I spent the weekend at Twin Cities Con

I’ve held many adventures since moving to Minneapolis, but none have impacted me as much as Twin Cities Con.

4 mins read
Photo by Zack Benz

MINNEAPOLIS— Okay, so the weekend I spent at Twin Cities Comic Con was actually last year and I’m really bummed about it. The annual event took place this past weekend, Nov. 3-5, and I couldn’t attend. Work commitments and my niece’s first birthday took priority.

Anyway, do you remember when Lois Lane interviewed a mysterious caped wonder and someone made the conscious decision to title that groundbreaking one-on-one as “I Spent the Night With Superman,” a leading caption that really assuaged Lois’ monumental reporting. I never understood why that was the handpicked headline but since it’s tied to such an iconic movie the words echo in the minds of super-fans to this day.

The reason I’m explaining this is because I feel like I lived out that interview in real life. I live action role played my way through a weekend of adventurous nerdy fun. I once spent the weekend with Twin Cities Con (TCC). Yes, the headline of this feature was inspired a great deal by the infamous banner from “Superman: The Movie” (1978). The reason I went that route was simple, I interviewed a multitude of costumed individuals. 

Photo by Zack Benz

The irony of me reporting on a nerd centric event for the Daily Planet is not lost on me. For a majority of my time there I felt like a cosplayer myself. Imposter syndrome hit hard and I was suddenly nervous. I’ve never felt the pressure to properly represent the Daily Planet more.

Twin Cities Con, according to their website, is a celebration of comics, toys, TV, film, art, cosplay, games and all things nerdy. 

“If you’re a fan of Batman, the Avengers, Doctor Who, Star Wars, LEGO, Disney, Star Trek, the Walking Dead, Power Rangers, Game of Thrones, etc., you’ll probably fit right in at TCC,” their site continues.

I visited the convention last fall for the first time. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never been to a convention prior to Twin Cities Con, but I’m glad my first experience was held there. I’ve been crossing off a lot of firsts since moving from my family’s frozen northern Minnesota farm to the mini apple. I’ve admired Minneapolis from afar, but I never truly was intune with the community until moving here. 

Photo by Zack Benz

Twin Cities Con is an annual event held every fall at the Minneapolis Convention Center, which is just blocks from my home. I became ecstatic after being accepted as press on behalf of the Daily Planet, but my nerves also got to me. It was a crisp November weekend in the City of Lakes and I made the conscious decision to dress lightly and walk to the event to help cool myself down. 

As I entered the facility on night one I immediately noticed the size of the Minneapolis Convention Center. This structure takes up about eight city blocks on the southern side of downtown. The building itself was completed in 1990 and boasts 80+ meeting rooms and auditoriums. It houses five large exhibit halls, four of which stand under massive dominating domes. Twin Cities Con mainly took place in Hall B, which is located on the first floor on the farthest east side of the building.

Night one was a Friday and was somewhat slow due to a majority of interesting events taking place that Saturday and Sunday so I took the time to get well acquainted with the space. The minute I walked into Hall B and looked up at the massive dome, I was in heaven. My brain was unable to process the amount of nerdiness it took in. My inner child caused my heart to flutter a mile a minute. I began to sweat because these were my people and I truly wanted to make a good impression, but that pressure caused a shyness that I hadn’t experienced since before coming out. 

However, I sweated on to introduce myself to a variety of different people including vendors, costumed fans, other press members and some celebrities. 

Nate Lundstrum, who was donning a “Spider-Man: Homecoming” costume, said he loves the convention. 

“I really enjoy going to Comic Con because it gives me a chance to meet people like me, just hang out, see all the costumes and have fun,” Lundstrum said. 

Then fiancés Jennifer Kolp (Catwoman) and Bryce Bakkelund (Batman) pose with someone dressed as Red Hood. Photo by Zack Benz

Jennifer Kolp, who was dressed as Catwoman from “Batman Forever” stated that the convention is a great way to meet like minded people. 

“Coming from a very small town, where cosplay isn’t really a thing, to be able to come [to this convention] and be among nerds is just great,” said Kolp. 

Kolp’s friend, MacKenzie Flickinger, who was dressed as Bulma from “Dragon Ball” lore, stated that she had never been to a convention before. 

“For me, it’s been super impactful,” said Flickinger. “I love to dress up. I’m here to appreciate all the outfits.”

Bryce Bakkelund, who was sporting a “The Batman” costume, and was engaged to Catwoman Kolp at the time, stated that he too was excited to be among peers. 

“I’m looking forward to hanging out with like minded nerds,” said Bakkelund.

Photo by Zack Benz

Founder Ben Penrod told local news organizations that he started the convention for taht exact reason, connection in a judgment free zone. 

“I started Twin Cities Con to be a big annual comic and pop culture convention for Minnesotans to enjoy,” Penrod told the Daily Planet

Penrod also told us that the convention saw its humble beginnings in the midst of the global pandemic in 2021, and has since grown exponentially to house around 300 vendors and host nearly 20,000 people last year. 

It was a monumental faith forming moment for me to be amongst thousands of nerds just like me last year. I felt so welcomed and included and I’m forever grateful for that environment. It charges me in an inspirational way everyday. 

I’m sad I missed out this one, but I’ll definitely be returning next year. 

Zack Benz

Zack Benz has been a fan of the Daily Planet since he was eight years old. The Daily Planet has always been a beacon of hope for him and it’s his life’s mission to make it shine in a similar light to so many around the world. Zack graduated with a degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2019.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

NATO officials meet with King of Jordan to discuss Middle East

Next Story

Tyson recalls over 20,000 pounds of chicken nuggets

Latest from Entertainment