The 2022 Grand Rapids Comic-Con was bursting at the seams with entertainment for all ages

Penny and I dressed up for the event, embracing the cringe together.

Penny O'Meara

Penny and I dressed up for the event, embracing the cringe together.

I was very nearly going to miss one of my favorite events in the entire world. For three days only during a single weekend in November, the Grand Rapids Comic-Con comes to DeVos Place. This year, from Nov. 11-13, 2022, vendors from all around the state and guests from every corner of the country come together with their most avid fans to put on a convention that reaches every corner of downtown Grand Rapids.

Due to scheduling conflicts, I was just barely able to make it to the event for two out of the three days. Because of the pandemic, trips, and other events, I haven’t been able to make it to several of the previous years of the Grand Rapids Comic-Con. Fortunately, I was able to make the most of this year and went all out.

In previous summer cons, the now-closed Deltaplex hosted the events. This year was my second time attending the convention at DeVos Place, and I must say, I much prefer it over the Deltaplex. The facility is overall nicer, the crowd is less condensed, and there are many staff members available to help at all times. There are also many empty halls for relaxation, which are necessary when needing to settle down for a bit after walking around for the majority of the day.

DeVos Place also offers several private rooms, which allow for special events to take place. One of my favorite parts of comic cons, in general, are panels and Q&A sessions, which can only be held in areas such as these. There was a gaming room as well, which was a nice break from all of the noise and lights of the main room. Unfortunately, at the Deltaplex, this wasn’t possible, so I was pleased DeVos Place offered such events.

On the topic of speakers, there were several that interested me. I have attended several in the past, and when I heard that one of my favorite voice actors was hosting a session, I immediately decided to head to the room where her Q&A was taking place. The audience was very respectful per usual, and the whole arrangement was very orderly and professional. I’m quite thankful that they were able to get several big guests to speak and sign autographs because I am always one to gush over my favorite actor.

In conjunction with actors, there were familiar artists that offered their pieces and overall kindness to the guests. All of this art was very high-quality, and the artists themselves were always very willing to talk. Cosplay guests were also in attendance, bringing advice and eye-catching looks to the convention. 

Aside from the artists, many sellers had tables packed in like sardines next to one another. I found this comic con to be one of the best in terms of avoiding too much raunchy content. In past years, I have noticed that at least three noticeable sellers had content with a sexual nature as the main theme. I always felt uncomfortable around these vendors that occasionally had characters from familiar shows that are targeted at a younger audience. These were sprinkled about, so it was impossible to avoid them entirely. Thankfully, this year, certain pieces were censored if they were displayed, and there were fewer overall sellers of this nature.

On another high note, many of the sellers had very alluring products that were of high quality and supported small businesses.

On another high note, many of the sellers had very alluring products that were of high quality and supported small businesses. I adored talking with each seller as they gently offered me their products. One of my favorite types of products to buy is handmade designs or hard-to-find products from aesthetic shops that I couldn’t just purchase online. Thankfully, there was a plethora of these types of sellers, and I even nabbed a few business cards for future purchases.

On the flip side, there were sellers that sold bulk items that I could find anywhere (including at other booths within the conventions), which quickly got repetitive, causing me to leave GR Comic-Con a few hours early on the second day. There were also sellers that just seemed out of place. I am not usually going to a comic convention to see home security products, but I suppose these booths aren’t specific to comic con, and this is the case for many conventions. Fortunately, though, the majority of the shops were absolutely phenomenal.

Additionally, there were more vendors with a variety of snacks. Usually, I go hungry at comic cons due to the lack of edible meals offered. While convention hall food never really appeals to me due to its greasy and grayish hue, there were several stands that offered much more palatable substitutes. Although I didn’t get much, I was grateful that a small smoothie stand could offer me a drink to tide me over until I returned home. Of course, there could always be improvements for the food, but that is a yearly gripe of mine and not the focus of the event.

While I didn’t end up spending as much time at the GR Comic-Con as I expected to due to the lack of speakers that I specifically was interested in and the repetitiveness of the booths, I thoroughly enjoyed every event that I attended within the convention and have made certain that it will be a yearly tradition with my friends.