Planet Comicon 2023-KC’s Largest Comic Convention

Kansas City’s biggest comic convention came around again in 2023. I attended it on my own this time. Not to spoil anything, but I can tell you we had much more fun this year and there was more to do. So let’s skip over this boring old intro and get into the fun!

First Things First:

My aim this year was to not give you a well-rounded experience! I’m sorry to say that I drove me and my photographer crazy last year trying to get a little bit of everything. We’re just two people and the whole event is, well, massive. This year, we’ve focused on keeping it gaming-centric and tossed in a few other things. We’re trying to keep it realistic to what one of the readers for Hackinformer would care about if they went to spend time at Planet Comicon. They would not do everything, it’s not feasible but nobody has an interest in everything. So we’re going to talk about gaming stuff we’d found this year and the other handful of stuff we did whilst we were there. As always there is a full video below (pictures credited to Elizabeth Rodriguez) if you just want the highlights. Otherwise, we invite you to come along on our journey from Friday through Saturday night. There will be pictures along the way, giving you an idea of what it looked like in our adventures!



One of the first things that I noticed this year is the ability that Planet Comicon has in placing vendors and artists either exactly where they were in a previous year or at least nearby. If you want to visit the same vendor year after year it seems to reason that they agree that you should be able to find the vendor easily. Speaking of locating businesses in the vendor hall, we love seeing lots of food vendors abound. Finding them by smell should be an easy feat and this year it definitely was. Besides having the built in food vendors, they also had some smaller vendors serving hand foods. Cotton Candy, roasted candied nuts, cheese bread, chocolate covered strawberries, and chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick! They were all separated around so that you had food in multiple places instead of a giant mob of food lines. All of which speaks to how much thought they put into walkability.

The rest of the vendor hall is the same as it has always been. Celebrities off on one end, activities on the other, vendors and artists in between. The vendors are all mapped to rows like streets with numbered booths. They’re listed on the map on the app or the program. If you’re looking for new vendors, using the map is a great help avoid areas on the map you don’t want to go to. The map is a huge help and I only have one complaint about that, but that will be later on. All in all, they nailed the simplicity as best as they could.

We managed to find two vendors that sold video games. It wouldn’t be a nerdy con without some! I picked up a few games at each. Nerdstalgia was one of them, seen in the picture below with a deep booth of nerdom. The other vendor I’m sure has a business name, but it escapes me! All that I know is that they’ve been there before and they have tons of bins of imports as well as boxed NTSC-U games. I might’ve over paid on some, but I under paid on others. So I feel like a gamer can definitely find at least two booths each year of video games. If you’re a gamer that cares about tabletop games on the other hand, this con has you covered in spades. Starting with like a dozen vendors that have tabletop games and/or accessories.

(candid) Picture credited to Elizabeth Rodriguez

Panels and activities in the adjacent building are set up the way that they always are as well. They didn’t try to break the mold in any way. I do appreciate that the tabletop space has expanded (a nice segue from the last paragraph). If you watch the video I assembled from Elizabeth’s photos, you’ll see that there’s much more to do now. From playing tried and true tabletop games to play testing games that are on the verge of release. You’d also see that they have free tabletop games and an area to learn new existing ones from experienced players. What a well-rounded area!

Speaking of panels, there were panels around the clock that hit all kinds of nerdom. I’m not going to speak for all gamers that might read our site, but I know some of the panels I attended and put on were full of nerds! The first night we attended Planet Comicon After Dark’s ‘Let’s Go to Court’ true crime podcast. It was a live performance of a crazy scenario. The second day I was part of two panels put on by Kansas City Community Meetup. The first was ‘Evolution of SciFi Games’, the second was ‘Evolution of Horror Movies’. Both of which was also fun and filled up 75% of the rooms we were in. Finally, on day three, we went to see the Terrifier movie panel. Director Damien Leone and star David Howard Thornton were a blast to listen to! It was hosted by my good friend Jenius McGee (shout out to Nightmare Junkhead podcast).

One last major upside to this event is the rentable pop up lockers. They’ve added them in recent years and they’re evidently useful. Imagine carrying in a backpack with a Switch and Steam Deck. Now imagine adding so many goodies that you’ve bought (or won in a panel) (or got for free from a vendor) (or leftovers from a food truck) (or outfit to change into from your cosplay). Where do you put it all?! The rentable lockers seem to be a nice touch because I saw dozens of people utilizing them. I’m not sure of the pricing, so I can’t speak to that, but it sure does beat running things back to your car in the cold when you’re trying to be to a panel or a tournament!


Now, it wouldn’t be Planet Comicon without some clearly fixable issues that we’d like to mention. Nothing terrible this year, thank goodness! The program guide should be a book already. It’s the same amount of paper, let’s see it be more compact. Nobody wants to unfold an atlas and look at what needs to be seen. Yes, I know there is an app with all of the content. I’m also aware of the website that has everything laid out. But these paper programs are everywhere and could be a cleaner experience for those people who just want to carry it and glance down at it. It’s a great way for us to conserve battery life on our phone especially since there’s effectively no cell service inside Planet Comicon and there is no free wifi. (Burn to no wifi).

Picture credited to Elizabeth Rodriguez

Final Thoughts:

Picture credited to Elizabeth Rodriguez

As I said in the opening, this year truly felt like a return to form. I feel like the previous year really was grasping at straws and we were nickeled and dimed everywhere by every vendor like they were trying to catch up on money lost from the pandemic. Things were too expensive, the guests weren’t that great, and the overall vibe was still awkward due to still being pretty connected to a pandemic. This year the vendors weren’t overcharging everything, the guests and panels were great and unique. The food trucks were out front, where they should be instead of tucked at the back entrance of a building…it seems like they really made much better decisions this year and built up from last year. Great job Chris and the whole team at Planet Comicon!


About V1RACY

Check Also

Planet Comicon’s 25th Anniversary!

I’ve been covering Planet Comicon for years and years now. Each year somehow feels better …