Last weekend at Devos Place in downtown Grand Rapids, Comic-Con returned for the first time since the pandemic began!
Grand Rapids Comic-Con is an annual event that takes place every November, although it had to be called off last year. The event transforms Devos Place into something new, filled with superheroes and fantasy, anime and video games. Comic-Con is an opportunity for people who are into all sorts of things, ranging from superheroes to anime, to come together, dress up like their favorite characters and explore a wide range of activities. It is a unique experience, and I admit it is probably not for everyone, but it is tons of fun for fans!
Normally Comic-Con consists of a selling floor filled with art, books, jewelry, and tons of surprises that you find along the way. To me this is the biggest draw, because through this floor I have gotten to meet lots of cool writers and artists I would have never even heard of otherwise. This year I had the opportunity to meet a woman who makes leather bound notebooks and a man who creates unique laptop bags for many fandoms. There are often comic book artists, authors, voice actors, and actors in attendance talking with fans, taking pictures, and they are always happy to talk to people about what they do. This year, due to uncertain attendance after COVID there were not many extremely famous people in attendance, but it was still cool to see the people behind some of the best content in modern media. Panels are often held by writers or animators in outside rooms that people are free to go and listen to. These can be really cool, as they let people get an insight into the creative processes behind big titles.
The other draw to me is just going to see the other people in their cosplay. There is a unique experience shared when you run across someone dressed as the same character, or someone related to your character, and those moments are what truly make Comic-Con special. Some people are just flat out impressive. There is a unique culture that you can’t find anywhere else that is fun to experience, even if it can be slightly overwhelming at first.
While the Grand Rapids convention might not be one of the biggest Comic-Cons, the best events happen at big name cons like New York and San Diego, this was still tons of fun and an experience that I cannot wait to repeat again next year. If you are at all interested in going I would highly recommend going, it can get a little pricey but it is an experience that you will remember for years to come. So get your friends together, get planning, and get pumped for the next one to come to town!