It’s no great secret that I’m a huge nerd. I wear exclusively merchandise from various shows, anime, games, and series; my dorm room is absolutely covered in posters; I sleep under a giant blanket with the first season of Mob Psycho 100’s box art plastered across it. Oh, and I’ll babble on about fighting game mechanics for just about as long as you’ll let me.
With all that in mind it’s pretty apparent that I value my entertainment pretty highly, so when an event rolls around that lets me go full blast and engulf myself I’m almost always guaranteed to be excited. Such is the case with Lexington Comic & Toy Convention (sometimes shortened to Lexington Comicon or LexCon), a yearly event full of artists, vendors, cosplayers, celebrity guests, and just about as close to my ideal state of being as possible. Gods, I love this show.
I’ve been consistently attending Lexington Comicon for a few years now, starting in 2017. The only year that I’ve missed was last year, due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Every time I’ve gone, I’ve had an absolute blast. From roaming the artists’ galleries to thrift shopping for retro games, it’s honestly incredible just how much content can be crammed between the walls of Rupp Arena, where it’s held each year.
The celebrity meet-and-greets are always a lot of fun, too. I’ve talked to Jonathan Frakes about my namesake, DeForest Kelley; I’ve gotten the autographs of Tara Strong and Josh Grelle, two of my all-time favorite English voice actors; Jewel Staite called me cute and I perished on the spot; and my whole family got to meet Walter Koenig, who my little sister is named after. Honestly, some of the most enjoyable moments of my life have been thanks to this event, and I’d be remiss not to show my appreciation for it.
Now, this past weekend at the time of writing‒that’s Sept. 10-12 for you future folk‒I attended another Comicon, but this one at a different time of year than normal. Most of the time, Lexington Comicon is scheduled around late spring or early summer, around May. This year though, likely due to COVID concerns, the event took place in September. There were a lot of differences from previous years, but the most obvious one was the masks that were required all across the convention floor. I was expecting to see people breaking the rules left and right, but to my absolute pleasant surprise, I didn’t see a single person not wearing a mask.
There were, of course, people eating in the food courts, but that was the only exception to the rule. Celebrities having their pictures taken stood behind a layer of plexiglass, con attendees wore masks in addition to whatever cosplay they were wearing, and furries ... well, they were furries, I don’t really know how to even attempt to explain them to people who aren’t already familiar with the concept. Regardless, the efforts to keep things safe seemed to go surprisingly well! The people that asked to take pictures with me (I went as Vanessa from King Of Fighters, in case you were wondering) kept their distances while they were being taken, and nobody I heard or saw complained about the mandates or event management, so I see this as almost exclusively positive.
Now, I do have one thing to warn any potential people who may be interested in attending future conventions: You will see cool things, and you will want to buy all of them. You cannot. You need to be responsible with your money, or your wallet will feel the damage afterwards. I wanted to buy every third thing I saw on the floor, but at the end of the day I was able to hold back and only purchased a Street Fighter poster, a Promised Neverland wall scroll, and Dick Vitale’s “Awesome, Baby!” College Hoops for Sega Genesis. Even only getting that, after my entrance fee I still spent close to 120 bucks all things considered.
100% worth it, though.