There and Back Again: Kansas City Comic Con

Another convention in its second year, Kansas City Comic Con is KC's newest con and a counterweight to the long-running Planet Comicon. But just because it's the upstart underdog doesn't mean KCCC isn't legitimate. In fact, even in its first year the convention felt huge, and this year was no different.

While Planet Comicon has grown into a massive media event mostly focused on enticing attendees by way of celebrities, Kansas City Comic Con seems more focused on the artists and creators of comics and related media. KCCC has been very accommodating to the exhibitor so far; you're not talked down to and your table isn't hidden away behind everyone else. Being in my own backyard as well makes it an easy choice to attend.

Last year, despite a table location that had us staring at a pillar, we made a good amount of sales, picking up a lot of followup buyers who had grabbed Mayflower #1 from Planet Comicon and needed to know where the story went in #2. It seemed like Kansas City could support two big cons.

This year KCCC was a bit slower, though that had nothing to do with the quality of the con itself. Personally, I think it had to do with Planet Comicon 2016 happening later than it normally does and thus not giving the town enough time to recharge its desire for convention-ing (there was less than three months between the two cons this year). Other factors may have been just all-around bad timing, with kids starting the new school year and other events around town. It's hard to say as there's so many factors that determine how a convention is going to turn out, for the individual exhibitor and as a whole. That's one thing that I've learned from this Mayflower Midwest Tour: I can not predict how a convention is going to go.

Hopefully next year the con finds that sweet spot in the calendar. I'd love for it to evolve, too, and perhaps focus even more on comics and creators. It may also need to downsize slightly to bring a better focus to what's there. I'd love for KCCC to gain a reputation as the more niche comic convention, distinguishing it even more from Planet Comicon and drawing in a different crowd from around the area.

While our sales were low, and at times manning the table tested our boredom-meters, it's still always lovely to link back up with old artist friends and discover new ones. Since I didn't have any commissions this time, I've included some of the art by the creators I talked to.

Creators & Creations

  • Rook City -one of Missouri's funnest comics- by Seth Wolfshorndl and Elton Gahr, has finally been collected in a trade paperback! You'll meet goth kids and real vampires, attend supervillian conventions, and more.

  • Steele VS by Scott Schmidt, whose Canadian Mountie takes on supernatural enemies, albeit in a grounded, historical-fiction world.

  • Rebecca Mayer, who taught me the difference between Orrgo and Clayface.

  • Chelsea Mann, who continues to impress with masterful color palettes in her prints and in her comics.

Next on the 2016 Midwest Tour: Cincy ComiCon, and Dodecacon!