Event organizer

Organizer Calls This Weekend’s Des Moines Con “A Nerdy Flea Market”

If you want to buy a lightsaber, get a Batman voice autograph, and attend a workshop on how to publish your comic, Iowa’s biggest city is hosting the event for you this weekend.

Ben Penrod runs Con Des Moinesand half a dozen similar conventions across the country, though he says none quite like this one in the heart of the Midwest.

“Des Moines Con is like a corny flea market,” Penrod says. “We have celebrities from different TV shows and movies and things like that. We have lots of voice actors from your favorite anime and then we have over 100 exhibitors and artists selling different things like cool t-shirts and comics and things like that.

Much of Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center will be devoted to selling everything from rare comic books to battle axes. “We brought in great comic book dealers from all over the country,” says Penrod. “We have t-shirt sellers. We have people selling swords and things like that, and then we also have our Artists Alley which is full of people selling their artwork, whether it’s a painting or a sculpture.

There’s a long list of celebrity guests who will sign autographs and pose for photos, including pro wrestler Johnny Gargano, former NXT Champion and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” actress Clare Kramer.

“I think everyone knows Kel Mitchell. He was in “Dancing with the Stars” and he was in “All That” in the 90s and he was in the movie “Good Burger”. We have Will Friedle who was in ‘Boy Meets World’ and he’s also a successful voice actor. We have a bunch of voice actors from “My Hero Academia”, which is the most successful anime TV show right now. So I think everyone is really excited about that too.

The Des Moines Con takes place on Saturday and Sunday.