Plan ahead to visit this annual pop culture convention featuring actor Isaac Singleton, Pirates of the Caribbean, Ande Parks, creator of the comic “Ciudad” that inspired the film, Extraction, and Kevin Mellon, who worked on The Vampire Diaries.

By Danita Allen Wood

Head South (well, to southern Missouri) for this annual pop culture convention at Neosho on February 3. The event celebrates the fine arts that make comics, tv, movies, and games possible and features celebrities in the field.

Isaac Singleton will be there. He performed Bo’sun in Pirates of the Caribbean and was also the voice actor for Thanos in Marvel’s animated series and video games. He has an extensive list of credits in film, television. and video games., including The Mandalorian, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fortnite, and others.

Ande Parks is the comic creator behind “Ciudad,” which Netflix adapted for the film Extraction, starring Chris Hemsworth. He also worked on the comic book, Green Arrow with fellow ArtCon guest Phil Hester. 

Kevin Mellon is another featured guest. Mellon was the director and art director for Marvel’s comedy, Hit-Monkey, and he has worked on shows such as Archer, The Vampire Diaries, and Black Lightning. He’s also worked on a number of comic books for Marvel, IDW, and more, including “13 Steps.” 

Other comic creators attending will be Jeremy Haun (Batman, The Realm), Cullen Bunn (Deadpool), Buster Moody (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and the writing team Kevin Dilmore and Dayton Ward (Star Trek). Some of these guests live in the region. Kevin Mellon lives in Kansas city, and Jeremy Haun lives in Joplin.

Those attending can hear the free panels being presented during the day. Singleton will do a Q&A, and there will be a live recording for the “If You Give Dad a Podcast,” with Nick Helms and Eric Cushing of the Original Geek Comics. 

Other activities include a cosplay contest for kids, teens, and adults, that offers cash prizes. You can learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons and Magic the Gathering if you’re new to those games, and there will be games for experienced players offering cash prizes. There will be board games and an e-sports tournament, too.

Sarah Serio, President of the Neosho Arts Council Board, describes this as an event that appeals to all ages. “For the very first one we ran in 2019, there were three seventy-year-olds in line awaiting the opening, followed by a young couple pushing a stroller.” 

Sarah has been impressed with the guests who come, giving of their time to encourage creators of all ages, but especially the young ones, interested in learning how to turn art into a career.

“Even the cosplay costumes develop fine art skills,” Sarah says. She recalls particularly children who have created their own costumes, an elementary school child dressed as Dr. Strange from Marvel and a teenager with an extremely labor intensive Stargate costume. 

ArtCon has drawn people from surrounding states and both big cities and small towns., she says. The event started in 2019 and has regained attendance after Covid, drawing about 1,500 people last year. 

“We have more vendors than ever this year,” she adds. Vendors are independent comic book publishers, sellers of vintage toys and action figures, and of course, comic book sellers. 

ArtCon runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is $5. Funds raised support the Neosho Arts Council’s endeavors to create public art, host free community concerts, support student artists, and bring creative opportunities to the area.The event takes place at the Neosho Junior High School. To learn more or buy tickets, visit

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