KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time in three years, a “normal” Planet Comicon is set for this weekend in Kansas City, Missouri.
The 2020 show was postponed after the COVID-19 pandemic erupted across the Midwest in March 2020 and had to be postponed a second time from August 2020 to August 2021, when a mask mandate remained in effect for the city.
While there will still be some enhanced health and safety protocols — and plenty of exhibitors and attendees will be masked, because it’s comicon — Planet Comicon Kansas City will inch “a little bit closer back to the normal world” on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Bartle Hall inside the Kansas City Convention Center, even spokesman Chris Phelan said.
Founded in 1999 in Overland Park, Planet Comicon Kansas City is dubbed “the region’s largest and longest-running comic book and pop culture event.”
The 22nd annual show is expected to welcome more than 60,000 attendees with three dozen celebrity guests.
That list includes former “Mythbusters” star Adam Savage, actors Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Saturday and Sunday only) and Ralph Macchio, actress Rachel Skarsten (CW’s “Batwoman”), ‘N Sync crooner Joey Fatone, prolific voice actor Bryce Papenbrook, “Impractical Jokers” star James Murray and several current or former WWE stars — including Booker T (Saturday and Sunday only), Jerry Lawler and Sgt. Slaughter.
Several “Star Wars” voice actors — including Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), Matt Lanter (Anakin Skywalker) and James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) — also are scheduled to appear along with dozens more creators and acclaimed cosplayers.
The Kansas Cosmosphere also will have the Liberty Bell 7 on display, marking what is believed to be the first comicon to have a flown, crewed spacecraft on exhibit.
Planet Comicon runs from 1 to 8 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available online.
Organizers plan to move Planet Comicon Kansas City back to its traditional March date in 2023, according to Phelan.