If you’re a hero, villain or pop culture character — or just a fan — Bartle Hall in downtown Kansas City was the place to be Sunday afternoon.
Planet Comicon Kansas City continued it’s three-day run Sunday, attracting people who dressed up as their favorite characters.
For the Osmotherly family from Joplin, that meant 9-year-old Emma, 8-year-old Abbie and 5-year-old Lia became Jawas from the Star Wars movies for the day.
“We came a couple years ago and wanted to come back because it’s huge — it’s pretty cool,” said their father, Jarod Osmotherly, who was pushing a stroller containing his 1-year-old son, Jaxson, who was asleep.
His wife, Samantha Osmotherly, made the girl’s costumes after searching on the social media website Pinterest for them.
“We ran across them and we all agreed that this would be pretty fun to do,” she said. A large part of the fun is looking at the creativity of others’ costumes.
“Everybody’s costumes have been fun to look at,” Samantha said. “We’ve been taking a lot of pictures. We love those Star Wars characters.”
This was the 18th year for Planet Comicon Kansas City, which featured panels, exhibitions, gaming, sci-fi dating , an entertainment zone and celebrity guests. Organizers didn’t expect to have attendance numbers available until Monday.
This was the fifth year that Mark Pierce attended Planet Comicon Kansas City with his friend Kim Brooks and her daughter Simone Brooks-Woolworth.
“I have all these pictures in my phone from when she was — oh my goodness — what 3?” Brooks said. “She’s 9 now. So it’s age progression for her — but not for me.”
It’s the superheros and the villains that Simone likes. Although she was dressed as Supergirl, her favorite is a different hero.
“It’s Wonder Woman — I know that,” Brooks said. “I love Wonder Woman.”
“Yea,” Simone agreed. “She’s classy.”
“I love her because she’s strong, she’s fearless and she will lay down her life for anybody,” Brooks added.
The hope of seeing something new, exciting and different is what keeps drawing them to the convention.
“Next year, we are dressing up,” Pierce said. “So we already got to start planning and saving now.”
Frank Franks of Searcy, Ark., chose several characters to dress up as. His primary costume was Star Wars’ Darth Vader, but he also had Deathstroke, Batman and Iron Man masks that he could swap out.
“I’m Death Vader. I can also be Bat Vader and Iron Vader,” said Franks, who’s a veteran of the Comicons. He started listing the names of the celebrities he got his photo taken with, but the highlight was the American Pie girls.
“It was so cool, so cool,” Franks said.
Franks was with Amanda Jones of Hallsville, Mo., who wasn’t in cosplay.
“I do have a nerdy side,” she said. “So I’ve been freaking out over all the cosplay I’m a fan off.”
Some characters charged to have their pictures taken with fans, so Jones was asking to just get a hug them because she didn’t have money.
“I’m a really big fan of hugs,” she said, while carrying a sign that said “Free hugs.” “I’ve gotten like 30 hugs so far today.”
Jeff and Dianna Jones of Lee’s Summit brought their daughter Lilly, 6, and Emelie, 3, to their first Planet Comicon to introduce them to the world of comics. The girls dressed for the occasion, Emelie as Owlette and Lilly as Sleeping Beauty.
“I hope it teaches them that you don’t have to grow out of this,” Jeff Jones said. “You can always stay young at heart and enjoy these kind of things, even as an adult.”