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Blog: Missouri Comic-Con 2024: The Convention Spirit Is Back In Full Force

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The Missouri Comic-Con was held this last weekend (February 10th and 11th), the first major “pop culture” convention in the state following the lifting of the federal Public Health Emergency restrictions for Covid-19 back on May 11th, 2023. As such, consider this a snapshot of the current state of “convention life”. No, it’s not the New York or San Diego Comic-Con (the events where major announcements for future projects get made). Instead, this is a smaller venue (though there were certainly thousands in attendance). It was a chance for fans to come out, dress up like their favorite fictional characters, interact with celebrities and just have a great time.

It’s also the first convention I’ve been to in YEARS. As such, I approached it as a “newbie” experience, not buying tickets in advance. I knew I was able to attend for Saturday only, so I figured I’d show up and see what all I could accomplish on a Saturday afternoon. Predictably, my “just go and see how it is” resulted in me having to wait in line outdoors (in February weather) for close to an hour before being ushered into the building where you could buy tickets.

 

The line was over a block long
Banners on display

 

After getting tickets, I immediately hightailed it over to see a guest panel featuring Scott Innes (voice actor of Shaggy and Scooby from the late 90’s/2000’s). Getting to see one of the voices of the legendary Scooby Doo franchise be on stage (and hearing him do the voices) was worth the price of admission alone.

I then took some time to tour the showroom floor, visiting booths of the various vendors. Cosplay was in full force, as I ran into Velma and Daphne, Freddy Fozbear, Cloud Strife, and dozens of others.

Then it was back to attend the guest panels, starting with a panel featuring Gates McFadden (“Beverly Crusher” of Star Trek: The Next Generation) along with Michelle Hurd and Todd Stashwick (all there to discuss their time on Season 3 of “Star Trek: Picard”). Gates McFadden surprised everyone by bursting into the room and pretending to ask Todd Stashwick questions.

Gates McFadden interrogating Todd Stashwick

 

This was followed by the main event of the day: a panel featuring Sean Astin (of “The Goonies” and “Lord of the Rings” fame). What was fascinating about these panels is that many fans asked the guests lesser known “highlights” from their careers. Gates McFadden was asked about her time as Choreographer on “Labyrinth” (working with David Bowie and Jennifer Connely).

Sean Astin was asked about his time filming the early 90’s time capsule “Encino Man”, and how his clumsiness lead to numerous injuries on what was supposed to be an easy to film “high school” comedy, and how the film helped him to learn to just enjoy filming. I frankly never expected to hear so much about “Encino Man”. The actor also shared briefly on his time working on the 2012 to 2017 version of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” on Nickelodeon (for which he voiced Raphael) musing it ended too soon and saying he felt it could’ve lasted another 5 seasons.

I’ll have more in depth interviews and commentary for articles coming over the next few days, but the entire day was wonderful excursion into “geek culture” that can only occur at a convention, and that it looks like the convention scene is back and here to stay.

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