I’m sure that there aren’t many of you that has heard of the Grand Rapids Comic-Con. It’s a very small comic-con that got its’ start about a year ago in a venue that turned out to be much too small. They were, in fact, turning ticketholders away at the door, because attendance was so high. This lead them to immediately announce that the second one would be held at the Delta Plex, which is a much larger venue that hosts many shows in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Everything from sports, with the NBA D-League team, Grand Rapids Drive, to Llama Fest.
Grand Rapids Comic-Con took over the whole space. To me, it felt like a smaller version of the Motor City Comic-Con that takes place every May in Novi, MI. There were the typical dealers of collectibles, comics, swords, and art. There were replicas of the Adam West Batmobile, the Christian Bale Batmobile and the Mach 5. The 5o1st, Rebel Legion and Mandalorian Mercs were in attendence. And there were celebrity guests like Nichelle Nichols (Uhura from Star Trek), Alaina Huffman (Supernatural, Stargate Universe), Veronica Taylor (original voice of Ash on Pokemon), and David Newell (Mr. McFeely from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood).
And then there was the cosplay. Everything from Franken Berry (yes, the mascot for the cereal) to a near perfect Princess Zelda (who practically looked like she walked right out of the video game).
The cosplay competition was full of people of all ages, and costumes of varying degrees of success. It included unique and original characters as well. Memorable costumes were definitely Zelda, Franken Berry, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, a few of the Harley Quinns, and a full Digimon costume. Incredibly, this is the first convention that I’d been to where I didn’t see anyone dressed up as Slave Leia. Instead, it seemed like there were about ten people that all dressed as Harley Quinn, and all of them were different versions of the character. I only saw one or two girls dressed as the original version of the character, though most of the costumes were excellent. Most.
We didn’t go the the event on Friday, due to the weather, but we spent all day Saturday and a lot of Sunday at the convention. Saturday proved to be so popular that they shut down the box office for a while, about half way through the day. The only people let in, this time, would be anyone that had already bought tickets.
Sunday didn’t sell out, but there were still many great costumes to be seen.
I recommend checking out some photos of the event.
The place was packed, and I think it was a success. When comparing it to other conventions that I’ve been to, this is the type that I’ve been hoping would come to Grand Rapids ever since DeVos Place Convention Center was built downtown. Now it looks like that may be the destination of next year’s comic-con. I’m hopeful that Grand Rapids will eventually become one of those conventions that you can’t miss, but not so big that you spend half the day in line for a panel or a 20 second meeting with a celebrity with a signature and maybe a photo-op.
Panels at this convention included various actors and actresses doing Q&A sessions, writers and artists talking about character creation and other workshops.
For more information, check out their website: Grand Rapids Comic-Con