The Con That Was: Recapping Lexington Comic-Con 2023 [ARTICLE/EVENT]

The Lexington Comic & Toy Convention 2023 was an exciting and vibrant event that brought together thousands of comic book and toy enthusiasts from all over the country. The convention was held in Rupp Arena at the Central Bank Center, which was transformed into a bustling hub of pop culture excitement.

As soon as visitors walked into the third floor of the convention center to get their passes, they were greeted by a sea of booths and tables, each one displaying a wide array of comic books, action figures, statues, and other collectibles. The energy in the air was palpable, with fans eagerly browsing the various booths, looking for that one special item to add to their collection.

The Art in artist's alley was amazing.

The Art in artist’s alley was amazing.

One of the highlights of the convention was the artist alley, which featured a diverse group of talented comic book artists and writers. Fans had the opportunity to meet their favorite creators, get their autographs, and even commission custom artwork. The artists themselves were friendly and approachable, happy to chat with fans and discuss their craft.

Another highlight of the convention was the celebrity guests which were stored on the lower floors. Director Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness) was there, as was his long time collaborator, brother, and actor, Ted Raimi (Evil Dead 2, Ash vs. Evil Dead). Director Kevin Smith was also there, as were many of the folks he works with in his films and podcasts like long time collaborator Jason Mewes (who’s been in more Kevin Smith films than almost anyone else), Jason Lee (who is in almost as many Kevin Smith films as Mewes), and Jeremy London ( Mallrats, Party of Five). Other actors included Anson Mount (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Hell on Wheels), David Della Rocco (Boondock Saints 1 & 2), Sean Patrick Flannery (Boondock Saints 1 & 2, Suicide Kings), and Warwick Davis (Willow, Return of the Jedi). In addition to lots of amazing vocal artists, like Shannon Chan-Kent (Death Note, My Little Pony), Tom Kenny (Spongebob’s Square Pants, Catdog, Adventure Time), and Yuri Lowenthal (Naruto, Insomniac’s Spider-Man), there were also a lot of well-remembered wrestlers from yesteryear like Sgt. Slaughter, Robert Gibson, Ricky Morton, Mark Henry, and Danhausen. Finally, with it being a Comic convention, there were artists, animation, and comic creators like Andy Bennett, Beau Smith (Wynonna Earp, Guy Gardner: Warrior, Batman/Wildcat), Bill Morrison (Futurama, The Simpsons, Mad Magazine), Jaime Jameson, and many others. The lines to meet these celebrities were long, but fans were willing to wait for hours for the chance to meet their heroes in person. It was definitely the most impressive lineup that Lexington’s Comic & Toy Convention has been able to muster. With that said, I would have liked to have seen more gender, racial, and sexual diversity amongst the celebrities, which definitely slanted heavily toward white cis-gen men.

Different spaces for looking at costuming were throughout the event.

Different spaces for looking at costuming were throughout the event.

The cosplay at the convention was also impressive, with fans dressed up as their favorite comic book, video game, and movie characters. (Click here to see Part 1 & Part 2 of our Cosplay Lineup.) The attention to detail in these costumes was remarkable, and fans were eager to stop and take photos with cosplayers as they walked by.

The folks from Holly Chrisler Makeup were helping transform people at their booth.

The folks from Holly Chrisler Makeup were helping transform people at their booth.

I personally really enjoyed the fact that this convention is trying to have more representation of gaming and game culture, with an expansion to the gaming section to the event. No, it’s not Gen Con, but there were some mega-sized versions of checkers and connect four, as well as a room full of games you could check out from local game sponsor, The Rusty Scabbard. Some of the new combo board and multimedia group games I saw being played were really intriguing. (Check out the video below to see a good representation of the weekend.)

Throughout the weekend, there were also various panels and workshops on a variety of topics, such as the history of comic books, the art of cosplay, and the making of movies and TV shows. These panels provided fans with a chance to learn more about their favorite hobbies and interact with experts in the field.

If you wanted to donate some cash to Make a Wish, your Wish to be in Neverending Story would be granted.

If you wanted to donate some cash to Make a Wish, your Wish to be in Neverending Story would be granted.

Overall, the Lexington Comic & Toy Convention 2023 was an unforgettable experience for fans of all ages. From the wide variety of merchandise to the engaging panels and workshops, there was something for everyone to enjoy. The convention provided a welcoming and inclusive space for fans to come together and celebrate their shared love of pop culture. 

Author: JT Hanke

J.T. Hanke is the founder and current editor-in-chief of DarkestGoth Magazine. Founded in 2012, DGM took a break from publishing at the height of the pandemic so that all the staff could work through their own issues, but was able to return in January of 2023.

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