Celebrities, comics, costumes, parties

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

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

The convention brings together many celebrities, comic book artists and cosplayers. Some of the biggest names include William Shatner from Star Trek, Richard Dreyfuss from 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 to observe different pop culture trends that often dictate what costumes you’ll see on the show floor,” organizers from Planet Comicon said in a statement. “Every year offers something new.”

Planet Comicon is open from 1pm to 8pm on Friday, 10am to 7pm on Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday.


Some of the celebrities include:

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

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

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

  • Giancarlo Esposito, who played the role of Gus Fring in “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul.”

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

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

  • Nicole Stott, a veteran NASA astronaut who has 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 Hopeles, writer of Marvel and Valiant comics.

  • Kevin Mellon, script artist for Archer, The Vampire Diaries and Black Lightning.

  • Buster Moody, who currently provides artwork for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book series.

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

  • Anthony “AO” Oropeza, a local artist known for his paintings of chiefs and royalty.

  • Andy Parks, who worked on comics for Marvel’s Daredevil and DC Comics’ Batman Beyond.

  • Kyle Strahm, who co-created Unearth and Spread for Image Comics

  • Freddie Williams II, who illustrated the New York Times bestselling Batman/Ninja Turtles series.

See the full list of who you can meet at planetcomicon.com. Some of the celebrities may have a photo or autograph fee, so check 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 board game sessions.

If you’re looking for something to do after the convention ends each day, Planet After Dark has you covered. Starting at 7pm on Thursdays at the Nighthawk in the basement of the Kansas City Hotel, Planet Comicon pass holders get 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 advice for first-time guests and experienced guests, such as where to meet if you get separated from your party.


A pass for the entire weekend costs $86. A youth card for children ages 8-12 costs $23.

Single-day adult passes are $32 Friday, $54 Saturday, $38 Sunday.

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

Children under 7 are free every day.

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

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