Another successful year comes to a close at Dallas ComicCon! Despite the mass amounts of rain the Dallas area received this weekend, threatening to put a damper on the convention, the show went on. I was sure at 5am on Friday when I woke up to booming thunder that this would somehow effect the show, either due to road closures and flooding, or celebrities having trouble getting into the city for the show. But, we got lucky and none of this happened! In fact, some celebrities showed up extra days to get a chance to see more of their fans! Gillian Anderson and Ksenia Solo were among some of the guests who weren’t expected until Saturday, but surprised everyone by showing up Friday and having an autograph session.
This brings me to another point; the thing I love most about Fan Expo events is the high level of interaction available between fans and their idols. At a huge convention like San Diego Comic-Con, the star power is undeniable, but the level of interaction with the celebrities is at a minimum. At Fan Expo Dallas, there was a large area of the convention floor set aside for celebrity photo ops and autographs. At one point, I was going to line up for a photo op I had purchased, when I saw a huge line of people waiting for something. Curious, I asked a volunteer what that line was for. Apparently it was for a duo photo op with Adam West and Burt Ward. Fans had the opportunity to get the Batman and Robin photo op they had always dreamed of!
There were also plenty of awesome cosplay outfits on display, with one of my favorite being Groot by PropCustomz. With the rise in participation and skill put into cosplay, Fan Expo Dallas makes this a focal point by having an entire panel/competition set aside for cosplay! This seems like a cool way to show off your costumes or admiring the artwork others put into theirs!
Another noticeable trend at Fan Expo Dallas was the relaxed, informal nature of panels. The Lost Girl crew (Ksenia Solo, Kris Holden-Reid, and Paul Amos) entered the panel dancing to Uptown Funk and ended up continuing their dance on the front tables before taking their seats. Ming Na pretended to practice her martial art skills on stage with the moderator. Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk signed and handed out little souvenirs for fans who asked questions at their panel. Unique things like this made the weekend extra fun and special!
People go to conventions for different reasons, with some people interested in the exclusive items and comic area, and others focusing on celebrity guests and panels. The comic area was set up exceptionally well, with foot traffic always at a reasonable level, while fans met their favorite artists, even having the opportunity to purchase sketches at the tables.
Another one of my favorite things about Fan Expo Dallas was the overall lack of lines for panels! I appreciated the setup and range of the comic artists in attendance, but my main priority was the panels. I’m used to having to line up hours in advance to make it into a panel. However, being in big Texas, it was only appropriate that the convention center and panel rooms were pretty huge as well! The arena that held the big panels had a max capacity of about nine thousand! That’s bigger than Hall H at SDCC! Having these big rooms at their disposal, Fan Expo Dallas made the most of it and fans were pretty much free to come and go as they pleased and still make it into the panel. There was never a panel that you weren’t able to get into if you wanted to. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me!
Also worth a mention is Fan Expo’s “Sci-Fi Speed Dating.” Looking for love and don’t mind rolling the dice? Fan Expo sets up speed dating sessions for like-minded geeks to meet each other and possibly form a connection! They even had a GLBT session, which is pretty cool!
With all this in mind, consider going to Fan Expo Dallas in May 2016. You won’t regret it!