Thousands of geeks swarmed the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center this weekend for Fan Expo Dallas, presented by Dallas Comic Con. More than just a comic book convention, Fan Expo Dallas featured celebrities, cosplayers and shopping for Dallas-area fans of comics, sci-fi, anime, horror and gaming.
The main attraction at Fan Expo Dallas was the celebrities, including comic book creator Stan Lee, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, X-Files star Gillian Anderson and Ernie Hudson from Ghostbusters (along with the Ecto-1 car featured in the movies.) There were also cast reunions for I Dream of Jeannie, the Godzilla franchise and the 1966 Batman TV show. In addition, fans lined up for autographs and photo ops with famous voice actors like Charles Martinet from the Mario franchise, Kevin Conroy from Batman: The Animated Series, and Tom Kenny from SpongeBob SquarePants.
In addition to the celebrities, there were hundreds of vendors selling books, clothes, toys and other souvenirs. Best-selling sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson was on the floor signing books and taking photos, and the guys from webcomic Cyanide and Happiness were there signing books and drawing custom sketches for fans. DFW-based retailers Half Price Books and GameStop were there with mini-stores, as were hundreds of other vendors big and small.
No comic book or sci-fi convention is complete without cosplay, and Fan Expo Dallas did not disappoint. Thousands of fans showed up in costumes of all types. Some fans just wore a tee-shirt and maybe some makeup; others came dressed in Hollywood-quality costumes. In addition to thousands of amateur fans, there were more well-known cosplayers there, including Meg Turney, Kristen Hughey and Mika Nicole. All of the cosplayers, professional and amateur, were in a festive mood, and everyone there was ready to take a photo if asked.
As if the celebrities, shopping and cosplayers weren’t enough, there were many other things to do at Fan Expo Dallas. There was the Into the Further 4D virtual reality haunted house from the producers of the film “Insidious 3”, as well as a space from Denton-based Reaper Miniatures where you could sit and paint miniature figurines. There were also Q&A panels from the celebrity guests, speed dating sessions, and much, much more.
Each of the three days of Fan Expo Dallas was a little different. Friday was the best day to avoid the crowds and get some good photo ops with cosplayers, Saturday was the best day to line up for the celebrities and Sunday was the best day to get some last-minute bargains. The place is so big that you could easily spend all three days there without running out of things to see and do. For sci-fi and comic fans across the Metroplex and across the state, it was a worthy pilgrimage to make.
If you missed out on Fan Expo Dallas this year, or if you went and want some more, mark your calendar for next year’s convention, scheduled for June 3-5, 2016. You can also check out their Fall event, Dallas Comic Con Fan Days, to be held October 16-18, 2015 at the Irving Convention Center. Visit dallascomiccon.com for more information.