Home Arts & Entertainment Nerd Nirvana Lives: What to Look For at The Grand Rapids Comic-Con

Nerd Nirvana Lives: What to Look For at The Grand Rapids Comic-Con

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Jamie Miller lifting Thor's Hammer. (Abby Haywood/The Collegiate)

By Jamie Miller and Abby Haywood

Greetings true believers, Jamie Miller here. Now, as you know, I’m kinda like The Collegiate’s official expert on all things nerdy. So when the Grand Rapids Comic-Con rolls around I’m there. And this time is no different. So I’m here to tell you some of the features this Comic-Con will have and what to look for.

But first here’s a bit from my colleague Abby Haywood’s interview with the big cheese.

On opening day of the event Mark Hodges, event organizer, said he was happy Comic Con was finally back up and running.

Grand Rapids Comic-Con Co-Organizer Mark Hodges Abby Haywood | The Collegiate Live

“I think it’s important for these kinds of things to come back,” Hodges said, adding “People need to have entertainment. It’s who we are as human beings…”

Hodges boasted about how Grand Rapids Comic Con was one of the first, big local events to resume after the long COVID-19 shutdown and said he expected about 14,000 attendees over the three-day event.

“Basically what it boils down to, I was a little gutsy-er than everyone else, thinking we could pull this off in August. And, we did.”

Now back to my rundown of what to expect if you visit the con this weekend… Just like every con, this one has numerous vendors. From both foam weapons and real, to action figures and action comics they have a bit of everything. If you are looking for something more. You could go to the Grand Rapids Community College job training booth and try to lift a replica of Thor’s hammer, the mighty Mjolnir. The booth is run by Andrew Beach of GRCC’s machine tool program. Now this replica is heavy beyond belief as in the words of Beach: “This one was made in our brand new machine tool lab at GRCC out of 6061 T6 aluminum.” I also talked to Kellen Vandersluis who is in GRCC’s job training program and helped make the hammer.

“I actually did assist in making this one specifically,” he said, adding “I’m gonna be making my own eventually.”

Now, if that’s not cool I don’t know what is.

If you are looking to see some celebrities they have that, too. From the original black Power Ranger Walter Jones to both Dickey Beers and John Morton who played Boba Fett. And if actor’s aren’t really your cup of tea, then you can always see youtuber unCAGEDgamez.

And of course you can always see one of my favorite parts.. The cosplayers. The 501st legion will be in force as will the “crew” of The USS Grand Petoskey among others. So you can always talk to them, which I highly recommend as they are really nice people.

So there ya go, the Grand Rapids Comic-Con will continue until Sunday so get on out there. Fair warning, however, if you’re not vaccinated I highly recommend wearing a mask because many are going without.