that will have “super hero training” which will show kids how to use a leather hole punch to create their own leather bracers.
Special to KCCC, KC Brick Lab will have a layout of Kansas City as Metropolis with StarLab, Lexcorp Tower, Daily Planet and the Kent Farm from Smallville. They are also hosting a community build of a 12 foot long Death Star trench which will use plates donated by the LEGOLAND Discovery Center to tie into 40th anniversary of “Star Wars.”