My First Convention Appearance in Three Years
Notes on this weekend's Planet Comicon, plus my KC food and drink recommendations.
I’m doing it! I’m actually leaving the house! God help you all!
I mean, it’s been a loooong time since I went to a comic con. Too long. Hell, it feels like it’s been a long time since I ventured outside my own living room (in my defense, I have a lot of good rum in my living room). Well this week, I’ll be bravely adventuring forth into the great unknown, as I attend Planet Comicon here in Kansas City.
Okay, yeah, I’m not exactly traveling very far for this con. It takes place about ten minutes from my house. But look, baby steps, am I right?
The show runs Friday, April 22 through Sunday, April 24. And you can find me at Booth 342, for the hours listed below. I’ll have copies of all of my creator-owned trades and hardcovers for sale, plus a selection of Marvel trades and single issues.
As usual, I sign for free for fans. However many books you’ve got, it doesn’t matter. When you’re somebody who buys and reads and supports my work, I’m happy to return the favor by scribbling on your comics for nothing. Only thing is, if there’s a big line and you’ve got a stack the size of a small pony, I’ll probably ask you to break it up into smaller stacks and get in line a couple times, just to keep things moving.
Other than that, I’ve got a panel scheduled for noon on Sunday. So, you know, it’ll be a lot like going to church. Though maybe a Viking church where somebody’s cursing about Odin.
I won’t be doing any signings for graded books while at Planet. That’s because I’ve already got a special in-house private signing scheduled with CGC for later this year. More details on that below.
My Planet Comicon Schedule
2:00-6:00pm, Booth 342
11:00am-1:00pm, Booth 342
3:00-6:00pm, Booth 342
10:00-11:30am, Booth 342
12:00-12:50pm, “Mainstream Comics to Indie” panel in room 2504AB
Some of the best names in comics talk about telling stories with legacy characters like Doctor Strange, Spider-Woman and Deadpool, then elevating their craft and creating brand new worlds in comics. Join Skottie Young (Strange Academy, I Hate Fairyland), Jason Aaron (Avengers, Sea Of Stars), Phil Hester (Green Arrow, Family Tree) and Dennis Hallum (Spider-Woman, Sea of Stars) for a look at the world of comics beyond capes.
2:00-4:00pm, Booth 342
Planet is my first convention in almost three years and it’s also the only appearance I have scheduled for 2022. So think of me as one of those old Disney “Masterpiece” clamshell VHS releases. I pop up once every few years, then go right back in the vault.
I think I’m still just not quite ready to dive back into the full time con circuit, as much as I miss traveling and drinking with other nerds in hotel bars. Right now, I’m just looking to stay focused on home life and work for a bit. When that changes, you folks will be the first to know.
CGC In-House Private Signing
The only other opportunity to get your books signed by me anytime soon is to submit them to CGC for a special graded signing I’ll be doing in their warehouse this summer. The deadline to submit your comics to CGC is May 20. More details here.
And of course, signed copies of many of my books are always available for purchase in my online store.
Things to Do In Kansas City
If you’re coming to Kansas City for Planet Comicon this weekend, here are some of my recommendations for places you should check out while you’re in town.
Some of the best restaurants in the KC metro are relatively close to the convention center. You have lots of great foodie-centric, small-plate kinda places, you know, where you bring a few friends and just order pretty much everything on the menu, my favorite way to dine, places like Corvino Supper Club, Fox and Pearl and what’s probably been my top KC dinner spot for a few years now, the Antler Room.
If you’re willing to travel a bit further outside the downtown area, I also highly recommend Waldo Thai, Buck Tui Thai BBQ, Mesob (a mix of Ethiopian and Caribbean dishes), Il Lazzarone (best KC pizza joint), La Bodega (for tapas and sangria and Spanish coffee), Billie’s Grocery (for breakfast), Bay Boy Sandwiches, Golden Ox (a traditional steakhouse inside the old Livestock Exchange building in what used to be the city’s booming stockyard district), Cosmo Burger (a pop-up kitchen inside Dodson’s bar in Waldo that serves the best burgers around) and of course Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue, still my pick for best local BBQ (though Q39 and Harp Barbecue are well worth your time as well).
For drinks, Harry’s Country Club in the River Market has a great booze selection and the city’s best jukebox. The Pairing is a lovely wine bar/liquor store in the Crossroads area. Mean Mule distills their own agave and mixes up some fine drinks. The Hey Hey Club is the best speakeasy in town, in the basement of the Rieger distillery. My beloved TikiCat unfortunately didn’t survive the shutdown, but Tiki Huna, up north of the river, makes a fine rum cocktail. Of course you can’t go wrong with old staples like the Boulevard Beer Hall or the Green Lady Lounge. But my absolute favorite KC cocktail joint, hands down, not to be missed, is Drastic Measures in Shawnee, Kansas.
And for those not afraid of a late night/early morning, check out the Mutual Musicians Foundation in the historic 18th and Vine jazz district. Things don’t get hopping until 1:00 or 2:00 am and, in my experience, are usually still going strong when you stagger home around five in the morning. Musicians are invited to get up on stage and jam until the wee hours, the same stage that once hosted jazz legends like Count Basie and Charlie Parker. It’s also, by special Senatorial decree, the only place in the state of Missouri that’s licensed to sell alcohol all night long.
Wow, that’s a lot of places. Maybe I do leave my house now and then.
Final Thoughts & Links & Things & Stuff
—A couple of my recent podcast appearances:
—As recently announced, the dark secrets of the Prehistoric Avengers, including the full, god’s-honest, no-shit, who-the-hell-is-really-his-momma-anyway story of the birth of baby Thor, will be revealed this July, in the AVENGERS 1,000,000 B.C. Special, with interior art by Kev Walker and this kickass cover by Alex Horley.
—New toy alert. Did I mention I recently ascended to the high level of nerdery that’s exemplified by the displaying of unopened action figures on the walls of your house? I didn’t? Oh, okay, I’ve probably said too much, let’s move along.
—Your weekly reminder that Mahmud is a master:
—And a reminder that AVENGERS #55 hit stores this week, featuring more amazing work from Javier Garrón:
—Here’s a plug for a couple of my favorite current Substack reads: Man With A Hat by Tom Brevoort and the official newsletter of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Tom is one of the most insightful and knowledgeable editors in comics and Kareem is, of course, a living legend in all sorts of ways, whose insights and stories are always a must-read for me (he’s also a big comic fan).
This has been Beard Missives, direct from the soon-to-be-unveiled-to-the-public-oh-god-you’re-not-ready face of Jason Aaron.
This newsletter has been brought to you by Easter jellybeans on clearance, Cobra Kai (the guiltiest of guilty pleasures), homemade pineapple demerara syrup and this month’s Shaker and Spook rye whiskey cocktail box.
Thanks for reading. Hope to see you this weekend.
KC, April 21, 2022
Thanks so much for the shoutout (The Oblivion Bar)! It was an incredible honor to sit down with you and talk about comics. Hope you have a great time at Planet Comic Con this weekend!
Cosmo Burger is the best burger here. Glad to live 3 minutes away.